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Friday the 13th and Other Unlucky Numbers From Around the World (Infographic)

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.

Click to Enlarge+

Friday the 13th and Other Unlucky Numbers From Around the World (Infographic)

 

Lauren Covello is deputy editor of Entrepreneur.com.

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