When I was little and going through elementary school, I remember being incredibly frustrated because other people didn’t see numbers the way I saw them. I remember trying to explain to my mom that numbers were people. And I saw them all as neighbors in an apartment complex…and some of the neighbors got along famously and others did not. I just couldn’t make her understand that 9 was an evil man and scared 8 (a little girl) and everyone except 9 got along with 8 (this is just one example).
Apparently I am not alone! Awhile ago I was surfing the web and blogs in general and found out that this is actually a neurological condition that is a form of Synesthesia called Ordinal Linguistic personification. Synesthesia is defined as a condition in which two or more bodily senses are coupled. In this form (OLP)- numbers, days of the week and months of the year evoke personalities. I remember feeling the same way about days of the week…but to a lesser extent than the numbers. In my experience with OLP, it was much more prevalent when I was a child manipulating numbers on a regular basis….and it never really got in the way of learning- except sometimes I wouldn’t like it when certain numbers were next to each other because clearly 7 was a snob and didn’t want to hang around with 6 or 8 because it was too good for them. I am just glad to know that there are others out there who see numbers this way!