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I also letter count! I didn't even think about the fact that I did it until recently, I don't remember when it started, I'm now 17.


I wouldn't say I feel compelled to do it. I think I have quite an obsessive personality, without, luckily, the compulsive bit.


I also have a tendency to write words in 4 different styles in my head (joined up, flicky, straight & rounded). I repeat this until I can see the word written perfectly in each style.


It's so funny to think about this because I'm realising what I actually do with words which I've never thought about before! When I count the letters I group them in different ways until I find the most comfortable/fitting.


I feel a bit silly writing this, they're such pointless things to do.

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Hi sbechtel and welcome to Latitudes/ACN   what you describe does sound like OCD It can be treated with medications, but these sadly bring many potential side effects. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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

Hi! I’m happy to see your comment as well, it’s great to find people who can do the same thing as me but especially people who are doing it in 2020 :))  I agree; my head often feels as though it

Hey (:

I have no idea what these forums are! However it's about half 12 at night and I have school tomorrow but I'm not tired in the slightest, so as I was zooming around Myspace I realised that I was irritated at the word 'four' because it means 4, obviously, and there are 4 letters, and I didn't like the fact that there was two on either side for some reason. Anyway, I was bored and just searched 'letter counting' on google, because I normally search random things that pop into my head just for entertainment really (it was palm reading the other day haha!) and then I found this site and I was like 'Oh my god I have some similiarities with these people! COOL!' haha. But yeah, I don't think I have OCD at all, I just read through most of the replies to this thread and then went on a few links and just found it peculiar that the things I thought were just me being weird are symptoms of OCD with other people. Of course I don't actually have OCD; I don't have enough other symptons for it, it just interested me (:


Anyway about letter counting and stuff, I find myself all the time counting letters in the middle word of titles of things and I like to find the exact middle point to see if the people who have made the poster or billboard or whatever have lined it up correctly with the rest of the poster (if it was supposed to be central). And quite often I prefer it if the middle word is an odd number of letters so that in my head I can easily see the middle letter and work out where the centre of the 'thing' I'm looking at should be. I also hate the number 9 when related to dancing (I compete a lot) because whenever I get the number 27 as my number, or like 81 or something I sit and add it all up and see if I get to the number 9 and if I do I'll have to change it. However it doesn't seem to matter if subtracting the numbers could equal nine. On the other hand, I hate even numbers so it's ironic that I dislike nine also. My lucky number is 5 (two digits either side when written 1 2 3 4 5) but the word 'five' had four letters in which as you know I dislike. Ohhhh it's all very confusing haha.


So yeah, I really really don't think I have OCD, I just find the whole number letter thing really interesting, especially to hear everyone elses stories on it through the thread. It's pretty cool (:


Oh, and another thing I picked up from a different website, I repeat phrases under my breath after I've said them, without realising it. Apparantly this is another thing a lot of people do. Like earlier, I dunno what I said, but I repeated say the last three words like as I intook breath and then I was like thinking to myself 'What are you doing you complete weirdo'


Haha, right I'm going to go to bed now. By the way incase anyone's wondering, I'm fifteen and a GIIIIIRL I know it says 'Frankie' but that is my name (:

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I have the same letter-counting thing ever since i can remember, but only a few months ago I happened to find out that this is actually unusual...

I can count letters both in sentences i read and hear. I do it very quickly, and can tell a person how many letters were in a sentence he said the moment he finishes saying it. and i alphabetize as well. and can type/ say a sentence from end to beginning very fast.

but I don't do it all the time, so I'm not sure what it all means...

I was never diagnosed with OCD, but when I was in grade-school I had different kinds of nervous ticks, like nodding my head, which I eventually grew out of. now, I guess, this is the only thing I have left...


a funny thing- I found out I can also count bits I hear faster than other people (like if you knock with your fingers on a table quickly like 'ta-ta-ta-ta') I can count them one by one, and i found out other people can't


so...I'm really happy I found this forum!!!


please write if you a have similar "issues" :-)

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This is just amazing to me... I can believe that I found this forum... I have been counting letters and adding up words in sentences for as long as I can remember.. Im 23 now and its crazy to think that ive been doing this for so long... Ive read all the other posts and realized that we all do this a little bit differently...

Here is what I do..



No matter where I am or what im doing i count letters that are written and letters that are in sentences, that are said out loud..

I take those letters and have to put them in multiples of 4's until i get to a number that is large enough for me to start over, usually around 1024... Say I count the letters in the sentence, "oh my god, its a beautiful day out".. Thats 26 letters, now i need to find a a word or words that another 6 letters so that i can make it to 32... Then I Multiply it for as long as i feel like.. 32.. 64.. 128.. 256.. 512.. 1024...2048.. 4096...


I also count sets of things... If i see a group of windows on a building i immedialy multiply the rows and colums quickly so that i can then multiply it by then sides to get a number.. and if that number is not a "good" number for me i have to find something that will get to me to that nice number that will make everything add up the way i want it to be...



I automatically know that on a standard clock the number added up from 1 - 12 is 78... 12 + 11 + 10 +9......... then i take 78 x 2 = 156.. 156 / 4 is 39.... 39 minus any word that has 7 letters is 32.. But i might find a word thats 7 letters before i can minus it.. Holiday for instance.. So if its 4:45 in the afternoon that equals 13 in numbers and also 13 in letters (four Fourty Five) so thats 26 and now i need to either find a word with 6 letters to get to 32 or a word with 10 letters to subtract so i can get to 16... and then do all the multiplying for absolutly no reason other than im obsessed...

I even get to the point where i will take the numbers and the words that were used with the clock... "Its gonna be around (16) 6:15 (this could be 12 in numbers, or 10 in letters) when he will arrive (16)... So its either 42 or 44.. Then finding 22 or 20 more letters to get to 64... I know this sounds very confusing and somewhat stupid but i cant help myself.. Its nonstop...




Its so crazy...


I can do this so fast that I have been a giant hit a some college parties..


When i was younger i remember that every street sign that i would pass i would know exactly how many letters were in it in a fraction of a second.. My dad was stunned one day when we were driving that he called a few friends and told them about it... I remember that out of all the road signs that he asked me to do i only got one wrong and that was becuase the name of the town on the sign had a very strange spelling..


I was never amazing at math in school but when it comes to this thing i feel like im a genius... Whenever me and my buddies go out to bars or dinner they ask me to do it but i now that im getting older i feel a little bit embarrassed because it feels so childish to do...

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So I posted on this website years ago when I got bored one day and checked around to see if anyone else in the world counts and alphabetizes letters. I actually was the one that started this whole entire counting/alphabetizing forum 5 years ago if you check back on page one. I haven't posted since then, but I got curious and checked back. I see that there are quite a few people who count or do something similar. Do you ever wonder how fast you are compared to other people who can do this? Maybe it's just me, but I always have. My favorite and easiest words to count are ones that have 20 letters in them. I can just look around outside at signs or anything and pick out 20's instantly. One of my favorite words, or terms rather, is endoplasmic reticulum, because it has 20 letters. I don't even remember what it means, but I love it. I don't know why 20's are so easy and fast, but I can count words with 20 letters faster than I can count words that have 13, or 15 maybe. Even numbers are just better. I can also alphabetize words and small phrases up to about 16 letters or so. Sometimes I get stuck with a word in my head that I will continuously alphabetize over and over all day until I forget to keep doing it, and if I think about it again, I will start doing it again. I've repeated the same word or words over in my head for weeks at a time, from the second I wake up until the second I fall asleep. I just keep saying it in my head. I can think of words from years ago that I still like to repeat in my head. For those of you who also have OCD, you understand what I mean when I say they just feel right. If anyone wants to email me and talk about it, feel free. I love talking about this stuff with other people who either do it or know someone that does. Email me at brian_golde@hotmail.com. I've been counting letters for as long as I can remember, since I was in kindergarten or so, and I am now 25. I feel like maybe I can help other people who don't know so much about what is going on with themselves or someone they know. I will check back this site every now and then, but again, anyone can contact me at my email address. I would love to talk more about it. Plus I wanna know how fast some of you guys are!

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I am 24 and so so so happy that I am not the only person in the world who suffers from this obsession. I have a major obsession with letters and like so many of you the speed that I can do these things is unbelieveable. My friends say it is my party trick!!!


I have done this as long as I can remember and it rules my life.


My obsession is; converting letters into numbers...eg A=1, B=2, C=3 etc etc.....

Every number plate i come across I add up all of the numbers and convert the letters into numbers. I then divide the total in half and work out the middle so both sides of the number plate are equal. I get really angry if it is an odd number.


Over the past ten years or so though it has got worse and is no longer just number plates..I do it with everything..people's names, addresses, road signs, shop signs, sentences and even whole paragraphs of writing.


If introduced to a new person before I even register their name in my mind I have already converted the letters in their name into numbers and I will then remember that persons name and their number!!!! Every person I know and come across has their number...if two people have the same number..my mind thinks they are destined to be together or have some connection.

eg...jon smith =108 (I did that in less than 2 seconds!!!!!!)

No one understands my obsession and thinks I am weird!!!


I don't want to be labelled with OCD but do you really think this is what I have???? Please help



number 66!!!!!!

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WOW.....this is FABULOUS. I have to know, does anyone out there assign a "value" to letters (A is 1, B is 2) and then hear a word, and QUICKLY come up with a number/value (cab=6)? I have done this for years and it NEVER shuts off! I aldo arrange, alphabetize, and "backwards" alphabetize words constantly....as well as count the letters in a sentence, etc.. Anyone else I can talk with out there?

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Hi there...


It almost feels boring to say it but I also count letters in words and small parts of sentences.

A friend of mine told me that she found an article on the internet concerning this topic but she couldn't remember where, so I started searching, and it's not that I find myself particularly weird and peculiar about this, but it's nice that at least I have found my soulmates :lol:

I count letters all the time, mostly subconsciously (but reading all of this naturally very consciously). I take a relatively long word or phrase and then I chop the words into little bits which I add up. For example I take the phrase 'told me that she' and then I play around with it a bit, making different combinations: 'toldm eth atshe', 'told metha tshe', 'tol dmethat she' etc etc. I always make combinations that seem aesthetically appealing to me. Symmetry always seems particularly appealing, and a lot of the times I add/remove spaces/punctuations and that sort of things to make things more symmetrical.

Also, i'm not sure if this is the same thing, but being a musician, I have a big fascination for odd time signatures (being not just the 'standard' 4/4 or 3/4 measures but finding a particular interest in 'weird' rhythms like 5/4, 7/8, 9/8, 13/8 etc etc, in case this means anything to you).

I count letters all the time, I simply can not stop doing it. Luckily this doesn't really bother me in a way that I can't do other things simply because I'm always counting letters. It's some sort of a background noise in my mind that's always there, and a lot of the times I completely forget about this peculiarity.


I have read here that people who do this often have a lot of thoughts raging on in their heads, which is definately the case with me, I simply can't stop thinking about things that bother me. I am also extremely chaotic and messy in nature: planning and organization are not to be found in my dictionary (although I'm trying very hard to improve this) and my house is always an inexcusable mess. What I've also read is that it's mostly quite intelligent people that have this thing, which I guess is also the case with me (without wanting to brag about it, I sometimes wish I was a little bit dumber so that I could stop thinking once in a while).

Also I have several nerve tics. For example, I simply can't stop snapping my fingers all the time, and I constantly twitch my eyeballs and my nose, and as a kid I constantly made weird noises, which quite annoyed my mom and my sister

Again, all of this does not really bother me, I just find it very nice that there seems to be quite some people with the same lettercounting thingy, I find it very interesting that I regocnize a lot of you people's characters in mine.


grtz martin

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Hi I'm new here and I'm extremely happy that I found this thread since it is what I was looking for.


I'm 22 years old and I've been counting letters since I was 14...I think, as that's as far back as I can remember doing it.

It takes me about 3 seconds to count the letters in a sentence involving 5-10 words of medium complexity. I then go on to add in other words into the sentence to make it equal a total number that ends in 5 or 0. Then I take the first word of the sentence and put it at the end, and move it in between each syllable until it gets to the front, then i go front to end, front to end, and end to front. The whole time I do this I alternate inhaling and exhaling with each syllable, making sure I end on an exhale. So i.e. let's use the sentence "What are you talking about?" for a total of 22 letters.

I would insert "And" into the beginning of the sentence, making it "And what are you talking about?" for a total of 25 letters.

Then I would read it in my head as "What are you talking about and?"- "What are you talking and about?"---"What are you talkanding about?" and so on and so forth.


So far this hasn't caused much trouble in my life, it's more of a minor annoyance.

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Hi everyone. I am 22 years old and have been doing the same as many of you for just about as long as I can remember. I was pretty amazed to read about some of the things that you all can do, and I feel my abilities are nowhere near as complex or intricate. My ability is that I can (pretty much instantaneously) count the number of letters in words and phrases. I have been known to get as high as 60 or 70, though it gets kind of hard to keep track of after about 30+. I can also alphabetize letters very quickly.


The way that I do this is I sort of visualize all of the letters on my fingers (in my head) as they are spoken, and I usually only have to keep track of how many times I go past 10. I used to do it much more frequently when I was younger, for example assigning letters to everything around me (ex. if I would be walking up stairs I would assign each step a letter, and if there was extra left I would simply insert a word like "and" or something to fill the gap such that each step would have a letter). I also used to assign letters to everything I saw around me, such as stop signs (each part of the octagon would get a different letter), cracks in the sidewalk, etc. This has always been something that I did, for no apparent reason, but I never really told anyone.


Nowadays I think my mind is more occupied so I don't feel the compulsion to do it as much, but often times I will catch myself repeating a phrase over and over again in my head for no apparent reason. When my boyfriend discovered my ability he was amazed by it and now loves to show me off in front of friends and family, which I don't mind at all. I guess it makes me feel a bit unique and special. One of his family members also attempted to get me into the Guinness book and believes I can make a lot of money with this "gift," but I of course realize that I am not the only one with such abilities. It doesn't bother me or really affect me in any way, I just see it as something that's part of me and makes me unique.


I'd love to talk to anyone about this. If you would like to know how to reach me, please feel free to ask. Thanks everyone, it was very fun reading all of your posts!!

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I, myself letter count. I never knew how I happened to start counting letters all the time.. I've done it for awhile. I am now 17. I was doing it not too long ago and I stopped and wondered "Is this normal?", so I did research and found this forum.


What I do is count the letters in an word I hear, and if it comes out to an even number or an odd number that is divisible by something (i.e. 15 15/3 = 5) I consider it a "good" word, but when it comes out odd I actually get kind of aggrivated by it... I've never told anybody about my letter counting, so it's nice to get it off my chest.

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  • 2 months later...

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!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Guys


I suppose that I can remember having my counting thing since I was quite young. I remember being afraid of the dark and to help myself go to sleep, I would count all letters and numbers around my room to try to help to to sleep.


I am now 33 and still do it, quite alot.


Seems we all have our differences. I count words and give each letter a value of one and try to get it to add up to an even number, has to be a even number. Also I count and draw the letters in my head and count to get an even number. I also focus on on a specific word (one that I might have heard) and count it up. I also will focus on objects and count the lines, like floorboards, the side a ceiling had, just about anything.


Good to know I am not alone. Any thoughts on how to stop it. Have tried over the years, seems to be increasing and do it more offent than I think I should. To make matters worse I am a chartered accountant (in Australia), I even work in an industry that would be able to help me, but too embarrased to ask.



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Scrumpets! I thought I was the only one who counted the letters in sentences!


Another peculiarity in my habit is to have all the letters come out even. I insert a comma, period or exclamation mark if I come up with an odd count. All this I do in my head, of course. I've never thought of this quirk as a drawback; in fact, it has greatly enhanced my spelling and other cognitive abilities.


It would be interesting to have an expert explain this letter-counting phenomenon in psychological terms. I’d like to know in which part of the brain this little quirk lies, and how it came to be.

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