First, I’ve got to think this has come up before, but I can’t find good enough search terms to turn it up.
Second, I’m not at all sure this is the right forum. Is it a General Question, an IMHO, a MPSIMS, a Thread Game? Apologies to the mod if it needs moving.
Okay, this morning I had to return a call to a phone number that ended in “1701” which ever and forever will be the number of the Enterprise to me, and no doubt a huge number of other Americans of my age and younger.
Which started me to thinking about how many other numbers are associated with particular meanings. Commonly, in a society, not just “that’s my birthday” type meanings. Like, there are 7 Seas, and 9 Planets, and Santa had 8 reindeer, and 42 is the meaning of life, and 50 states in the US, and 88 keys on a piano – associations like that.
Does EVERY number below 100 have a meaning? What’s the first “doesn’t mean anything” number?
I decided I might as well try brute forcing it. Here’s what I think are “commonly associated meanings” (likely not the most common, but the ones that popped into my head first) for small numbers:
1 is the loneliest number
2 the number it takes to tango
3 blind mice
4 leaf clover
5 gooooolden riiiings
6 legs on insects
8 Santa’s reindeers
12 is a dozen
13 is unlucky
14 days in a fortnight
16 the ‘sweet’ age
17 magazine for girls
18 age you can vote
20 is a score
21 age you can drink
22 common ammo caliber
23 pairs of human chromosomes
24 hours in a day
Unless someone suggests something, I call 11 the smallest meaningless number.
42 is the Meaning of Life as stated by the Op, but I think most Baseball fans know it as Jackie Robinson’s and Yankee fans of course know it as Mariano Rivera’s number. Each sports franchise in the US at least has fans with appreciation for their retired numbers but in all of Sports I think Jackie’s stands out the most.
NCC1701 is how I remember the Enterprise, not just the number, so oddly that doesn’t work as well for me.
There are only 8 planets in our Solar System StarvingButStrong.
As to 11, I associate it with Apollo 11, the first moon landing. Or Spinal Tap “it goes up to 11”.
So, the search for the Meaningless number goes on.
Next chunk, with what I could come up with:
26 letters in the alphabet
27 amendments to the US constitution
28 days in a woman’s menstrual cycle (supposedly)
29 B-29 bomber
30 mark for the end of a reporter’s story
31 days in a month (maximum)
32 temperature water freezes at
33 (+1/3) record albums when I was a teenager --that might be cheating.
34 Internet porn rule
35 age to be elected president
36 inches in a yard
38 another gun number
39 Jack Benny’s eternal age
40 age when life begins
42 meaning of life
44 Vicks 44 cough syrup
45 Trump’s presidency or Colt 45
48 Hours (movie/tv news mag)
49 California gold rush
50 states in the U.S.A.