I have forgotten the alphabet--if I ever really knew it. I can sing the song. I even know to split elemeno into its component four letters. I even know a version of the song that has no elemeno... all the letters are there, but the scansion* is off. It's hard to explain in text, but it kinda goes like this:
A, B, C, D.
E, F, G.
H, I, J, K.
L, M, N.
O, P, Q.
R, S, T.
U, V, W.
X, Y, Z.
Which you have to admit is a little better than "...J, K, LMNO, P... Y and Z**"
Anyway, I cannot hold the entirety of the alphabet in my head at the same time. I know that D is in the beginning and S is near the end. I sort of remember that M is the middle, though I always try to make it L which may have something to do with the fact that my name starts with that beautiful letter. After that, when it comes to alphabetizing things, I have to sing the song. I find myself actually going through the letters to find where I am. "I" is not before "E" which makes things even worse. I will look at two files and think to myself, "JKL... ah, it goes here." or "Q,R,S... no, M,N,O,P then Q... ok, here it is."
I wish I were joking. I wish I possessed the mental acuity to at least keep it all in my head and not be caught actually saying the alphabet out loud. Maybe I need one of those cutesy printed borders that are featured as a prominent design element in grade schools everywhere. My only saving grace is the ability to confine my search to the few letters before and after my target. Well, I'm pretty solid on A through E I think. It gets a little sketchy around F and by J, I'm lost. The end of the alphabet is just a mystery to me. My maiden name started with B and when I married, I had to bump all the way down to W, which my grandma assures me is only fair since she moved from a W to a B when she married. X,Y,Z is pretty set in my mind, but P through W is full of confusion.
So here I am, 25 years past my Kindergarten graduation, and I am humming the tune to "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"*** to myself trying to figure out where in the line up to put this file or that document. It's a sad state of affairs. Thankfully, I know I'm not alone. I've heard my coworkers muttering letters under their breath while searching for files as well. It might be sad, but it's not a lonely place to be, that's for sure!
*This is a fancy word that I never knew until I met my husband, and now I find myself shoving it into all sorts of conversations.
**Which you pronounce Zed if you're from anywhere but the United States, but I'm not, so I just say Z, rhymes with C and several other letters...
*** Yep, same tune. Go ahead, check it out! I was shamefully old before someone shared this insight to me, despite having sung both tunes for many, many years.