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Joe scripsit:

> I don't know about three.  Having said that, three seems to occupy some
> kind of special place in our culture's brains.  "I'lll count to three",
> "third time lucky", "three strikes, you're out".  Odd, really.

Many North American cultures use four in the same way: in particular,
if you ask a traditional Navajo the same question four times, the fourth
answer must be correct and complete.  (This is not necessarily advice to
do so!)

From the Navajo FAQ:

"There are four worlds, four cardinal directions, four sacred mountains,
four events in a woman's life, and four parts of a person. A four day
period of quarantine is usually observed after ceremonies before a
person returns to normal activities, or a dedicated building is placed
into use. A burial must be done within four days of a death."

--
John Cowan  [log in to unmask]  http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
O beautiful for patriot's dream that sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam undimmed by human tears!
America! America!  God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law!
        -- one of the verses not usually taught in U.S. schools