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  1. I'm 38 from the UK and found out that the fact I could count letters in words extremely fast was unusual when I was 13. As lots of others have mentioned, ever since it has been used as a party trick which never fails to impress. I constantly count sentences I hear or read (sometimes I have to read the same sentence over again as I'm not concentrating on the actual story, just the counting!). My weird way of doing things is I will break a sentence in half depending on the amount of words in it, i.e. "We went to the park today and ate ice cream.". "We went to the park" is 15 letters, "today and ate ice cream." is 19 letters, that gives me 15 and 19 .... there are 7 letters in fifteen and 8 letters in nineteen, giving me 7 and 8 to work with .... there's 5 letters in seven and 5 letters in eight, giving me 5 and 5 .... there's 4 letters in five, so that gives me 4 and 4 .... there's 4 letters in four, giving me 4 and 4 and then I can go no further, that's where my little habit ends .... phew!!! No matter which numbers I start with, they all come down to a four as four is the only number that has the same amount of letters in it. If a sentence has an odd number of words in it, I ignore the middle word and just concentrate on the words either side, i.e. "I had my hair cut but didn't like it.". This gives me 10 letters in "I had my hair" and 14 letters in "but didn't like it.", ignoring the word cut. If both halves of the sentence have the same amount of letters in them, I'm a happy bunny!!! I get frustrated with words like "all right/alright" - should it be 2 words, therefore 3 and 5 letters, or 1 word of 7 letters - it really shouldn't matter, should it? I can tell how many letters are in sentences of near on 100 extremely quickly - I'm sure lots of you will also have been read countless beer cans and cigarette packets by others to show off your talent! My husband once rang me while he was studying at college with some of his friends to show me off and read out part of a task they had been given by their tutor. I said there were 53 words and they said no, there were 52. We went through the sentences again and I said there was definitely 53. It turned out their tutor had spelt a word wrong!!! I can also spell words backwards automatically and read them backwards without too much hesitation. Like another member, I also am obsessed with reading number plates, not necessarily making words out of them but just reading them, for some strange reason. I often find myself when I'm driving doing it and try to stop mid-plate, but it's extremely annoying and I worry I'm not concentrating enough on the road around me. However hard I try to stop, I just can't. I also constantly grind my teeth, which was something I wasn't aware of until the dentist pointed it out, but hard as I try and no matter how much I put my tongue in the way, I can't stop and always wake at night grinding them - aaarrrrggggghhhhhh!!!! One of my back teeth is going to crack soon!!! Another member mentioned that they have lots of neck ache. I have mobility problems due to congenital issues I was born with, and after having 3 kids in less than 4 years, I now have 3 herniated discs, 2 of which are in my neck and press on my spinal cord constantly. I am in pain with this all the time and haven't worked for 17 years. I now wonder if my constant counting may have in some way contributed to this .... interesting!!! I have also noticed how all the entries in this forum are nearly perfectly typed spelling and grammar wise - we're obviously a fussy bunch!!! As another member described, I also find text type infuriating - I tell myself to never type 'LOL' or similar as it's just not right!!! I'm very fussy when it comes to grammar and punctuation, much to my sons' annoyance, bless them. I have learnt as I've got older though that I'm the unusual one that has to get it all right and is lucky enough to be mostly able to, other people have to work hard at it and learn all the rules of spelling and grammar, whereas it comes naturally to me (I say that, I'll bet one of you will find a mistake in this entry!!!). I am a tidy person who likes order and hates anything out of place, though as the only woman in a house of 4 males, and being on medication for my spinal problems to help me relax, I am getting a lot better at not getting stressed if something is out of place - I still don't like it though!!! As someone who can't get a job as she would constantly be taking time off with spinal problems, I would love it if there was something out there that I could put my talent to good use with and earn some money for myself. I'm lucky enough to have a very loving and giving family, my husband's fantastic, but to be able to give something back that's not just looking after the children and cooking the dinner would mean the world to me. It's been great to read about everyone else's experiences with this - maybe one day we can all make something special out of our unusual talent.
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