Posted by: episystechpubs | August 1, 2013

Editor’s Corner: Mnemonics

This morning while we were getting our chai and coffee, Jackie and I shared different mnemonics we’d learned as kids. Mnemonic devices are little phrases, rhymes, and songs used to remember lists, spelling, or other things. There are mnemonics for bones, geographical locations, chemistry, grammar, colors—pretty much anything. Jackie said she had to memorize words for a spelling bee and arithmetic was the one word giving her trouble. Her mom helped her memorize the spelling using this charming mnemonic phrase: A rat in the house may eat the Italian cheese.
Here, for your reading pleasure, are a few more mnemonic tools:

  • The spelling of the word rhythm
  • Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move
  • The order of colors in the rainbow

(red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet)

  • Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain, or ROYGBIV pronounced as one word (RoyGeeBIV).
  • The Great Lakes
  • In an arbitrary order: HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior)
  • In order of decreasing surface area: Super Heroes Must Eat Oats (Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie, Ontario)
  • In order from west to east: Super Man Helps Every One (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario)
  • The planets in order from the sun (not including the demoted planet Pluto)

(Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune)

  • My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles.
  • The order of taxonomy (biology)

(Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species)

  • Kevin’s Poor Cow Only Feels Good Sometimes.
  • King Phillip Cried Out For Good Soup.
  • Kids Playing Catch On Freeway Get Squashed.
  • The seven deadly sins

(Pride, Avarice [greed], Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Anger [wrath], Sloth)

  • Units of measure (the metric system)

(kilo-, hecto-, deca-, base unit, deci-, centi-, milli-, in descending order of magnitude)

  • King Henry Died By Drinking Chocolate Milk.
  • Mineral Hardness scale 1-10 (geology)

(Talc [=1] Gypsum [=2] Calcite [=3] Fluorite [=4] Apatite [=5] Orthoclase [=6] Quartz [=7] Topaz [=8] Corundum [=9] Diamond [=10])

  • Toronto Girls Can Flirt And Only Quit To Chase Dwarves
  • Terrible Giants Can Find Alligators Or Quaint Trolls Conveniently Digestible
  • Coordinating conjunctions (used to join two clauses together)

(for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)

  • Four Apes Nibbled Big Orange Yams Slowly.
  • Order of streets in downtown Seattle (south to north)

(Jefferson/James, Cherry/Columbia, Marion/Madison, Spring/Seneca, University/Union, Pike/Pine)

  • Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest
  • Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Pressure

To find more mnemonics, just search Google for common mnemonic devices.

Kara Church
Senior Technical Editor

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