101. Memory Techniques


There are many memory aiding techniques to help us remember lists, speeches and other unrelated but important information. The secret lies in making useful connection between the unconnected information to be remembered.

Musicians remember telephone numbers as a tune, by allotting each of the numbers its position in the musical scale! Ordinary people can employ several other methods equally efficiently.

An “Acronym” can be formed using a letter from each of the words to be remembered. The most famous acronym is the VIBGYOR, the colour in a rainbow from the lowest to the topmost. BRASS is the secret of good shooting. It means Breathe, Relax, Aim, Sight and Squeeze.

“Acrostic” is an invented sentence where the first few letters of each word is a cue to the idea to be remembered. The famous calendar acrostic goes thus:-
Janet was quite ill one day,
Febrile trouble came her way:
Martyr like she lay in bed,
Aproned nurses softly sped;
May be, said the leech judicial,
Junket would be beneficial;
The first three letters in each line was from the names of a calendar month.

“Rhyme-Key” method involves creating a key word and associating ideas with it. “One” rhymes with “bun” and can be associated with all bakery products. “Two” rhymes with “shoe” and can be used to remember things with legs. “Three” rhymes with “tree” and can be used for remembering fruits from trees.

“Image Name” technique involves relating the name to the physical appearance of the person. “Shirley Temple” has “Curly hair” around her “temple”.

“Loci Method” involves pinning down the facts on to the familiar settings like one’s own home. Each idea is attached to a room and as we take a mental tour in the house the ideas attached emerge in our memory.

Most things can be easily remembered and used to astonish our circle of friends, by successfully employing the most suitable memory technique.

Visalakshi Ramani

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