It's a simple question, really, but a cunning one, because the answers are so embarrassingly, voluptuously personal. Alex Bellos thought it up. He's a writer, math enthusiast, and nut. 这的确是一个简单而又狡猾的问题，因为答案相当的囧，而且相当私密。Alex Bellos一拍脑袋想出了这么个问题。他是个作家，也是个数学爱好者，还是个怪家伙。 Here's what he wants: He wants to know your favorite number. Just that. Tell me your favorite, and tell me why, he says. 这就是他想要的：他想知道你最喜欢的数字。仅此而已。告诉我你最喜欢的那个数，再跟我说说原因，他说道。 He's set up a website, www.favoritenumber.net and he's asked people to write in. So far he's had about 13,000 submissions. He wants more. So I'm pimping his site here, and while it's early in the running, Alex has already noticed that odd numbers are more popular than even numbers, prime numbers more popular than non-primes, birthdays are often favorites, but the real fun is how people fantasize. 他建立了www.favoritenumber.net，让人们在里面写下自己喜欢的数字。目前，他已收到将近13000份答卷。他还想让数量继续往上飚，所以我在这里帮他的网站拉拉客。网站运转初期，Alex就已经注意到奇数比偶数更吃香，质数比非质数更受欢迎，生日日期往往招人喜欢，但真正好玩的还是人们关于数字的想象。 For example, why choose "37?" Because, says a 37-liker, "It looks mysterious, like a cloaked villain from a silent movie." Really?
比如，为啥选“37”呢？一个“37”的粉丝说，因为“它看起来很神秘，就像无声电影中披着斗篷的大反派一样”。真是这样么？ Not everybody is this peculiar. The most common reason to have a favorite number is it's the day you were born, especially if you were born on the 3rd, the 5th, the 9th, the 13th. "If you were born, like me, on the 22nd," Alex says, "you are unlikely to choose your birthday as your favorite number." He has yet to find anyone who chose 30, even if they were born on the 30th. "It just doesn't happen," he says. He doesn't know why. 并不是所有人都这么怪异。人们喜欢某个数字最常见的理由是它是自己的出生日期，尤其是如果出生于3号，5号，9号或者13号，这一现象就更加普遍。“如果你像我一样，是22号出生的，”Alex说，“你就未必会选你的生日作为自己最喜欢的数字。”目前他还没发现有人喜欢的数字是30，即使那些30号出生的人也不选它。“它就是没人选。”他说道。他也不知道到底为什么。 Who's Winning? Though it's early in the running, right now, "7" is leading the race to be the World's Favorite Number. And right behind 7 are 3, 11, and 13. All primes. Why this primacy of primes? Alex, going a little mystical, says these numbers, being indivisible, feel "strong and kind of trustworthy." 谁赢了？
虽然现在还只是运营初期，但是“7”就已经在这场世界上最受欢迎的数字的争夺中独占鳌头。接下来就是3，11和13。所有这些都是质数。为何质数遥遥领先？Alex略带神秘地说，这些数字不能被其他数整除，感觉上“牢不可破而且比较值得信赖”。 Alex says so far his respondents are fallen into two broad categories, folks who like numbers for their mathematical qualities, divisibility, indivisibility, roots, etc. and those who slip into anthropomorphized fantasies. Either way, he notices, "as humans, we impose patterns when there aren't any, or give human characteristics when there aren't any." If there are differences between genders, nationalities, ages, it's too early to say. He needs more data. Alex说，迄今为止他的调查对象可以分为两大类，一类喜欢某个数字是因为其数学特性，如可分解、不可分解、是否为某个整数的平方根等等；另一类人则给喜欢的数字安上了拟人化的故事。他注意到，两类中的任何一类，“作为一个人，即使数字本身没有体现，我们也总会把我们联想到的事物或人物性格强加在数字上。”这两种类型是否会因性别、国籍、年龄的不同而产生差异，现在下定论还言之过早。他还需要更多的数据资料。