The philosopher Plato once said, “A good decision is based on knowledge, not on numbers.”
Plato probably wasn't very superstitious.
Today is Friday the 13th, a day that has long been seen as unlucky in the Western world. While it's unclear exactly how the number 13 developed a bad rep, it's had a strange way of creeping into the way some industries do business. There's a good chance that you've never sat in the 13th row of an airplane, for instance, as many airlines jump straight from 12 to 14. The same goes for multi-story buildings, where the practice of skipping the 13th floor is so established that fewer than 5 percent of mid- and high-rise condos in New York City have a 13th floor, according to a recent report.
But numeric superstitions are hardly confined to the West. The infographic below, compiled by translation-computing company Smartling, offers a look at how the rest of the world views certain numbers.
If you have global customers or travel a lot for work, the information may be especially valuable. (Hint: In Japan, gifts such as plates or silverware are never given in sets of four, and in China, the number 250 can sometimes be used as an insult.)
Take a look.
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