What mneumonic visual/verbal devices do you use?

I was discussing with a friend various visual cues I use to remember things I’d otherwise have a hard time with. I’ll share mine, and if you have any share yours:

  1. Days in a Month. You can also use the knuckles of the four fingers of your hand and the spaces between them to remember the lengths of the months. [ignore your thumb, please.] First make a fist, then begin listing each month as you proceed across your hand. All months landing on a knuckle are 31 days long and those landing between them are not (it’s up to you to figure out February). When you reach the knuckle of your little finger (July, 31 days), go back to the first knuckle and continue with August (31 days.)"
  2. Left and Right. Hold your hands, palms outward from your face, backs facing you. Your left hands forefinger and thumb will form an “L”, meaning “Left”… process of elimination reveals which is the right. :wink:
  3. Turning of the screw… (not always true, but…) “Lefty’s Loosey, Righty’s Tighty.”

The only holdover from a college Human Anatomy class:

On Old Olympus Towering Top A Famous Vocal German Viewed Some Hops.

The twelve cranial nerves:

olfactory, optic, oculomotor, trochlear, trigeminal, abducens, facial, vestibulocochlear, glossopharyngeal, vagus, spinal accessory, hypoglossal
Handy ones I teach my students:

Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived (CAJACC)

Even Necker Liked Ice Cream, Didn’t he? (Estates General, National Assembly, Legislative Assembly, Insurrectionary Commune, Convention, Directory)

I’ve been studying for my medical technologist exam, and I have tons of these.

Which red cell antigens are enhanced by enzyme treatment? I think of a bad western whodunit movie: Lewis PI and the Rh Kidd.

How to tell Proteus vulgaris from Proteus mirabilis? Sticking things in is vulgar, so P. vulgaris is indole positive.

The choroacetate special stain is positive in neutrophils but not monocytes. Neutrophils are granulocytes - I think of chlorine granules for a swimming pool.

Desmin is a marker for cells derived from muscle, so I picture a big guy named Desmond lifting weights.

About 65% of cholesterol in the body is attached to a fatty acid in the blood stream, and 35% is free. So it’s like a sale, where you get 35% free. Because you’d never get 65% free!

It’s not mnemonics, really, but it’s silly stupid stories and visuals I create for myself to help remember tough stuff. And I honestly think that most of my knowledge is stored in this way.

Bad Boys Ravage Our Young Girls, But Violet Gives Willingly. Black brown red orange yellow green blue violet grey white.
(The color codes for electronic component numerical values.)
Eli the Ice man. (Voltage leads current in an inductor, Current leads voltage in a capacitor)


I sometimes recall the visual from Full Metal Jacket when reading discussions on firearms. Does that count?

that reminds me:
I say he’s the man who invented the rainbow because it helps figure out the color scheme -
Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet.

I was just coming in to post “Bad beer rots our young guts, but vodka goes well” and you beat me! :stuck_out_tongue:

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally is how I got thru algebra (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition and Subtraction, the order of operations.)

Oh, Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me! (star classification)

And there are tons of visualizations for remembering how to write kanji.

I don’t use mnemonics, but my friends in cell biology have taken to using “Before Sex Grab Lubricated Condoms” for the layers of the epidermis - basale, spinosum, granulosum, lucidum and corneum.

HOMES for the great lakes is another one. Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior.

I remember Leap Years because they’re in prez election years… extra day for the politicians to talk talk talk.

**Kings Play Chess On Fine Green Sand **
(for scientific classification: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species)

Mark Van Egan Made Jack Shut Up, Not Peter
(Solar system’s planets outward from the sun: Mars, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto)

I’ve also found the rhyming mnemonic used to memorize lists of 10 items or less to be incredibly useful. The mnemonic is one:bun, two:shoe, three:tree, four:door, five:hive, six:sticks, seven:heaven, eight:gate, nine:vine, ten:hen. For example, to memorize a grocery list of grapes, tomatoes, cheese, crackers and wine, you’d visualize grapes in a hotdog bun, tomatoes in a shoe, cheese hanging from a tree, crackers propping open a door, and bees enjoying a fine Chardonnay in their hive.

Never eat soggy wheat.

The points of of a compass - someone told me that in high school and it has stuck with me ever since.

A friend from Valparaiso Tech told me that one, but he added “Get Some Now” at the end. I forget what that stood for.

I kept turning on the garbage disposal, because I couldn’t remember which switch was the light over the sink. :smack: So, now it’s “righty-lighty.”

To remember which way to rotate the control rod to bring in sunlight through the blinds here by the computer, I think of screwing in a light bulb (for light) and unscrewing it (for darkness.)

I pronounce all the syllables in “vegetable” to remember how to spell it.

My friend a while ago a friend spelled definitely “definitaly”, so without tipping him off to what I was doing I asked him:
“Would you say the universe is infinite or finite?”
and he spent about five minutes explaining his theory on why he thought the universe was finite to which I simply said: “Now the next time you have to spell definitely, remember that you think the universe is finite and just add a de and a ly to the beginning and end.” He called me a dick but he says he’ll never forget how to spell it anymore.

I remember the musical staff mnemonics we used in early band class. For reference, here is a crude example of a treble staff.


Reading from the bottom up, the lines represent the notes E,G,B,D,F. We learned it as Every Good Boy Does Fine and Empty Garbage Before Dad Flips. Later on I heard some people used Every Good Boy Deserves Favor.
The spaces are the notes F, A, C, E, which, of course spells “face”.

Since I only used the treble clef, I never did learn what they use for the bass clef. Perhaps someone else can chime in with some examples.

I currently work as a travel agent. One of our training exercises was to memorize a series of three-letetr airport codes for certain US cities. Here are some of the mnemonics we used:

SMF (Sacremento)- “The smurfs live in Sacremento.” My version, however, was to connect Sacremento to the band Twisted Sister, who has a song called “S.M.F.”, which stands for “sick motherfucker.”

BNA (Nashville)- We thought of this as “fried banana sandwiches”, for which Elvis is famous for liking. (I know, I know, he was from Memphis, not Nashville).

SDF (Louisville, Kentucky)- “So damn fast”, as in the Kentucky Derby. Another, less flattering version was “Some Dumb Farmer”.

OGG (Maui)- “Oh, Good God, I get to go to Maui!”

CVG (Cinncinnati)- “That show, ‘WKRP in Cinncinnatti’, is Very Good.”

RSW (Fort Meyers, Florida)- They have Really Sunny Weather in Fort Meyers.

What I do is I have a small crew of interns. They have an armload of cue cards and a few color Sharpie markers. When I talk to a person and struggle with the name, my interns stand behind the person, scribble their name on the card and hold it up so I can see.

They’re much more helpful in the bedroom, you know. Getting towels, glasses of water…that sort after a romp.

When I first started working in 3D graphics packages, I tried to learn the different 3D coordinate systems according to the “left-hand” and “right-hand” specifications. (check out the cheesy illustration here )

The whole hand thing confused me more than the coordinate system itself though, so eventually I just figured it out by practice.

Creative and inspired kissing satisfies sensuous females more often.

For intermediates in the Krebs cycle.

I learned this one as Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain (or, an alternative, suggested by my Physics teacher, Roll Over You Great Big Innocent Virgin)