i used to believe

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counting

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i used to believe that numbers went in the following order...

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,20,21...twenty-twelve, 30 31...Thirty-twelve...100.

Hairly Less
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for as long as I can remember, I've counted the number of letters in words. I think it's because my grandmother taught me to do crosswords at a very early age.

And so, I firmly believed that it was much better to be a woman than a man, because 'man' was only half of a 'human', whilst 'woman' had the full complement of letters.

I still try to convince people to follow this viewpoint...

fluss
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Thanks to a vividly pictured counting book, I thought the numbers 0-9 were either male or female and had personalities. I came to dislike some of the numbers they pictured scowling. I'm not sure but I think this contributed to my lifelong hatred of math.

portia327
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I used to believe that words and phrases could be "good" or "bad". The determining factor was the number of characters comprising the word or words in question. If a word or phrase contained an even number of characters then it was "good", and if it contained an odd number of characters it was "bad." I constantly counted the letters in people's names and the names of stores, cars, and anything else that I saw. Sometimes I would find myself during conversation spelling out some of the words used and counting the letters in my head. Now at 26, I still have an awful habit of counting letters.

Aaron Purvis
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I thought 1000 was the highest number invented.

Bjoern
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I used to believe that to add, for example, seven and three, you'd count "seven, eight, nine". Obviously, adding one to any number didn't change it.

Eliezer Yudkowsky
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It seems I'm not the only person to have assigned genders to the numbers. I took it a step further though, and imagined them as members in a family. For me, 1 is male, 2 is female, but they are also the little brother and sister, and don't get along. 4 is male and the "cool-guy" teenager who doesn't say much. 5 and 6 are husband and wife, with 6 wearing the pants in the family because she is bigger. 8 and 9 are the old aunts who never got married so they live together and have a bunch of cats (Like Patty and Selma from "The Simpsons"). 10 is the grandpa (Six's dad) who tries to keep everyone under control but mostly just shakes is head and mumbles alot. After ten, we get talking about the extended family... Don't get me started.

Shan
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Soon after starting school 3 years ago, my friend's little girl came home upset because she couldn't read as well as some of the kids in her class, even though her counting was really good.

My friend comforted her by comparing her to me - saying "Auntie C can read and write, but she can't count to 100 like you can"

Her reading is much better now, but she still believes that I can't count without using my fingers and toes...

Anon
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For some reason I always associated numbers with different shades of light and dark. For example numbers 1-5 are kind of dark and 6,7,8,9,are light numbers. The further you go down the line they gradually get lighter and darker. I have no idea where I got this but till this day, I still see numbers that way.

Ericka
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I used to believe that several meant seven. This was because the first time I remember anyone saying it it was grandma, who told me that there were several planes in the sky - coincidentally there happened to be seven and I thought the words menat the same thing.

Lynne S :-)
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that the word "couple" as in "a couple of items" was synonymous with "several", rather than "just two".

Blair A. Petterson
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When I was learning to count, I always left out 7. Then, when I finally got used to it being between 6 & 8, I started to leave out 17... I always believed that it couldn't be a proper number because it always had one more syllable than those around it.

Uncle Korky
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I also used to believe that 100 was the biggest number. When the boy next door told me the biggest number was infinity, I flew into a rage, called him a silly white pooper (our worst insult at the time) and refused to beilve him. I grudgingly admitted he was right several years later, after he badgered me about it about once a month until I did. I've always hated being wrong.

Stonergirl
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I used to believe that 'a couple' meant three of something and 'a few' meant four of something. So, if my Dad asked me to go and get a couple of cups I would come back with three!

Claire Bussey
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I used to believe that there were only 100 peple in the whole world. I remember being very confused sitting in School assembly when I was about 6 and realising that there were more than 100 people in the room.

Lesley
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I used to believe I had re-invented mathematics. I didn't like to learn the table of multiplication so I looked for an easy way out. I decided that if I didn't know what e.g "9 x 6" was I would deduct one from the first number and add one to the next number ( or the other way around)till it was a multiplication I actually knew. e.g "9 x 6" is "10 x 5" so I knew the answer to that one "50"! The teacher didn't quite understand how I came up with those numbers....

Kathleen D
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I once counted to ninety-ten. I think it was a moment of absentmindedness, which are cmmon with me, but you can never be sure...

Hilary
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I never really was able to believe that one pound of feathers actually weighed the same as one pound of lead...
'But dad, It's _LEAD_ ! _LEAD_ ! and feathers !'

NoSoup4U
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When i was about five, i couldnt figure out what number came after fourteen. i knew it sounded like fourteen, so when i counted to twenty out loud, i would say fourteen twice, but the second time i would say it faster, and mumble it a bit. i didnt think any grown ups ever caught on, and i thought i was so clever.

Liz
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I thought that if I spent enough time, I could write the biggest number in the world. So I took a piece of chalk and wrote a 1, and then started following it with lots of zeros. (By the way, I was writing on the outside of my house, which didn't make my dad very happy!)

When I had written enough zeros, I proudly showed it to my Dad, who, after calming down from yelling at me about writing on the house, said, "Whatever number you write, I can write a bigger number." I said, "No you can't", and to prove me wrong he took the chalk and drew another zero. Then it dawned on me that there is no largest number!

This led to "infinity" matches with my sister. She would say something involving "infinity", and I would respond with "infinity times infinity" and she would retort with "infinity times infinity plus a googol" and so on ad infinitum!

Kdees
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