“Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest have 31,
Except for February all alone,
It has 28 each year,'
but 29 each leap year.”
All of us have at some point or another memorised this rhyme. Or at least, those of us who do not have good memory have!
This is a technique that uses different means for remembering something which can retain the memory better than the ways that are normally applied. Like, for example, you can remember far more easily the number of days in the months of the year using this rhyme mentioned above.
By the way, this not-really-normal-looking word sounds like “nay-maw-nick”. The first “m” is silent here. This word comes from “mnēmonikos”, meaning "of memory, or relating to memory". This also is connected to the Greek goddess of memory, Mnemosyne. So, you can easily see, this word has always had serious business concerning memory or remembering things. (By the way, wise people before had no creativity, don’t you think? The words didn’t even change a bit from Greek to English!)
Mnemonic techniques have long been used to memorise things easily, and quickly.
The Roman numerals, for example, can sometimes be a little confusing. The letters “L”, “C”, “D” and “M” respectively representing the numbers 50, 100, 500 and 1000 can be remembered using this funny mnemonic:
Lazy Cats Don't Move
Remembering the definitions of trigonometric functions is a nightmare to a lot of students. In this case, this sentence can be put into use:
Some People Have Curly Brown Hair Turned Permanently Black
sine = perpendicular/hypotenuse
cosine = base/hypotenuse
tangent = perpendicular/base
Besides these, there are innumerable other examples of usages of mnemonic techniques.
Some of the most common examples are given here:
- In order to remember hard or confusing spellings:
- Do not believe a lie.
- A secretary must keep a secret.
- When Friday ends, you go out with your friends.
- Some more reverse-acronyms:
Dashing In A Rush, Running Harder (or) Else Accident!
A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream
Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants
George's Elderly Old Grandfather Rode A Pig Home Yesterday
- And again, to keep track of units of measurements:
King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk
(kilo-, hecto-, deca-, unit, deci-, centi-, milli-, in descending order of magnitude)