A Public Service Announcement Concerning a Well Known Mnemonic

“Fifty Days Hath September, April, June and November” is not a line in a mnemonic poem.

No, really.

It’s TWO lines. That’s why the months are in such an otherwise-ridiculous order, so they can rhyme

If you’re not going to let them rhyme, you might as well just teach 'em the knuckle method and be done with it, rather than torment them with a completely random-looking set of months in a completely random-looking order

Fifty days hath September
April,June and November
All the rest have thirty-one
Excepting February alone*(ok those don’t rhyme any more, shaddup*
Which has twenty-eight days clear
And twenty-nine in each leap year

This public service announcement is dedicated to every primary school teacher I ever had, and also the teachers at the school I was sitting in this morning, who obviously don’t know it either

K thx bai

Fifty day months is going to make for a long year.

GAAH! Thirty! Thirty!

Ok, that’s it, I’m going to bed

Thirty days hath September.
All the rest I can’t remember.

Of course, the other problem is that September, October, November and December are not the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th months of the year. It’s just as well that Quintilis and Sextilis were renamed by the Romans after Julius Caesar and Augustus Caesar – otherwise we’d have six months named after Roman numbers, but in the wrong position.

When short February’s done,
All the rest have thirty-one.

I’ve never heard your version. It’s pretty weird, especially those last two lines.

funny how the summer months have no R’s in them?

Jazz musicians would be okay with that.

The one in the OP is the only one I’ve ever heard. Except that September has only 30 days, not 50. :smiley:

Which is why this “mnemonic” is useless to me.

Thirty days, hast December,
May, July, and November,

works just as well, fits the meter and the rhyme, and is wrong. In other words, to get the poem right, you have to know the right answer, anyway.

I learned the knuckle method by watching Lambchop. When I was twenty-one years old. I was like “Holy cats, that’s brilliant, Shari Lewis!”

In my defense, I was working for a PBS station when I saw it and not just sitting at home watching Lambchop.

Thirty days hath September,
April, June and Montana.
All the rest have cold weather
Except in the Summer, which isn’t very often.

I’m gonna bet that the extra 20 days in Aspidistra’s September are all weekdays too. Sheesh the boss is a jerk! :slight_smile:

I use the knuckle method (as shown by Jimmy Dodd on The Mickey Mouse Club.

[li]Make a fist.[/li][li]Touch your first knuckle (either direction)[/li][li]That’s January – a long month[/li][li]Touch the valley between knuckles[/li][li]That’s February – a short month[/li][li]Continue throuth July[/li][li]For August, touch the knuckle you started with[/li][li]Continue through December.[/li][/ol]
The knuckles are 31 days; the valleys are 30. February is sui generis, but you know it’s a short month.

A vapid blonde once asked me why February got the extra day in leap years. She wanted the extra day in the Summer when the weather was nice.

What, it’s not good enough for her that (in most areas of the United States anyway) every day in Summer is made an hour longer than normal (AND they put the extra hour in the daytime)?

(Corrected for slight error)

At this point, it’s worthwhile citing from Ambrose Bierce’s *The Devil’s Dictionary[/i:

I have never had a problem remembering the thirty days hath September bit. I think the knuckle method is silly. Of course, nowadays if kids want to know how many days a month has they tap the calendar icon on their phone.


I before E
except after C
Or when sounded like “A”
As in “neighbor” and “sleigh”
Or in certain other weird words!