Why four? Why not three or five, or six as two sets of three?
In the old days wondering such a thing would be completely over-thinking it. The answer would be just because. Because there isn’t three and there isn’t five. Because a type-setter’s finger stopped after four. Because the phone rang distracting him and he never came back to type more. Because he meant to type three but sneezed, adding a superfluous extra one that nobody noticed until it was too late to change without huge financial cost.
Now, four is entirely planned and mistakes are never made, certainly not publicly at any rate. There is a reason why no extras were added and another or maybe the same reason, why three wasn’t quite enough. Not even a period is placed without full consideration to the effect, the cost, the meaning, the morale, the value, every attribute of the decision. Not even a period is removed without someone has decided it should be so.
Reasons aren’t always shared with the people because they don’t need to know. All they need to know is the outcome and that this is what they must do, always. Exactly four must always be used even in scribbles and doodles. Those who disregard the decision, be it intentionally or accidentally, will find out that someone always knows. Those who disregard the decision intentionally are punished more severely because their actions show contempt for those who have taken the decision on their behalf, to make their lives easier. Those who disregard the decision accidentally are punished more severely because their actions show they do not have the wit to live by a simple set of rules created for them, to make their lives easier.
There is no mechanism for appealing against decisions such as using exactly four. There is no need of such a mechanism because nobody ever disagrees with decisions. Nobody has ever heard of anybody who has disagreed. Nobody can even conceive of not agreeing. Probably nobody. If someone did disagree, they would find out about it like they find out about threes and fives.
I disagreed and look at me know. Nobody knows me and I was wiped from the memory of anyone who ever met me. My disagreement was considered and voted upon and a strategy put into place to manage the outcome. The strategy was the wiping and the making me utterly alone and friendless. And giving me this job.
I decided that four was the correct number. I carefully weighed the merits and problems of three and of five, toyed with six, quickly ruled out two then seven and above. Four is optimum and is to be used at all times. We know if you use any other number in this context. We know if you use the number four instead of the word four. We don’t like that because we invested our considerable expertise in deciding four in words.
Reasons aren’t always shared with you because you don’t need to know. All you need to know is the outcome and that this is what you must do, always.