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  • Chris Davy

S is for...Silent M: Mnemonics


Is this stretching it a bit?


“This doesn’t start with an S, Chris...”


Maaaaaaaybe....but...language and communication has a many different elements and rules.


So, when you look at the word Mnemonics, whilst visually it starts with an M, those in the know, will know that it actually starts with a ‘silent M’. Soooooo, cognitively it actually starts with an S, ‘Silent M’. Because when you have the conversation with someone about what it starts with, that’s exactly what you are going to say.



*Points at word, 'mnemonics', on page*


“What does that start with?”


“M.”


“What, so I say it muh-nemonics? Or em-nemonics?


“No, it starts with a silent M.”


“Oooooh! Silent M.”


"Yes, it starts with silent M."


"Silent M you say?"


"Indeed, the M is silent."



But when you verbalise it, it sounds like it starts with an N.


Nemonics.


And whilst that looks like a word. As far as I’m aware, it isn’t anything. It’s just a bunch of letters stuck together. It has no recognised definition....YET. But, even if it is a word, it’s of no bloody use to me is it, because then it doesn’t fit into this system.


Mnemonics however, with a silent M, that is a word, and does have a definition and meaning. And being the crafty soul that I am, I can fit it into this system.


And it’s an important S to remember. Because mnemonics is essentially what this the S is for...Something System is, a mnemonic system. But the S is for System is like a banging simple and straight forward one. Because it's just about remember stuff that begins with the letter S.


Mnemonics is the study and development of systems improving and assisting the memory.


A lot of us have some sort of mnemonics that we use in our lives, or an example of it that we can think of.


They exist in music. Check out the way it is used to remember the lines and spaces on a musical stave.


I remember being at school with my friend Simon(I have a few friends called Simon, hmmmmm which one is it?) and in class we were asked to make up a mnemonic for remembering the order of the planets in the solar system.


Whilst it doesn’t strictly fit the rules, it’s funny and when used in conjunction with the rules of mnemonics it makes it easy to remember


My

Vet

Ernie

Might

Just

Sit

Undoing

Knitted

Pants


Mercury

Venus

Earth

Mars

Jupiter

Saturn

Uranus

Neptune

Pluto


I’ve remembered that for something like 20 years!!!!!! 20 fucking years!!!! P.s. I don’t give a shit if Pluto is a planet or not.


Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears - that is the strings on a guitar


Roy G. Biv - the colours of the rainbow


Pandas eat milk duds and skittles - that is the guide for the order in which to solve mathematical equations (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract.)


RAVEN = Remember, Affect = Verb, Effect = Noun


This next one is killer


Some Old Hippie

Caught A High

Tripping On Acid


Sine = Opposite/Hypotenuse

Cosine = Adjacent/Hypotenuse

Tangent = Opposite/Adjacent


The different relationships in trigonometric functions.


Stalagmites - stand with might from the ground

Stalactites - hang tight to the ceiling


Desserts = Stressed, that’s why you eat desserts when you are stressed


Never Eat Shredded Wheat - which I don’t really dig because I kind of like shredded wheat


I’ve just read Never Eat Soggy Waffles. Which yeah, that’s pretty sound advice. But that is a way of remembering North, East, South, West.


So there you have it, mnemonics, it’s one of the beautiful skills that a lot of us have but don’t use. Or we use but didn’t know what it was called. Well now you do.


To use it well, you might have to practise it a little bit, but technically doesn’t practise just mean use?


Plus, with the S is for Something System it’s not like you have to remember lots of things is it. Just look at the words beginning with S.


So there you have it. The S is for...Something System is a Mnemonic system. Mnemonics spelt with a silent M.


Something someone supposedly said


“Poetry is one of the oldest art forms, and one of its powers for shamans and tribal leaders was the mnemonic.” - Felix Dennis


Songs


How you remind me - Nickelback

You were always on my mind - B J Thomas

Thanks fr th Mmrs- Fall Out Boy

Memories - David Guetta

House of Memories - Panic! At the Disco

Remember the time - Michael Jackson

I Remember You - Skid Row

Summer of ‘69 - Bryan Adams