--- a/lexers/LexCOBOL.cxx
+++ b/lexers/LexCOBOL.cxx
@@ -90,6 +90,8 @@
     WordList& c_keywords = *keywordlists[2];
 
     char s[100];
+    s[0] = '\0';
+    s[1] = '\0';
     getRange(start, end, styler, s, sizeof(s));
 
     char chAttr = SCE_C_IDENTIFIER;