March 4, when spoken, becomes a command: “March forth!” I can’t think of any other number that is used similarly. Here are some other fun facts about te number 4:

1. Four is the only number in English that is equal to the number of letters in its name.

2. The ancient Greeks associated the number four with earthly balance, believing that everything was made of four elements: earth, air, fire and water.

3. This one surprised me, since multi-story buildings in Hawaii don’t have a thirteenth floor (bad luck), but they all have a fourth floor. The word for ‘four’ in Chinese sounds like the word for ‘death’, which is why many hospitals in China have no fourth floor.

4. For the same reason, residents of Taipei in 1995 were allowed to delete the number four from house numbers.

5. Any map may be colored in four colors with no two regions that share a common stretch of border having the same color.

7. Of all the words listed as ‘vulgar’ in the dictionary, exactly half are four-letter words.

8. The French for “a four-letter word” is “un mot de cinq lettres” because the most common four-letter word in French has five (cinq) letters.

9. There are four bottles of wine in a jeroboam.

10. Norway has scored “nul points” (zero points) in the Eurovision Song Contest a record four times (but they have also won the contest three times).

If you know what a jeroboam is, put your answer in the comments. No prize, sorry.

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