How would you interpret the following message: 10–2–4? As it stands, the message is almost impossible to understand. That is because we have no idea about how, where, why, or for what purpose it was made. Once you know its context, though, the meaning of the message is clear. This is the information you need to interpret the 10–2–4 message correctly.

The numbers 10–2–4 first appeared on the bottles and advertising of the Dr Pepper drink. They were based on a piece of research into fatigue that was conducted in 1927; this suggested that people’s energy levels tended to drop to their lowest point at 10.30am, 2.30pm, and 4.30pm. As the Dr Pepper drink is supposed to give you energy, this research was meant ...

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