In this audio clip* from Friday's Today Programme we have two minutes of arrant nonsense about the significance of the number eight to the Chinese. Sonia Ducie, a numerologist, explains that letters too can be reduced to numbers, and that the word China reduces to the number eight. Is that the English word for the country, or is it the Chinese word? She didn't say. Nor did she say whether she herself actually believes this stuff is real, though she did mention superstition at least twice.
Does the fact that the Olympics were scheduled to start at the 8th minute past the 8th hour of the 8th month of the 8th year of the century actually mean that the Chinese take this stuff seriously? Or is it just a promotional gimmick? (China's record on this sort of thing isn't encouraging. They may have given us feng shui, but taking interior design advice from a country that insists on building houses on flood plains is not a good idea.)
Numerology can be a fun party game, but is it significant in the modern (or any) world?
No. And the BBC should have said so. There's enough woo-woo around as it is, without the BBC tacitly supporting nonsense like this.