I work in a commercial area that happens to have many recently constructed buildings. Several of them have one thing in common: they are missing a floor. As many of you know, several high-rise buildings are missing a 13th floor, thanks to triskaidekaphobia. However, these new buildings have no 4th floor, thanks to another superstition (aka: tetraphobia). I work in an area that has a growing Asian population, mainly Chinese and Koreans. And many of them are afraid of the number four, because the number four in many East Asian languages sounds similar to the word death. These new buildings do not have thirteen (or twelve) stories, so there is no 13th floor to worry about. Yet, I won’t be surprised when a large high-rise edifice, whether it will be an apartment complex, a hotel, or an office building will arise that will be taller than 12 stories, and will skip floor numbers four and thirteen.
But why stop there? Surely there are some more numbers we can skip due to their “unlucky” nature. Let’s see, we have…
- 5 because the words “Satan” and “devil” have five letters each;
- 6 because that is the number of the anti-Christ (same goes for the numbers 66 and 666);
- 12 and 16 because those are two of the worst hands you can have in blackjack;
- 15 because Julius Caesar was killed on the 15th (the Ides) of March;
- 27 because many famous musicians died at age 27 (Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse)
So if I ever have a chance to build a skyscraper, my elevator numbers will appear to be all messed up. The numbers would go: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18… 26, 28….