3
   

Why are people like this ?

 
 
Ionus
 
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 07:48 pm
The modern habit of pronouncing the number zero as the letter ‘O’ should be banned from public broadcast.

A couple of years ago, I rang Telstra to ask why they pronounced zero as ‘oh’ on their automated phone number enquiry service. I was told there was no good reason and as mobile phones were increasing in use, and as some companies wanted to use a word in their phone number for ease of memory, that it should be changed. It was.

Some months after that I noticed it had been changed back again. I enquired why and was told that companies thought their number sounded sexier if a woman was saying ‘Oh’ instead of zero which sounded negative. I doubt if any company will go under because they say zero instead of ‘Oh’. These same companies could go under if their stock numbers, serial numbers etc suddenly and randomly swapped zero for ‘O’ and vice versa.

Some two years ago, an immigrant Sudanese family on their first night in Australia were handed a mobile phone by an immigration official and told not to go outside but that if their new baby became any sicker they were to dial triple ‘Oh’ for the emergency services. They did. No help came and the baby died. They could have dialed triple zero and saved their baby.

I felt somewhat to blame for letting big business win yet another round in their quest for profit that cost a brand new life. I was particularly annoyed at the ad for the reading and writing hotline (an adult literacy program), which emphasized the sexiness of ‘Oh’ in their phone number. If the people who teach don’t get it right, what hope is there?

I contacted the NSW TAFE who is responsible for running the literacy program that is funded federally. The add was made by the ‘Life Be In It’ people and was considered sacred by the young man who takes enquiries. This young man was rude and wouldn’t listen to anyone who didn’t agree with him. I believe he has serious mental issues. Eventually I had a very apologetic senior female public servant doing a very good job of convincing me that they did not run a sheltered workshop but did indeed run a service to the public. However, nothing could be done about ‘Oh’ in their ad.

I contacted the state Education Department and was told that they would look at when children were taught the difference between an ‘Oh' and a zero. There was some discussion as to whether a naught was the correct term.
Realizing it was not covered by law, I nevertheless contacted the Australian Communications Ministerial Affairs Dept to see if they would provide feedback to the minister. They could not (????) but suggested I contact my local member. I contacted my local member and recieved the reply that they couldnt force people to do anything.

Most people I try to change treat me as though I have attacked a basic freedom of speech right insteand of a wrong based on ignorance that has killed someone.

I have even had to ring around to some hospitals and told them they have triple 'oh' on the voice messages as the emergency number and not triple zero.
We do not need sexier ads. Increasingly people use computers and there is a world of difference separating the letter ‘O’ from the number zero. One of our newest Australians did not make it through their first night because of this media inaccuracy. The law should be changed so that broadcast media can not call a zero an ‘Oh’. Perhaps this will help people to swing back before any more lives are lost.

Of course all this could be prevented by changing to 911, but the underlying problem would still exist.

Any other pet 'stupidities' out there ?
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 08:12 pm
@Ionus,
When I was a young 'un, growing up, it was quite common in the USA to say 'oh' when 'zero' was meant. I was born in Europe where this was not so common and when I came to the USA at the age of 11, I, like you, found it a bit confusing. But the times have changed. It's only recently that the official style is to always say 'zero', never 'oh' when the subject is numerals rather than letters. Comforting, that. I catch myself sometimes saying 'oh' when I meant 'zero' out of old childhood habit. Invariably some officious official will correct me. And quite right, that.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 08:20 pm
@Merry Andrew,
It saddens me to think of two young parents and a new baby dying in their arms surrounded by some of the greatest surgeons and medical research facilities in the world. All of it only a phone call away and they followed their instructions TO THE LETTER.
Ceili
 
  3  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 08:25 pm
They had to change the wording??? on the emergency number 9-11 in N. America. Too many people couldn't find 11 on the phone. Now it's back to 9-1-1. Simplicity is best.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 08:36 pm
@Ceili,
Never knew that, Ceili. You mean saying "nine-eleven" instead of "nine-one-one" is confusing to some people? I mean, c'mon. There's no such digit as 11 on a telephone pad. It's zero through nine.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 08:44 pm
My recent flight whatever (more later) had a zero in it among the letters. I guessed right that it was a zero.

I called united to get some rattling questions about i.d.
The automaton didn't use the words "United Confirmation Code" but some other descriptive. I also had an itinerary number and a ticket number. The instructions were not clear on what was desired.

I eventually reached a human and all was well.

Uh, they should work out their nomenclature.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  2  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 08:49 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Your education betrays you, merry. I have worked with the poor of Australia and you would be surprised how many people can not read or write to levels necessary to survive in todays world. People who have to trust others for their correct change, who almost have a X for a signature and have to have things read to them by the sales person. Adult illiteracy is a problem we never see walking down the street. It is componded in nations that have high immigration as many then do not learn the language. If it is written as 11, I can quite easily see some people looking for exactly that...an 11. Perhaps America has these people too...
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 09:05 pm
@Ionus,
If I tell someone my phone number is 3-2-5 25 45 and they can't find 25 or 45 on the dial, I'm willing to miss the call. And if they keep looking for the "dial" and only come up with a keypad, well, same answer.

It's a cold, cruel world out there, isn't it?
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 09:22 pm
ok , here's my issue. Every month I have to call in my medication refills, I call and get the auto-answer (push one for this or two for that) then I have to enter the prescription number from the bottle (printed in very fine print) which means I have to lay the phone down, get my magnifying glass, read the number, pick up the phone and punch in the number and hit the number oine on the phone for the next prescription, put the phone down and grab the next bottle so I can read the prescription number, pick up the phone to enter the number and find that my time is ip up and I have to redial the phone and start over again. I do this every month.
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 09:22 pm
@Ionus,
I've also taught adult literacy. One of my first students was from Jamaica where she grew up very poor. She had moved to the US with her young daughter and she worked as a home health aide. This was about 25 years ago and I still remember she made $4.65 an hour. She said she knew she had to learn to read better after she spent a chunk of her meager grocery money on two big cans of this:

http://www.americansweets.co.uk/ekmps/shops/statesidecandy/images/crisco-all-vegetable-shortening-new-3lb-1%5Bekm%5D366x275%5Bekm%5D.36kg-tub-1665-p.jpg

She thought there was fried chicken in the container based on the picture and a word that began with "C" (she remembered that was the first letter of "chicken"). Improper communication can be a matter of life and death or just endless frustration for some people.

Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 09:27 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Yes, it's true. Unfortunately because of 9/11 I can't find any relevant articles. You'll just have to trust my memory. Smile
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 09:40 pm
@dyslexia,
Obviously you have given some thought as to how to do it better...care to share ?
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 09:45 pm
@Green Witch,
The thing that surprised me was the resources being poured into it. We had videos and work books and detailed teaching guides..everything you could want. Yet some would only show up for a day and leave dragging their knuckles on the ground. What was missing was the support of family and friends.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 09:47 pm
@Ionus,
Ionus wrote:

Obviously you have given some thought as to how to do it better...care to share ?
yeah, I need another hand and better vision. as it is I just make several calls til I get all my meds refilled.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 09:52 pm
@dyslexia,
That's crazy, dys.
I mean these are repeats (of the same drugs?) & you're buying them from the same chemist each time?
Why the hell can't they just put your prescription/s on file? Confused
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 09:58 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

That's crazy, dys.
I mean these are repeats (of the same drugs?) & you're buying them from the same chemist each time?
Why the hell can't they just put your prescription/s on file? Confused
Yes, I do and they are on file, I take the same meds ( blood pressure) for the last 3 years but I have to reorder every month.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 10:04 pm
@dyslexia,
It just sounds rather a needlessly repetitive arrangement, to me, that's all. But what would I know about such transactions via phone? I would have thought it should be enough for the chemist to have a copy of the prescriptions & some ID code for you to re-order. Must drive you nuts on a bad day!
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 10:16 pm
@Ionus,
I like to say "oh" instead of "zero". I have two "oh's" in my phone number
and it's much easier to say : "oh, oh" instead of "zero, zero" . Then again,
I don't like the letter "z" - us Krauts always pronounce it wrong Laughing
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 10:23 pm
@CalamityJane,
Just to add to the confusion .... the last two digits of my mobile phone number are not ohs, not zeros, but noughts (or naughts, depending on the accepted spelling where you live)!
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 10:38 pm
@CalamityJane,
Quote:
I don't like the letter "z" - us Krauts always pronounce it wrong Laughing


Yeah, I know, that 'tzet' will get you every time. Smile
0 Replies
 
 

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