I was absolutely _crushed_ when I learned that there were numbers greater than ten. I had believed for... well, for months, I suppose (:-) that 10 was the biggest. When my mom broke the news, I cried for the rest of the day.
I used to believe that after the number "ten" came the numbers "tendy-one, tendy-two..." etc.
I used to think certain numbers had personalities.9 was very smart and manipulative, and if other numbers didn't watch it, she'd add herself to them and rob them of their rightful place in the "teens". 4 wouldn't become 14, but only 13, etc. Four and six were nice, but easily fooled (especially 4), 7 was smart and 8 was bossy like my sister. Go figure! ;)
I sincerly believed that numbers only went up to ten when i was around 2-3. Yep the next year when we started things like 20 and 100 i was amazed and quite convinced that they had just been invented. yep i was very proud to be around for the invention of numbers over ten.
I was convinced that there was a number called "eleventeen", but was never sure how to count to it or where it lay in the great order of numbers. I just knew it was there.
My parents went and told everybody I could do math at the tender age of 4. It would go like this: "What's 12 minus 6 ?" Me: 6. "What's 4 divided by 2?`" Me: 2.
Later, I found out the hard way, that math wasn't just about repeating the last number you heard. Oh and for a while I thought 1+1 would be 11. Made perfect sense to me.
I still suck at math...
I used to think that 100+1=101 was too easy and therefore I thought it was wrong. I was soon corrected by my teacher who heard me calling somebody who thought that stupid.
I used to believe there was a number "eleventeen". I could never quite work out where it went, though.
When I was first learning subtraction with two-digit numbers, we were told that to subtract a big digit from a little digit, you have to "borrow a one" from the tens place, which of course reduced the digit in the tens place by one. All true.
The problem was that I had been told very clearly as a child that when you GIVE something you get to keep it, but when you BORROW something, you have to give it back -- it isn't really yours. When the teacher completed the problem on the blackboard, I asked her when we were going to give the one back. She looked at me as if I was crazy, and said that you don't give it back.
I found this rather disturbing, and from that day to this I have always thought that subtraction was mean and unfair.
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.
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....
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.
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.
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.
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...
When i was little (3 or 4) I watched sesame street religously.. One day my parents asked me to count to ten for them so I started "One,ah ah ah ah , two, ah ah ah ah" and so on.. apparently i thought you had to laugh after every number just as the Count on Sesame Street does.
When I was small, I was absolutely convinced that I invented a different way to write the number four. There was the traditional method of writing the 4 as the typewriter types it, but I thought I invented the method of not having the top of the 4 touching. I know it's crazy, but I thought this for years.
When I was about four years old, I used to believe that the number 12 was a new number, just introduced when I was 6. So when I would count, I would count: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 4, 13, 14, 15, and so on. I went on to believe that 4 was just substituting until God made thought of a number for that spot.
Not so much an "I used to believe" but...
When I was in 2nd or 3rd Grade, my parents made sure I knew my multiplication tables up to 12x12 (or I wouldn't get to go out and play). We hadn't yet been taught this in school, but I darn well made sure I had them memorised, as summer was soon coming around.
One day on the playground, I ended up in a fistfight with another classmate, as we got into an argument about 2x2. His stance was: "There is NO way 2x2 can equal 4, as 2+2 equals 4. Multiplication is different than addition, so you are lying!"
I'm not sure how it escalated to blows, but needless to say, the Assistant Principle could barely contain her mirth after we were pulled into her office.
When my little brother's class teacher asked him to recite the two times table as a punishment for talking in class, he stood up and said:
''Duh-de-duh-de-duh, Du de du de du, de-du-de-duh-duh...''
''Stop!'' screamed his class teacher. ''WHAT was THAT?''
''I can remember the tune,'' said my little brother, ''but I can't remember the words''.