...SHISHA V'AR'BAIM ELEF V'CHAMESH ME'OT:
Here's the problem. Many unsuspecting Baalei K'ri'a (Torah readers) will read a DARGA T'VIR (the TROPnotes under the SHISHA V'ARBA'IM) and then wait a hefty pause before continuing. And they will then read the TIPCHA, MERCHA SOF- PASUK without pausing after the TIPCHA (under the ELEF). The result is giving the wrong count for Reuven - 6 and 40, that's 46, then one thousand 5 hundred. That's a total of 1546, not 46,500. Which means by pausing in the wrong place, the meaning of the words is changed. That's a Torah-reading no-no. The fact is that the pause after a T'VIR is slight and the pause after a TIPCHA is longer. Accent, check; vowels all read correctly, check. Perfect pronunciation, but if the pauses are wrong the meaning of the words can change. Scary, no?
Same thing for Shimon, Yehuda, Yissachar, Zevulun, Menashe, Binyamin, Dan, Asher, and Naftali. Only Gad and Efrayim have TROP for their numbers that do not lend themselves to pausing incorrectly.