Poll 2.0: Do you say 2, dot or point 0?

Poll 2.0: Do you say 2, dot or point 0?

Summary: We've all heard of Web 2.0, Office 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, Business 2.0 and all the other 2.0's. But what exactly do we hear? Is that a dot or a point between the two figures? Or is the punctuation silent? You tell me.

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TOPICS: Enterprise 2.0
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We've all heard of Web 2.0, Office 2.0, Enterprise 2.0, Business 2.0 and all the other 2.0's. But what exactly do we hear when they're mentioned? Is that a dot or a point between the two figures? Or is the punctuation silent? Attending conferences in California last fall I was astonished to hear all three variations being cited from the speakers' podium, with no single variety winning a decisive plurality.

I was surprised because I'd always believed most American speakers prefer to say 'dot 0', whereas Brits prefer 'point 0', or else omit mentioning the dot or point (whatever it is) altogether. So I fully expected to hear everyone talking about [their chosen buzzword] '2 dot 0'. But it seems there's such a mix of English speakers in Silicon Valley these days — whether originally from Britain, the Indian subcontinent, the Pacific Rim or Europe, Middle East and Africa — that the American preference for 'dot 0' is becoming overwhelmed by offshore variants.

A couple of years ago, this wouldn't really have mattered, because virtually all communication on the Web used to be written as web pages, email or chat, rather than spoken aloud. But in the era of the podcast, the web conference and the on-demand video clip, it's no longer an academic question. I need to know which variant is least likely to alienate my listeners when I start talking about these 2.0 phenomena.

That's why I've decided to enlist the help of ZDNet's readers in this poll. What should we all be standardizing on? Dot 0, point 0 or silent? Is it 0 as in 'oh', 'zero' or 'nought'? Or have I got it all wrong and it should really be 'period oh', 'stop nought' or something else? You tell me. And if you can cite any authoritative references to back up your preference, post the details and a link in a Talkback comment.

[poll id=4]

Topic: Enterprise 2.0

Phil Wainewright

About Phil Wainewright

Since 1998, Phil Wainewright has been a thought leader in cloud computing as a blogger, analyst and consultant.

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10 comments
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  • technically

    j/k, i know of no technical argument for this :)

    dot com
    version 2 point 5
    2 and a half


    "two point oh" is pretty much what every math teacher told me how to say it from when I learned decimals all the way to calc 2 in college.

    "3 point 14159 etc, etc, etc"
    Voodoo187
    • also, depending on context

      "oh" suffices as the pronunciation of the number "zero" if you are in a numerical context. Whereas if you were in a context of spelling something, you would say "zero". I have no links, this just seems to be common knowledge. But I can write up something official looking and link it if you want...
      Voodoo187
  • dot vs point

    point is used when describing versions
    dot is only used when talking about internet addresses.
    mattmartin
    • ... and IEEE working groups

      IEEE working groups, eg 802.11 for WiFi, 802.3 for Ethernet, also use dot, so it's not only internet addresses.

      This means there's no rule of thumb that says 'dot when it's alphanumeric, point when it's numeric only'. Internet addresses can be all numbers too (eg 192.0.0.0).
      phil wainewright
      • good point

        hardly say ip addresses out loud anymore though. although in jobs past and current, the shortcut of not saying anything but four numbers has been adopted. like "one-ninety-two one-sixty-eight one one". the secret is the "ninety" and "sixty", that says you're still talking about the same number. but for communication of these numbers to someone non-technical, "dot" is used, like you said.

        the IEEE stuff usually ends in a letter, but yes, also a dot for specs that don't end in a letter like ethernet, 802.3. Maybe I've never thought of them as numbers. But that doesn't make sense :)
        Voodoo187
  • Other options

    I'd go with Web 3 dot oh. That way all the analysts, partners, and press will be amazed at my visionary market leadership. Competitors will be left behind clutching at their ridiculously outdated press kits and talking points.

    Actually Phil, you should use "2 point oh". It's been shown that us Americans inexplicably trust the Brit accent and phrasing. You'll only impress us if you pronounce it a different way than what we're used to. You may want to try using "2 dot nought" for maximum effect.

    Apologies in advance for my poor attempts at er, humour. Thin news day eh? ;-)
    Mike At VMI
  • tomato - tomato (well this doesn't transfer to type well!)

    It's dot net and version 2 point 0 (period)
    shraven
  • poll results: how many respondents?

    good poll. as I review the results now in 2010, "two point oh" is winning with 61% of the votes, but I'd like to know the number of respondents in order to properly evaluate the quality of the poll. does your poll tool show this? i couldn't find it. if it's private, can you share it? and how old the results are. thx!
    gutierlf
    • RE: Poll 2.0: Do you say 2, dot or point 0?

      @gutierlf In 2010 my sense is usage has standardized on two dot oh - certainly that's what I say.
      phil wainewright
  • RE: Poll 2.0: Do you say 2, dot or point 0?

    In case of Web 2.0, I simply say Web Two and everybody understands, its what we often use in our university presentations... From software developers points of view it should be Two Point Oh and nothing else... But what about Two Dot Nought? I am currently using TLM-2.0 library, and in its nomenclature the pronunciation is Two Dot Nought. So it depends on the context and the nomenclature that has been developed around the name. Finally, students usually ignore dot/point and oh/zero and just simply say TLM Two!
    irnavash