I had an appointment on the top floor of a 14-story building in NY City Thursday. The elevator buttons read:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12M, 14.
I’d thought that sort of thing was getting rarer since I don’t see it much in Washington DC office buildings. But this article claims it is very common:
Based on records of buildings with Otis brand elevators, as many as 85 percent of the high rises in the world don’t have a 13th floor, says Dilip Rangnekar, spokesman for the Farmington, CT-based elevator maker.
Interestingly, I first thought the M was for Mezzanine, but Wikipedia points out M is used in elevators in that situation because it is the 13th letter of the alphabet. OK, but if the number 13 really were unlucky, then wouldn’t the 13th letter of the alphabet be unlucky too? And, of course, the 13th floor, by any other name, is still the 13th floor. Such is the logic of the illogical.
The bottom line is that non-science still holds sway with a great many people, as the big story of the weekend makes all too clear.