# counting

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i used to think that my adopted mom, who even at the time was quite old, was actually 10 years old. i thought this because i could only count up to ten at the time, so i thought 10 must be pretty old. i also thought that i would become a grown up when i became 10.

When I was really little, I used to imagine numbers had personalities. 1 was a guy and he was dating 2. 3 was jealous of 1. 4 and 5 were always arguing. 6 was always confused. 7 and 8 looked on with bemused disinterest. 9 was always trying to get 0 to lose some weight. 1 and 0 were buddies and were always hanging out with each other when 1 wasn't being romantic with 2.

That numbers went 1-99 the A hundred, a hundred and one til a hundred and ninety nine. Then ONE hundred...

I remember one time I was riding in the car with my dad and I was showing off how high I could count (which must've annoyed my dad to no end) and I got stumped at 112...I asked what came next and he said, "Now you start over". So I thought 112 was the highest number possible until second grade. Good going, dad.

After the last one, I learned about a hundred, thousand, and a million. At this time I understood that you could have a million and one, and such, but I didn't know what came after 9,999,999. Embarrasingly, I somehow got it into my head that fazonga was the next number up, then after 99,999,999 (9 fazonga, 9 million, 999 thousand, 999) would be GAZONGA, which was actually a 100 million, then a billion would be a MAZONGA.

When I was little I didn't really understand how numbers worked, I knew that you could carry on counting forever so naturally I assumed that the number system was cyclic, you obviously couldn't have that many different numbers.

When counting in 10s in my number system you went '10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 20, 30, 40.... ad infinitum

obviously with numbers less than 20 you knew whether they were bigger or smaller than each other, cos you only used them once, but when asked as a child 'is 30 bigger or smaller than 20' I replied 'id depends on which 20'

I'm quite good at maths now..

I used to believe numbers and letters had genders. They were all family too.

1 was a boy.

2 was a girl.

3 was a boy.

4 was a girl.

5 was a mean ugly girl that looked like a boy.

6 was a girl.

7 was a tomboy. Lol.

8 was a boy.

9 was a boy.

10 was the smart and strong boy.

11 was the smart and strong girl.

12 was a geeky boy.

13 and 14 were twins. They were very pretty girls.

15 was a sporty jock guy.

16 was the kool kid.

17 was the acoholic.

18 was the smartest.

Go figure.

I still see them as that...

hehe.

i used to belive that 100 was the biggest number in the world "i got at least a hundred marbles."

I used to believe that numbers had gender.

8 being the most masculine, because it's fat. And 7 being the most feminine because it's thin.

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.

I had convinced myself that that "even" meant "1,3,5,7" and "odd" meant "2,4,6,8" because of the letters...one, three, and five all had "e's" in them, and seven had the word "even" in it...and two and four had "o's" in them, just like the word odd.

I have no idea how I managed to do so well in elementary school.

I used to think that a few meant the same thing as a couple. Those two were also the same as a dozen. So my dad often got mad at me for that!

Even numbers were the goodies and odd numbers were the baddies.

Two even numbers added together would get along fine and make another even number. (2+2=4)

Two odd numbers added together would fight and an even number would then come stand there when they had killed each other.(3+3=6)

An odd with an even would fight but the baddie would win because he was strong. (2+3=5) I was always a little scared of this.

I worked all this out in about year three, then was amazed to find it came in useful in year 9 maths. To this day I think of the odd numbers as being antisocail.

when i was about three, my dad told me (or i misunderstood him) that it would take a whole day to count to one hundred. so i would go and ask him if we could go to the movie theatre and he would say "maybe tommorow" so i would go away, count to 100 and then ask him again. That misunderstaning got cleared up very quickly

I am so glad that some of you were talking about how you thought numbers had different personalities. Here I was thinking that I was the only one.

I always thought that 8 was a mean number. In order to understand, you'd have to see how I added nine to another number that was less than ten.

for example: 9+3=12

First, I'd look at the three and subtract one from it which is two. Then, I'd place a one in front of it.

So I always thought nine was so generous for only taking away one, but 8 was mean because he took away two. Somehow seven and lower didn't end up being mean.

There was a raging argument in my second or third grade class about whether infinity or a googol is the biggest number, and whether infinity exists at all. First someone had to tell me about infinity, but I was "pro-infinity" till the end.

When I was 6 years old, I somehow got the concept that counting was infinite - you could always go one higher. Naturally, I concluded that EVERY WORD is a number! So cow, pencil, and airplane were numbers, I just didn't know where they went in the whole scheme of things. This still makes sense to me.

When I first learned about infinity I thought it was totally the coolest idea ever. Zero was almost as cool because when you divide by zero, you get infinity. (Also zero was neither positive nor negative, but unique and totally its own thing -- how cool is that?) The wussy teachers and the math books used to say that dividing by zero was "undefined," but I thought that was some kind of a cop-out -- if you graphed it out, it obviously went to infinity. Why didn't they just say so?

And for some reason the teachers never really wanted to talk about infinity much -- they just looked uncomfortable and changed the subject. What were they hiding? I was sure there was some kind of conspiracy going on.

When I was young, I asked my mom, "You know how 1+1 is 2, and 3+3 is 6, and 7+7 is 14? Well, what 2 numbers make 5?" She said, "Well, 2 + 3 is 5". I said, "NO!!! I mean what two SAME numbers make 5?"

She told me that there weren't any. I couldn't accept that answer. I must have spent an hour trying to come up with the correct answer. No, I didn't know about fractions or decimals at that age.

When I was very small, I couldn't deal with the fact that there were "number words" that weren't definite. I mean words like "a couple", "a few" and "several". I pestered my mother about this until she told me that "a couple" was 2. Eventually I made up a whole system where "a few" was 3, and "several" was 7. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that people were sometimes just talking about an unspecified number!

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