All of us know early in life about the number 5. It comes after 4 and before 6. Our hand has five fingers on it. 5 is a part of math that is with us all of our lives.
So let’s take our familiar number 5 and use it as a descriptor with our own words:
“He came in fifth in the Boston marathon.”
“She lives on the 5th floor and does not have an elevator.”
“It’s five times the work I am used to.”
“My son was fifth in his class of 12 students.”
“My daughter was fifth in her class of 300 students.”
‘They were the fifth employee to be hired at Facebook.
“We were in the 5th row of the concert”
“Our seats were 5 rows down from the top of the arena”
“I need to match 5 numbers to win.”
The number 5 and the concept of fifth, when used, brings us so many different emotions because of the words around it. From worthy of praise for an achievement to frustration to walk up all of those steps to see a friend on the fifth floor. Exaggerating how difficult the work is that we are asked to do. To understanding that being fifth is much less of an accomplishment in a class of 12 rather than 300 students. To communicate the good fortune that someone realized by being the fifth employee hired at Facebook. To generate envy in a friend’s eye when told you had fifth row seats at a popular concert. Seeking pity when hearing that you were 5 rows from the top of the arena at a sporting event. Describing a rule to be followed to win a game. And so on…….
Words matter. Our exploration of number 5 proves it. Choose your words carefully for they always imply meanings that go far beyond the fact (or in this case number) you share.