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SMILE!Mind smile!

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory!
     - A. Schweitzer

Memory is the thing you forget with.
     - Alexander Chase

Memory itself is an internal rumour.
     - G. Santayana



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Memorizing Dates and Numbers

Mnemonic tricks (1)

Memory: memoria (It, Sp), mémoire (Fr), Gedächtnis (Ger), memória (Por), geheugen (Du), paměť (Cz), 記憶 (Ch, Jap), память (Ru), זיכרון (He), ذاكرة (Ar), स्मृति (Hi)

Brain Mind Memory  Do you have any trouble remembering dates, phone numbers, PIN's, social insurance numbers and so on? Don’t worry... From a practical perspective, we remember something best if we learn it in a context that we understand, or if it is emotionally important to us, or if we associate/connect it to another meaningful or predominant piece of information or fact. Motivation is also a powerful stimulus to memory effectiveness.

It is proven that we remember things by association: every piece of information in our memory is connected to other pieces in some way, our brain is not good at remembering long lists of unrelated numbers, arbitrary or nonsense words, or lengthy grocery lists.

We will teach you a simple 'association technique' to help you easily remember numbers. The average person can hold a set of about 7 digits in his/her working memory at any given time. However, thanks to the mnemonic method shown here you will memorize many more and keep them in your memory for a long time!

The Consonant System
There are a lot of different mind techniques to help you memorize numbers and dates quickly. One of the best, known as the "consonant system" (or "phonetic system"), involves associating numbers with letters.

Each number is assigned a consonant based on some kind of recognizable relationship between the two, for example:
0 = Z or S (Zero starts with Z)
1 = T or D (one downstroke)
2 = N (capital N rotated 90°-clockwise resembles the digit 2)
3 = M (capital M rotated 90°-clockwise resembles the digit 3)
4 = R (capital R looks like 4 backwards; R is also the last letter of FOUR)
5 = L (Roman Numeral for 50 is L)
6 = G (the digit 6 looks like a G)
7 = K or C (capital K contains two mirrored 7’s)
8 = F or B (cursive F and capital B look like a figure-8)
9 = P (capital P is a mirror-image of the digit 9)

You can associate any figure with any consonant, but the key is to memorize one letter for each digit. Since nouns and images are easier to remember than numbers, you must therefore convert each number or group of numbers into consonants, insert vowels, and form a word (or a short sentence) to be subsequently used to form an association.

So this is how it works:
Suppose you had to memorize that the astronomer Isaac Newton was born in 1643. To do this, you simply substitute the numbers for letters.
In this case: 1643 = DGRM = TGRM
DGRM or TGRM does not make any sense, so just add vowels between the consonants to make meaningful words and develop an amusing way to associate DGRM or TGRM with Newton. Use your imagination and try to make your word or sentence funny, impressive and/or outrageous (the more creative you use the letters, the better you will remember the date).
For example:
DoG-eaR Me: "dog-ear me!" says the page on Newton's biography.
To aGRee Me: "to agree me, you have to study Astronomy" suggested Newton to his scholarship...
TaG ouR aiM: the planets ask Newton "please, tag our aim on the wall of Science!".

You can also make words and phrases out of phone numbers.
After a short while this becomes automatic, and you will be surprised how easy it is to form memorable words out of seemingly random numbers.
For example:
31415926 (the first 8 digits of pi) = MTRTLPNG = "my turtle, Nog"
77133660 (a made up phone number) = CKDMMGGS = "cooked mom eggs"

Useful tool:
You can use this online crossword solver tool to help you form words out of a seemingly random string of consonants.

brain and gears Types of Memory

brain face More memory tips

Related external links:
- Memorization techniques.
- Memory toolbox.
- Mnemonic.
- Chunking.
- Boost Your Memory and Upgrade Your Smarts.

You're encouraged to expand and/or improve this article. Send your comments, feedback or suggestions to Gianni A. Sarcone. Thanks!


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