The fashion world is in the grip of an exciting new trend. By using the word 'zero', instead of a relatively small fraction, you can grab attention, appeal to the innumerate and anger women of every dress size. One Zeitgeist observer said: 'With plans for a culture of 'zero harm' in the NHS and a million UK workers on 'zero-hours' contracts; it's clear what typifies popular mores. Nada is what's hot right now'.
Rather than get into the nitty-gritty of long division, journalists can grab headlines by rounding down to the nearest number that starts with the letter 'Z'. One exited mathematician explained: 'Once zilch is established as a standard answer, everything becomes rhetorical. How many people have not seen Anthony Weiner's penis? How many friends has George Osborne got? How many US sports stars are not involved in a doping scandal? You see, zippity do da!'
There are concerns that by representing the simple notion of nothing, 'naught' could be seen in a purely negative way. 'Not so,' argued one marketing expert. 'Zero can be uplifting. What chance has Australia got of retaining the Ashes? How many votes were cast against Robert Mugabe? How many working class kids will get to Oxbridge?'