Translation:Two days, then one day, then no days
In english, shouldn't it be "zero days"? "Zero day" doesn't make sense.
To summarize, zero takes a plural in English and a singular in French. That's just the way it is, baby. It's the same logic as in "There were no cars on the road." and "Il n'y avait aucune voiture sur la route."
In French is the units plural, i.e. zéro jours, or singular i.e. zéro jour.
zéro jours does not make sense in French. Plural starts from 2 units.
zéro jour, un jour, un jour et demi, deux jours
Zero is not a number, why is it even plural in English? XD
I mean I put the right answer, but I'm just wondering about the semantics of this but I've never bothered to ask it all these years.
Leaving aside the grammar issues of plural/singular, zero is definitely a number. That it is a number is one of the distinguishing characteristics of western civilization. All western mathematics is based on the notion of zero being a number. (Before anyone jumps in to complain, I'm not saying it is exclusive to western societies)
In English, the only time zero takes singular in relation to days is when it used as as a title as in day two, day one, day zero. Or as mentioned previously when it is a title in digital matters such as a zero day release.
It's good you aren't saying it's exclusive to western societies, given that zero was first used as a distinct number in 5th-century India, but that fact does tend to undercut your claim that it distinguishes western civilization in any sense.
Getting back to Soroush's question, I think general English usage treats "one" + singular as the special case. For instance, it's exclusively acceptable in American English to say "point-four miles" (plural) even though I'm pretty sure "point-four mile" is technically correct per prescriptive grammarians (and some clunky style guides I've seen). That could be a reason for "zero miles" instead of "zero mile". Don't know that you'll get more explanation than that though!
Zero based mathematics distinguish western culture in every sense. It is true that Mesopotamia, China, Ancient Greece and Rome all used methods of counting that involved a concept that bears at least some resemblance to zero. We know that in fifth century India, they developed a mathematics that used a form of zero that is the origin of the western application of their approach. Unlike previous exposure to various forms, medieval Europe was ready to accept what India had been using for centuries.
In western society, zero based mathematics is the foundation of the engineering and financialization that has constructed the edifice that westerners consider to be modernity and civilization. Other societies, India included, consider western culture's obsession with its mathematics driven technology and materialism to be decadent at best.
The point of all this is that zero is definitely a number. The notion that it is a number is a big deal. Because it is a big deal there are many rules concerning its use. Some of those rules carry over to grammar.
One of the rules in English grammar is that when zero is used in a general sense it is usually expressed as plural. When it is used a designator or signifier it becomes singular but often follows rather than preceding the noun that it is attached to.
eg: there are zero miles on the odometer, there are zero patients waiting.
eg: This is mile zero, he is listed as patient zero
Sitesurf has described the correct French usage in a post below this one.
Yes, all IT developers are very familiar and schooled in the fact that everything is relative to zero. Also, there is zero state vs a positive state. A bit is either on (1) or off (0).