is copyright Michael Curtis 2010-2022. All Rights Reserved.

40 by 40 Images


After making the 'Eleven Behaviour Scenes' article, I was trying to learn some foreign vocabulary, rote, and I thought how useful it would be to have an image which represents the final two letters of a foreign word.

The language I am looking at has a Roman alphabet but a lot of accents which greatly change the pronunciation of the letters. I considered a 40 by 40 letter system where the 40 letters are A throught to Z (26 letters) and then, potentially, 14 extra letters. So all 40 by 40 letter pairs would need 1600 visuals.

One idea I had was to make a visual by using 320 icon images: if each icon image is used in 5 scenes then 40 x 40 = 1600 scenes get made.

I was thinking that I could start at AA, and use an icon from the 'Eleven Behaviour Scenes' article in 5 visuals: AA, AB, AC, AD, AE. The icon would not be positioned above the item needing memorisation; instead, the icon would be at floor level and on the left hand side.

Then the same icon in visual AB will use a different fill colour based on numbers 11 to 20 from the article about enumerating colours. I would use the same icon for AA, AB, AC, AD and AE; but AF would be the next icon on the list. Each icon will use a fill colour from 11 to 20; and the scene will always have a white background.

In another article, I explored how a story involving a person doing an action to a person can represent the spelling of a foreign word (well, the first syllables of the foreign word). By imagining that happening within the icon scene, the spelling of the word ending is represented as well.

I also think that this approach would make a good peg system in general.

As a quick way to generate icons for 301 to 320, I will re-use some of my 'memory road' icons. Memory Road Icons and More icons

Maybe the scenes would be more distinctive if the icons each sit on a terrain. To try out that idea, I have made a list of 26 terrains which are used on a rotation pattern: scene 1 uses terrain 1 and, 26 scenes later, scene 27 uses the same terrain as scene 1 did, etc..

The terrains are:

Brick wall




Flower bed


Ice blocks

Jewel goblets

Low fog

Low hedge

Low rocks


Sand dune


Stones pile

Straw bales

Tall meadow

Thin grass on mud


Treasure pile

Tree canopy

Tree stumps

Volcanic lava

Water waves

Wire fence

Wood slats