The world’s unluckiest number

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I came across an interesting story in the WSJ about how 2013 has been a slower year for weddings because of the number 13.

Here’s an excerpt from the CEO of Men’s Wearhouse:

Historically, we’ve seen numeric anomalies in the calendar effect when brides choose their wedding date, and we believe that the number 13 in 2013 is causing a small, but meaningful number of brides to avoid getting married this year.

In my research over the years, 13 is not only the unluckiest number in the United States, but  across most of Europe and Asia.

It is by far the world’s unluckiest number.

But as you expand globally you need to be aware of regionally and locally unlucky number as well.

In China, for instance, you would be wise to avoid making extensive use of the numbers 4 and 7 — particularly 4 (which, when pronounced, sounds similar to the pronunciation of “death”).

In an elevator in China not only are you likely to see the 13th floor missing, but also floors 4 and 14.

Source: Kurt Groetsch
Source: Kurt Groetsch

Numbers not only convey the information they were intended to convey, but also sometimes convey unintentional information — as in cultural information.

And numbers can also be lucky — which I’ve written about in this post.

 

 

 

 

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.