So, here is a cultural question. I’ve seen various videos on YouTube but I cannot find a consensus.

When you count on your fingers, how do you do it — and what country are you in? (I am particularly interested in how it is done in Spain.) Which finger do you start with? And what is the sequence? I know that this differs from country to country.

In the US, the typical way is the following:

We start with the hand closed, that is, in a fist. Then the index finger/forefinger is extended. That is one. Middle finger is two. Ring finger is three. Little finger is four and thumb is five.

In Germany (and elsewhere), one is with the thumb. The index finger is two. The middle finger is three. This is where I get confused. I have seen four as: all four fingers and no thumb OR the thumb and the index, middle and ring fingers (and no little finger). Are both ways done?

I have seen other places where counting starts with the hand open and the fingers are drawn in until the end result is a closed fist. When this is done, I believe the process starts with the little finger.

There are other techniques, to be sure. One is with designating points in sporting events. Another is in “hand signals” in the commodity markets.

Any and all comments are appreciated.