When I just have a couple of rows to count, I’ll pull out paper and pencil and start my tick marks. While growing up, I was taught to use the Chinese character æ£ (right in the photo above). The character is made of 5 horizontal and vertical strokes. The character means “straight, upright”.
When I moved to the US, I was taught to use the Westernized tally marks (left in the photo above), comprising of 4 vertical marks followed by a slash across the 4 to mark the completion of 5. This has become my default method for marking.
The problem with the Westernized tallies is that it is sometimes hard to distinguish 2 (||) from 11, if you are picking up after a long rest or from someone else’s notes.
So, how do you tally?