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Also see Memorization.

Mnemonics

Dominic System

In O'Reilly's book Mind Performance Hacks, the author covers a system for memorizing information called the Dominic System. This system maps 10 numbers to 10 letters. That makes each two-digit number into a two-letter combination. By associating memorable people, actions, and places with those two letter combinations, you can turn numbers into people, places, actions, and things, and use those to create absurd fantastic stories that help you remember the numbers.

Dominic System

Twain System

In Taming the Bicycle and Other Essays, Stories, and Sketches, there is an essay called "How to Make History Dates Stick (written circa 1899, published 1914)".

Ironically, you've probably already forgotten the two years given in the title of the piece.

The article is several pages and includes hand-drawn sketches by Twain to demonstrate his mnemonics technique for teaching his children the names and number of years of each of the rulers of England.

Read more: Twain System

Scientific/Numeric

Astronomical Distance Price Table

Prices in each table are astronomical units representing distance from the Sun relative to the Earth's distance to the Sun:

  • Mercury $0.39
  • Venus $0.72
  • Earth $1.00
  • Mars $1.50
  • Jupiter $5.20
  • Saturn $9.50
  • Uranus $19.00
  • Neptune $30.00
  • Pluto $39.50

Moons of Jupiter

The four largest moons of Jupiter:

I Eat Green Cows: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto (4 lovers of Zeus)

Resistor Color Codes

Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well - Get Some Now

Black 0 - Brown 1 - Red 2 - Orange 3 - Yellow 4 - Green 5 - Blue 6 - Violet 7 - Gray 8 - Whilte 9 - Gold 5% - Silver 10% - None 20%

Ham Radio

General Class Ham License mnemonics:

Sea Six (Seasick) - A radar goodie. Radio travels one NAUTICAL mile every six microseconds (nautical mile is 6080 feet, for you landlubbers)

Speed of light = 1 ft / nanosecond (LIDAR/optical applications)

NPN = *N*ot *P*ointing i*N* - emitter lead shows current flow goes out

PNP = *P*ointing i*N* *P*roudly - emitter lead shows current flow goes in

Speed of Light

"We guarantee certainty, clearly referring to this light mnemonic"

Number of letters in each word gives speed of light in m/s: 299,792,458

Rainbow

Colors of the rainbow:

  • ROY G. BIV

Roman Numerals

Roman numerals:

  • I=1, V=5, X=10, L=50, C=100, D=500, M=1000
  • I Value Xylophones Like Cows Dig Milk

Order of Operations

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally - parentheses exponents multiplication division addition subtraction

Pi Approximation

Rational approximation to Pi: 1 / π ≈ 1 1 3 / 3 5 5

Trig

Calculus

Product rule: b-di-a plus a-di-b

Quotient rule: lo-di-hi minus hi-di-lo all over lo squared

Shorthand: ( f'g - f'g )/ g^2


\left( \dfrac{f}{g} \right)^{\prime} = \dfrac{ f' g - f g' }{g^2}


\dfrac{d}{dx}\left( \dfrac{f(x)}{g(x)} \right) = \dfrac{ g(x) \dfrac{d f(x)}{dx} - f(x) \dfrac{d g(x)}{dx} }{ g(x)^2 }

Chemistry

Distillation of Oil Product Cuts

Products of fractional distillation of crude oil:

Really Great & Noble Kings Don't Forget Ladies' Birthdays"

Refinery gases, gasoline, naphtha, kerosene, diesel oil, fuel oil, lubricating fraction and bitumen

First 20 Elements

Harry He Likes Beer Bottle Cold, Not Over Frothy. Nelly's Nanny Might, Although Silly Person, She Climbs Around Kinky Caves

Hydrogen Helium Lithium Berylium Boron Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen Fluorine Neon Sodium Magnesium Alumninum Silicon Phosphorus Sulfur C(h)lorine Argon (K)Potassium Calcium

IUPAC Prefixes

IUPAC prefixes for alkyls:

  • (methyl ethyl propyl butyl pentyl hexyl heptyl octyl nonyl decyl) (undecyl dodecyl)
  • Ma Eats Pot Brownies, Pa Has Hash Only, No Dope
  • [1]

Biology

Taxonomy Order

Order of taxonomy in biology:

  • (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species)
  • King Phillip Chose to Order Fish & Got Sick

Definition of Life

The six processes that define life:

My Really Hungry Grasshopper Refuses Neglect - Metabolism, Response, Homeostasis, Growth, Reproduction, Nutrition

Aesthetics

Elements of art:

Spaceships Fly Through Space Looking Very Cool - Space, Form, Texture, Shape, Line, Value, Color

Music

The notes represented by the lines on the treble clef stave (bottom to top):

  • (E, G, B, D, F)
  • Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge

And the notes represented by the spaces between the lines:

  • (F, A, C, E)
  • Furry Animals Cook Excellently


The notes represented by the lines on the bass clef stave (bottom to top):

  • (G, B, D, F, A)
  • Good Boys Dig Fine Apples

And the notes represented by the spaces between the lines:

  • (A, C, E, G)
  • All Cows Eat Grass


The order of sharps in music, called the "circle of fifths":

  • (F, C, G, D, A, E, B)
  • Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle

And in reverse for flat keys the mnemonic can be neatly reversed:

  • Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father


Geography

Great Lakes

Great Lakes:

  • (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Eerie, Superior)
  • HOMES

History/Military

Presidents

1-7:

  • Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Quincy Adams, Jackson
  • No mnemonic (it's easy to remember the first seven)

8-14:

  • (Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler, Polk, Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce)
  • Very Happy Turtles Prepare Themselves For Piercings
    • (just remember, Tyler came first - before Taylor)

15-21:

  • (Buchannan, Lincoln, Johnson, Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur)
  • Brave Little Johnny Grabbed Hold of Garfield's Assassin

22-28:

  • (Cleveland, Harrison, Cleveland, McKinley, Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson)
  • Clever Harry Chooses Mates Ready To Win

29-33:

  • (Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman)
  • Harding Comes Home Really Tired

33-42: These are all the post-WW II presidents...

  • (Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama)
  • you're on your own with the rest, because I know them all

Generals

Rankings of Generals:

  • Brigadier General (1 star), Major General (2 stars), Lieutenant General (3 stars), General (4 or 5 stars)
  • Be My Little General

Civil War

Civil War, 1861:

  • (Secession, Forts, Inauguration, Sumter, West Virginia, 1st Bull Run, McClellan Replaces McDowell, Blockade, Port Royal)
  • Snobby Fish In Sea Water Voice Brash Rectitude
  • Mens' Rogaine Makes Beards Pretty Ridiculous

Civil War, 1862

  • (War Order, McClellan Potomac, Monitor Vs. Merrimack, Shiloh, New Orleans, Peninsular Campaign, Stonewall Shenandoah, 2nd Bull Run, Pope, Antietam, Fredericksburg)
  • W O M P M V M S N O P C S S B R P A F

Civil War, 1863

  • (Emancipation Proclamation, Chancellorsville, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Knocksville)
  • E P C V G C C K

Civil War, 1864

  • (Wilderness Campaign, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Sherman Atlanta, March To Sea, Lincoln Re-election, Nashville)
  • W C S C H P S A M T S L R N

Civil War, 1865

  • (Sherman March Carolinas, Grant-Lee Richmond, Appomattox, Lincoln Assassination, Final Surrender)
  • S M C G L R A L A F S


Bible

Pentateuch:

  • God's Eternal Love Never Dies.
  • Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.

History:

  • Joshua Judges Ruth. Son 'a Sam Keeps Killing Career Criminals Every Nine Evenings.
  • Joshua, Judges, Ruth. 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther.

Wisdom:

  • Jesus Provides People Everlasting Strength.
  • Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song.

Prophets:

  • I Just Love Every Day.
  • Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel.

Twelve Apostles:

  • Remember your BAPTISM (BAPTJJJJJSSM, using the ancient Hebrew letter I in place of the modern J)
  • Bartholomew, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, James, John, James, Jude, Judas, Simon Peter, Simon, and Matthew

Seven deadly sins:

  • Sloth, Lust, Anger (wrath), Pride, Envy, Greed (avarice), Gluttony

Sign of the Cross:

  • Spectacles (forehead), testicles (stomach), wallet (left shoulder - as when a man's wallet would be carried in the left breast pocket of his jacket), and watch (right shoulder - as when a pocket watch was carried in the right vest pocket)

Diarrhea

To spell diarrhea: Dashing In A Rush, Running Harder (or) Else Accident!

References

Lists Useful for Generating Mnemonics

  • At Thesaurus.com, click on a letter under "Browse Dictionary", and you'll see a couple of different multi-word phrases; click on any grouping, and you'll see even more multi-word phrases: http://thesaurus.com/

Flags