Canadian Town Bans ‘4’

I don’t know how this glittering gem of silliness got past me this spring, but here it is now: the town of Richmond Hill, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, has banned the number 4 from new street addresses (see ). Furthermore, the town council is under pressure to change existing street addresses to get rid of the offending numeral, and there is some speculation that telephone numbers could be next.

Why are they doing this? What’s wrong with the number 4?

It seems Richmond Hill has a large Chinese population; and in the Chinese language (Mandarin, Cantonese), the word for “four” is szu, and the word for “dead” or “death” is szu: and so there is a superstition that 4 is a very unlucky number. Actually, a Chinese speaker would be able to distinguish between the two. Nevertheless, there is a superstition.

Now, Chinese civilization has had how many thousands of years to think of some other word for “four” or “dead”? Why haven’t they bothered to do so? Were they waiting all this time for some multicultural lackwits in Canada to solve the problem by banning the number 4?

And you want people like this to be in charge of your health care?

Really–what happens if they get another influx of immigrants from some other place: say, people from the River Shribble who want the town to ban the number 2 because it sounds like the word for crab lice in their language? And is it only going to be minorities of a certain percentage of the population who’ll be so accommodated? Like, how is that fair to the one lonely guy from Mongo who can’t tell “beer” from “bier”? Why should his superstition be disrespected, just because there’s only one of him?

Government by dopes and flibbertygibbets, I promise you, is not going to turn out well.

P,S.: The link to the news article in the May 31 Huffington Post doesn’t seem to work. Sorry.

9 comments on “Canadian Town Bans ‘4’

  1. The true nutcases will always flock to government power because they are too dumb to do anything else, so this is the only place where they can exsell. Drive a truck or build a house? For them, forget it.

  2. The letter “E” reminds me of the symbol used for excrement on my home planet. All you haters and biggits kneed to stop Yous-ing that littir righght now!

    Sorry, something came over me as I wrote the first part of this post, it was like I was channeling Joe Collidge. Whew, no moth antenners, I just checked. 🙂

    We can’t put our lives on hold for fear that we will offend someone. In some cultures, there are “unlucky numbers”, but why should we be bound by someone else’s superstitions?

    1. Well, I speak Mandarin. The word for “four” and the word for “dead” sound the same to Westerners. It does not confuse Chinese people. This is liberals presuming that Chinese people are not able to understand their own language.

    2. I don’t speak Mandarin, but I think it’s safe to say that Chinese people will notice whether or not they’re dead with or without the number four.

    1. I still have this childish assumption that God plans everything.. Every time the bus comes on time, I say “Thank you, God” under my breath. And when it doesn’t, I curse the devil, under my breath. This is the way I find peace in the chaos of this end of the age.

  3. Wasn’t it that any phobia made you bad? But now they’re actually catering to the tetraphobes. Sure, let’s ban thirteen next, then nine, which is dreaded by the Japanese, and then seventeen because that’s considered unlucky by Italians. Let’s ban all the numbers and make us all the dumber.

    By the way, I just read that 7 is a cannibal. Sounds unbelievable, but anyone will tell you that seven ate nine. Now, even I would normally apologize for a pun like that, but I have an inkling that Richmond Hill’s authorities are already investigating the issue.

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