Posted by: Jack Henry | September 24, 2020

Mnemonics, Part 2

Good day, folks!

I was so right when I predicted I’d gone nutty with all of these mnemonic types I found during some research. The original document I wrote was beginning to look like a dissertation. Today I have a few more examples for you from Wikipedia, Your Dictionary, and some other resources. Even if you aren’t too interested, I bet those of you with grade school and high school aged kids would be really popular if you shared these. It’s not cheating! These just help make memorization a little easier!

  • Note organization mnemonics

The method of note organization can be used as a memorization technique. Applications of this method involve the use of flash cards and lists. Flash cards are used by putting a question or word on one side of a paper and the answer or definition on the other side of the paper. Lists involve the organization of data from broad to detailed. For example: Earth → Continent → Country.

  • Ode or rhyming mnemonics

Something that rhymes, like remembering the number of days in each month with “30 days hath September / April, June, and September…”

  • Image mnemonics

The information is constructed into a picture.

An example would be using the picture of a bat to represent three groups of depressant drugs: barbiturates, alcohol, and tranquilizers.

Or this example, from Wikipedia, that represents the way I remember which months have thirty day. You always have your knuckles with you, so you don’t have to remember the song.

  • Connection mnemonics

New knowledge is connected to knowledge already known.

Remembering the direction of longitude and latitude is easier to do when you realize that lines on a globe that run North and South are long and that coincides with LONGitude. Another Connection Mnemonic points out that there is an N in LONGitude and an N in North. Latitude lines must run east to west, then.

  • Spelling mnemonics

An example is "i before e except after c or when sounding like a in neighbor and weigh".

And my favorite example today provides a way of remembering the first eight digits of pi (π), which are 3.1415927. Instead of memorizing the numbers, you just have to remember this sentence: May I have a large container of coffee?

How does that translate? Well, each word represents a number of letters, which corresponds to the digits in pi.

  • May (3 letters)
  • I (1 letter)
  • have (4 letters)
  • a (1 letter)
  • large (5 letters)
  • container (9 letters)
  • of (2 letters)
  • coffee? (6 letters + question mark = 7)

And there you have 3.1415927, for those of us who are more inclined to remember words instead of numbers!

I think the beauty of all these mnemonics is that they provide so many different ways to help us remember things. If you are someone who likes poetry, maybe you can make up an “ode” mnemonic next time you need to remember some facts. If you are a more visual learner, you might use an image to remember things. I can see it now! Instead of a grocery list for these items (ham, orange juice, raspberries, soap, and eggs), all you have to remember is this:

Instead of using “May I have a large container of coffee?” for the first numbers of pi, you can remember an area code and phone number with a different sentence, like “Would Nancy think about joining me for dinner at 9?”

Would (5 letters)

Nancy (5 letters)

think (5 letters)

about (4 letters)

joining (7 letters)

me = (2letters)

for = (3 letters)

dinner = (6 letters)

at = (2 letters)

9 = (9 letters)

(555) 472-3629

The world is your mnemonic oyster!

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her/hers

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