No, it’s not just you and your ‘idiosyncrasies’! Please forgive me, it’s my slowness to understand, but now I understand more clearly what you’re suggesting. I think swapping the two columns would be the way I had it in earlier versions of the system, but somehow I had come to the conclusion that it wasn’t as symmetrical.
However, I’m looking at this again now, after taking a break from this for a few days (probably a good thing), and I don’t see a compelling reason not to swap the pronunciations of the two columns as you suggest. Besides the significant benefit of then being able to read the numbers left-to-right (I never ‘liked’ the inversion either though I thought it was needed), there is actually another benefit I hadn’t noticed until now. Numbers of the same decade, like 560-569, will all start with the same sound/phoneme, “ay”. This is much like the first half of the 3-digit system where numbers of similar decades also start with similar sounds, e.g. 140-149 all start with the “th” sound.
So if I make this change will you write a script for the CMU dictionary? Ha! But really, I will probably make this change in the system shortly, unless I find any reason otherwise.
Regarding memorization, I’ve not memorized the system yet on purpose so as to keep myself open-minded to any changes such as this. I’ve also wanted to see if there would be any input for consonant blends, because they’re in alphabetical order and any change to them could alter their number assignments.