is copyright Michael Curtis 2010-2021. All Rights Reserved.

Benefits from Mnemonics


If you have read this course this far then you are probably thinking that there are too many mnemonic systems to learn. For instance, if there is a mnemonic image for every day of the year from January to December then are you really going to obtain the benefit from knowing that system? And the answer might be 'No'.

I think that the peg system idea of being able to recall notes in sequence is powerful for recalling exam essay material; and having an image of a 2 digit number to prompt recall of a year (within an essay answer) is very useful. And I think that an AA-ZZ memory system is useful so that prompts of revision notes can be prompted. Eg. WA to prompt recall of Waterloo.

But if many prompts are AA-ZZ images then they become less memorable, I think. If WA appears next to many peg location images then it may make it harder to be sure which 'Wa...' word it is referring to. And then a partial knowledge of a system that spells 3 letter prompts would be good to add variety to the visuals used to store notes.

Quite a big peg system for sequential memorisation of notes can be built from images of locations such as images of different types of theme (see the Town 100 article).

If you think of the systems that have 1000 or more people as peg systems then, initially, that may be the best reason to learn any of them. So, rather than using the 1000 Women images as mnemonics for learning text rote or for aiding revision of a foreign language, they might initially be learned to just be a sequential peg system: using people as the pegs rather than using locations as the pegs.

Although I made a 1000 action system, just knowing 10 actions would be nice. If you have 10 points to remember about something then you could memorise a person doing 10 actions: one action performed on one item that needs remembering. I think that would be useful.

Much of the rest of the material in the course is harder to argue the case for learning. For instance, loads of adults learn a new language through hard work and rote memorisation. Alternatively, after a significant amount of effort, an adult could know a mnemonic system which makes learning a language easier; but you could argue that the person would have learned the language anyway. I do like the idea though that a word in a language can have a person image that equates to one or just a few meanings. And the Male 1000 and Woman 1000 systems cover a lot of vocabulary. Visualising one of those people saying the foreign language word might be a great memory cue; or memorising the person in a story involving an image that spells the first few letters of the foreign language vocabulary - that could be very handy. The aim would be to, very soon, not need that visual story to be able to recall the foreign word: the visual story is just a 'stepping stone'; and you'd feel good that you are acquiring vocabulary without a lot of stress.