This just tickles me to death. I'm 19 and have been counting letters for years now. I have no idea how old I was when I started, but I believe I developed the habit when I was a kid to entertain myself on a road trip, counting the letters in road signs. And that grew into a habit; it died down for a while and then a few years back I started doing it again and I haven't stopped. I don't alphabetize or do the typewriter thing or anything really fancy. I just count, however I do appreciate it when the results are even as opposed to odd. Once I determine the number of letters in the word/phrase/sentence, I check myself by dividing the letters up in what seems to be the most efficient way for me. "Look at that Firefly poster" gets divided into 4 and possibly other numbers in my head in order to make absolutely certain that the outcome is right. If the outcome is still odd, the punctuation gets thrown in. But everything hinges on making sure I have calculated the right number. Most words/phrases/sentences get recounted several times.
It takes a lot more time to explain this than it does to actually do in my head. Only if I get really frustrated with a long sentence does it begin to take time. I try to be fast, but that's not really important. And it's not EVERYTHING. Certain stuff jumps out at me to be counted. I don't really know what makes stuff stick out. However, if ever I am bored, EVERYTHING gets counted.
Now that I think about it, I do have an extra oddity to add: within the past year, I have, after determining the total number, begun counting the letters in that number, and then that number, and so on until I get to four. The above 'Firefly' sentence had 23 letters. 23 has 11. 11 has 6. 6 has 3. 3 has 5. 5 has 4. 4 has 4. Everything will ALWAYS come out to four, because it is he only number that's name equals itself.
Also, I noticed that a couple other people listed their favorite number as 12. Seriously, that is totally my favorite number. It is my go-to number whenever a number is required. It doesn't much affect my counting, though.
I would like to know if this whole counting business is connected more concretely to OCD or intelligence. I could quite possibly have mild OCD, but I also have a higher IQ than average.
I am so happy I found you guys!!!