by Mark Israel
     [This is a fast-access FAQ excerpt.]
On its AOL message board, Merriam-Webster Editorial Department
writes:  "The notion that the sports term 'love' comes from the
French l'oeuf seems to be another popular fallacy; so far, our
etymologists have been unable to find any evidence that oeuf was
ever used in a 'zero' or 'goose-egg' sense in reference to game
scores.  A more probable, if less imaginative, explanation can be
found in the Oxford English Dictionary, which links this sense of
'love' to the phrase 'for love' (i.e. 'without stakes, for