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Well, it's still undefined/unset, just that it has a consistent value now (0). It still doesn't solve the problem that you failed to assign a legitimate value at some point, and have garbage in your calculations.
The Intel 8087 numeric coprocesssor and its descendants I think also had some extra bits for declaring NaN, infinities, etc., or possibly it just reserved some bit patterns?
One man's trash is another man's treasure. I still call it [default 0 value] garbage simply because that might not be what you intended when you devised the algorithm and wrote the code. What if the variable were to be used as an index value, starting at 1, and you forgot to give it a value, leaving it at 0?