- (nee-mon'-ic, ni-mon'-nic) adj. 1:
assisting, or intended to assist the memory. 2: pertaining to
memory or mnemonics. n. a technique or formula to help
in remembering. mnemonics n. the science or art of improving the memory as by the use of certain formulas
Mnemonics are helpful little phrases or acronyms that help
you remember something, often a group of things that go together.
There are several reasons why mnemonics appeal to me:
Hint for making your own mnemonics for sets of things, or
names, or what have you:
- 1) the first mnemonic you make up for a given thing is
likely to be the best -- it'll be the first one that comes to
- 2) the stupider the better -- that just makes it all the
- Sometimes I think of something silly to remember someone's
name (for example), and I think "That's stupid. I should
think of a better mnemonic." But you know what? When push
comes to shove, it's the stupid one that seems to work best.
me if you'd like to suggest a great mnemonic you know, that
I haven't covered.
Or just write me with comments...
- One of the first mnemonics I learned was in pre-school
- (primary school, as it was called in the Montessori system)...
- Her first nurse works early.
- This is the five different letter combinations that make
the phonetic sound: er, ir, ur, or,
- I like it... I still remember
it, so it must have worked!
- Taxonomic Levels, in descending order:
- Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family,
- There are dozens of similar mnemonics for this set. This
is the classic Biological sequence, but note that in Botany,
Division replaces Phylum: KDCOFGS(v) (that last v is for variety,
if you want to include that). I encourage you to make up your
own mnemonic for whichever version of this sequence you prefer
- The first 18 elements of the periodic chart, in order:
- Hydrogen, Helium, LiBeBCNOF,
NeNa MgAl SiPS Chlorine, Arg!
- pronounced: Hydrogen, Helium, Libbeb-k'noff, Nina, m'gal sips
- Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Beryllium,
Boron, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Neon, Sodium, Magnesium,
Aluminum, Silicon, Phosphorus, Sulphur, Chlorine, Argon.
- For good measure, I usually throw a K on the end of my "arggh",
to remember Potassium. I keep trying to work on something that
will extend this to include more elements, but that's about as
far as I get...
- This does have a bit of rote memorization. You just have
to know Hydrogen, and Helium, and then this nonsense word, Libbebk'noff.
And you have to be able to remember the elements from their single
or double-letter symbols. While you're at it, you may as well
remember the shape of the chart, too, for that matter.
- This is a fun one, but how often does knowing this kind of
thing really come in handy, really? Trivia questions, impressing
one's friends, etc... Have I mentioned I can do the alphabet
backwards really fast, too?
- coming soon: The seven
- I have a favorite way to remember these, courtesy of George
Carlin. I'd like to get the exact wording correct before I put
me if you have any other good mnemonics, for these, or any
others not yet mentioned.
- Is there a good one for the seven dwarves?
- The nine muses? I found one, but it looks a bit lame
- it's just not sticking for me.
|--- Copyright © 2004 by Alison