Mnemonic Devices For Daily Use- Remember Anything and Everything
Mnemonic devices are simple learning and memory techniques which will help you to improve your ability to memorize things. Simply said, these are memory techniques which help our minds to decipher complex information and make it easy to remember. In the process, we get to use words, images, pictures, rhymes and alphabets.
Mnemonic devices have been used since time immemorial, maybe since Greek era and everyone uses them sometime or the other, even though we are not aware of it. Everything said and done, mnemonic devices should be easy, unambiguous and vivid.
What is so special about mnemonic devices or why it is considered as a memory technique?
Our minds or brains are strange. We tend to forget what is usual and ordinary. Our mind likes information that is unusual, out-of-the-ordinary, ridiculous, shocking, humorous and illogical. These devices deliver just that. Mnemonics are funny and vivd.
Below some of the most commonly used mnemonic devices:
First Letter Mnemonic or Acrostic:
This mnemonic device is created by taking the first letter of each term or word that you want to remember and create a funny sentence. For example-Planet Mnemonic- Many VIPs Eat Mangoes Just So Urgently Not Properly which will help you to remember the all the planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto)
Loci Method or Journey Method:
Loci method dates back to Greek times and sources say that it is one of the oldest memory techniques ever known to mankind. This method is also called journey method.This method uses places or locations or rooms as memory pegs. For example, the journey from your home to your church. Along that path you will have so many landmarks and those landmarks are used as pegs and the information that you want to remember is associated those landmarks. The landmarks could be anything – A neighbor’s house, an old electric pole, a thrash can, a bus stop, a garage, a railway crossing etc.
You can use the rooms in your home too. But the bottom line is that, you need to remember these landmarks in order so that when you want to recall the actual information, you can go in one order.
This is similar to first letter mnemonic. The first letter of each term or word is used to make an acronym. For example, the spaces in the treble clef can be memorized by the acronym ‘FACE‘. The Great Lakes can be memorized by the acronym ‘HOLMES‘. (Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie,Lake Ontario)
Substitute Words and Visual Association:
Substitute words are usually used for words or terms which do not make any sense or we cannot associate them with any thing. In simple words, they do not trigger a mental image.For example, ‘Pere‘ in French means Father. We can use ’pear’as a substitute word to remember father. This is one part of the equation. To remember the word ‘pere’ we will have to associate pear with father, to complete the equation. Try to make the association as illogical and ridiculous as possible. Like I mentioned initially, our mind remembers what is out-of-ordinary. So don’t just imagine your father eating a pear, see a mental picture where your father is eat a pear, the size of a water melon!
Forming Groups or Chunking:
These mnemonic devices categorize or classify the information based on some common characteristics. For example: Python, cobra, Vipers and Black Mamba can be categorized under snakes.
Chunking is a method where information is broken down into small organized ‘chunk’ which can be easily memorized. For example, telephone numbers can be broken down into chunks of 3 numbers or 4.
Mnemonic devices are great aids for remembering and recalling any kind of information. I would like to know if you use mnemonics to remember information, in comments.
Memorize…the easy way…the crazy way!!!