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Earlier, I was reading Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne and lit upon this passage:

Piglet is so small that he slips into a pocket, where it is very comforting to feel him when you are not quite sure whether twice seven is twelve or twenty-two.

I was confused because twice seven should be 14, not 12 nor 22.

What's the idea?

closed as off-topic by Roger Sinasohn, tchrist Aug 15 '18 at 19:01

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    What is your question? – Azor Ahai Aug 15 '18 at 18:42
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    I'm not sure it's really a good question for this site - maybe Literature would be better, but keep in mind that the characters in Winnie the Pooh are stuffed animals and stuffed animals are carried around by very small children who are bad at math. – Azor Ahai Aug 15 '18 at 18:50
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    Why is this tagged "american-english"? – Michael Harvey Aug 15 '18 at 18:51
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    Azor Ahal "very small children who are bad at math" - and even worse at arithmetic. – Michael Harvey Aug 15 '18 at 18:52
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    The author is trying to create a sense of a small child who is unsure about the world around him/her as it is new and big and confusing. He is doing so by explicitly mentioning the confusion between 12 and 22 as well as distancing the child from the reader who surely knows that the correct answer is 14. It makes it even clearer to the reader that the emotion is one of complete lack of knowledge, rather than getting mixed up between the right answer and a wrong one. – Roger Sinasohn Aug 15 '18 at 18:59

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