Third time is a charm!
There is something mysterious about number 3. It is just enough by the borderline.For example if one is on a diet and has one cookie, he/she thinks ‘it was nice to try it’;the second time they have it ‘I cant have just one, I need to have just one more’;the third time they eat it, they say ‘OMG this is indulgence and enough’.So, number 3 is just enough.
English stackexchange says that it has an origin from the writings of Shakespeare from ‘The merry wives of Windsor’ 1602.Google can date back its origin to English Law or even in some searches to 13th century.The truth is not one answer can tell where this phrase comes from?. Its like knowing that lake meets a river, a river meets the ocean and who does ocean meet?No one knows.There are many proverbial stories about where did this phrase come from? I do not want to delve into that as its a jungle out there. That is why language in itself is so intriguing.It does not have a certain origin.We can just build references to its usage but the origin itself is unknown.Just like not one picture can tell you that how an egg became a butterfly likewise no one instance can tell us who coined this phrase.There can be endless possibilities that a primitive man or even an ape might have tried to make fire by rubbing two pieces of stone and would have failed two times and would be successful in making fire the third time.Or it may also be concurred that this phrase is a part of an ‘oral tradition’ passed on from times immemorial from one generation to other.
I feel that three is just the certainty of sorts, where one and two cannot decide, generally third can arrive at conformity. It is possible that scientists feel that three is easy to remember whether we see it or hear it thrice.May be its property of being odd makes it indisputable.
Some food for thought.Why do we always say ‘I am the odd one out’? Why is it always about ‘Location location location’;Why is it we use ‘Try Try and try’? Why is there a Holy Trinity?;Why does Canada’s national flag has maple leaf with 3 sides?Why does USA’s flag has three colors red blue and white?
Whatever it is, its mysterious and nothing in this life is certain, so is language.