Thumb Isn’t a Finger?

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Nov 26, 2010 03:11
While I was reading a book called “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, I came across a sentence that said, “Now I often go for a month at a time without even thinking about the fact that I have only three fingers and a thumb on my left hand.”
I thought it was interesting how the author had described the fingers that he has.
He had torn off his left forefinger by accident when he was a child.
Looking at words, a forefinger, a middle finger, a ring finger and a little finger are fingers, but a thumb isn’t a finger.
Is that why he didn’t write he has four fingers?
If I were he and I wrote the sentence in Japanese, I would write, "I have only four fingers without a forefinger on my left hand."
Is the rhythm of the sentence not good in English?
I would write more like, “Now I often go for a month at a time without even thinking about the fact that I don’t have a forefinger.”
It may sound negative to you, but in Japanese, I think a lot of people would write like the way.

By the way, I was at a loss whether I should have written “If I were he” or “If I were him”, because I remember the grammar as “If I were you”.
I heard that some native speakers use “If I was you”.
Which one do you usually use?
I was digressing a little bit.
Getting back the main story, in English, do you usually distinguish a thumb and the rest of the fingers?

I’d appreciate if you would answer my questions.

Thanks in advance.