Memorization Techniques - Word-substitution, Loci, and the Major System

in memorize •  23 days ago

We remember things as stories, made of images and sounds. So to memorize something, have all the items you want to remember interact (Change or effect) with each other in some way. These stories don't need to make sense or be realistic. For more abstract information (eg. Names, Instructions, Definitions) you can use objects that share certain characteristics with the material your learning.

All memory techniques are about making stories or the different things you can add to them.

Sound-alike (Word Substitution)

Use words that sounds similar to the object or persons name. You can also break these up into several words. This is good for long or unfamiliar words such as foreign languages.

Rapacity: Greedy actions
Wrap-a-city (To wrap a city up in a box)

Unscrupulous: Not honest or trustworthy
Un-screw-pour-less (Unscrew a bottle and pour less)

Beersheba and Gezer: Ancient cities in the Palestine region.
An old man (Geezer) gives Beer to a Shiba (A breed of dog native to Japan)

The speed at which you can memorize depends on how fast you can link images together. One website that can help you find similar sounding words, is called the Rhyme Zone


Place the items in your story at a location or landmark that your familiar with, be it real or imaginary. You can also plan-out a path or Journey where you visit each item along the way. This is for when the 'order' of what comes next is important.

Another way of maintaining an ordered list, is to use what's called a
Chain Train. This is when each item is paired with another to make several short stories. While separate from each other, they are connected by having the same object be used as the ending of one story, but also as the beginning of the next. This way, each item is used twice. Except for the first and last items on the Chain.

  1. Oyster
  2. Apollo: A team of Oyster's are playing water-polo (Apollo)
  3. Moon: You can see the silhouette of Apollo's chariot flying across the Moon
  4. Seahorse: The crescent Moon has a Seahorse holding onto it with it's tail

The Major System

This is when you associate a number with a sound, or more specifically, a Constant. This is a complete or partial closure of the vocal tract (Pronounced with the lips; front of the tongue; or back of the tongue). In this system, the vowel sounds (A, E, I, O, U, as well as W, H, Y, X) do not represent a number. A good way to remember the Vowel sounds is with the sentence “A, E, I - Owe - You ”.

For example, take the word BoSS

0Z, S, soft-CZ is for Zero
1T, D, and ThThese letters have one down-stroke
2NThis letter has two down-strokes
3MThis letter has three down-strokes. The letter M also looks like a sideways 3.
4RImagine the number 4 and R glued together. R is also the 4th letter of number four.
5LThe number 5 is wobbly and stands up by resting on an L-shaped bookend. L is also the Roman numeral for 50
6J, soft-G, Ch, ShThe letter J can sound a lot like a soft-G (giant, gym, gentle). Number 6 is similar to 'Java Script' (Script rhymes with 6). Number 6 is Chatting and “J” needs to Shush them.
7K, hard-G, hard-C, and QLooks like two horizontal 7’s.
8F, VThe letter F in the Fairy style Ꭶ looks like an 8, as does. Tightening the bottom-lip turns it into a V sound.
9P, BP and 9 both have a single loop in them. Adding anther loop makes it a capital B

After applying this Code, the word BoSS translates to the number 90

Note that the method focuses on the Sound of a word, not it's spelling.
Therefore, double letters (SS) are treated as one number.

These websites automatically find words for specific numbers:

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