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Welcome to Wiser Now’s weekly email blast which reflects our eclectic interests and, we hope, yours. This week, our focus is on Mnemonic Month, because it’s an amazingly broad and definitely quirky topic. Side note: Did you know that M is always silent before N and always pronounced before B (climb, lamb, numb), which is then silent? (See Kiosk of Resources) But as far as I can tell, silent letters serve no purpose beyond messing with our minds, which is what this issue aims to do. For example: Which letter is silent in the word "Scent," the S or the C?

We hope you are finding these offerings fun and maybe even useful. We welcome your feedback. (Kathy@WiserNow.com) And if you haven’t yet pressed the subscribe button so this newsletter doesn’t go to spam, please do so now.

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The Quirky Quote

Never memorize something you can look up. ~ Albert Einstein
 

The Featured Product

Albert Einstein aside, those of us who are not geniuses need every bit of help we can get to work effectively and efficiently. Mnemonics can help, but even better is our Time Management Zoom Webinar, downloadable at any time and available with 2 CEU credits for activity professionals from NCCAP. Click here to learn all about this jam-packed product.
 

The Quirky Fact
As struggling elementary school spellers, most of us learned the mnemonic “i before e except after c” but it is one English rule that seems to be more often false than true, as these examples show:

-- Except when your feisty foreign neighbor Keith leisurely receives eight beige counterfeit sleighs from caffeinated vein-bulging weightlifters.

-- or when your conceited ancient atheist sovereign sends eighty heifers to his heirs.

-- or when the unveiled geisha of unusual height was seized with laughter viewing her kaleidoscope. Weird.

Because of all those exceptions, there is a second line to the mnemonic: “When it sounds like ee,” but the above examples show there are still anomalies. How does anyone learn to spell English?


The Shameless Request
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Counting on Your Fingers: Two Bonus Mnemonics
Days in the months: If like me you never could remember that poem about “30 days hath September,” here’s an alternative. Put your fists together, and name the months left to right. All your knuckles will have 31 days, and the valleys between, 30 – with the exception of February, which we presume you can remember.

Multiplying by 9s. Begin by holding out both hands with all fingers stretched out. Now count left to right the number of fingers that indicates the multiple. For example, to figure 9 × 4, count four fingers from the left, ending at your left-hand index finger. Bend this finger down and count the remaining fingers. Fingers to the left of the bent finger represent tens, fingers to the right are ones. There are three fingers to the left and six to the right, which indicates 9 × 4 = 36. This works for 9 × 1 up through 9 × 10.


The Quiz
According to Wikipedia, mnemonics serve as memory devices or learning techniques that help us memorize and retain information. Generally, the first letter of each word in a mnemonic phrase stands for the first letter of the word it's replacing. Following is a quiz made up of sentences aimed at helping you remember common information. We hope you enjoy learning what you can’t guess.

Can you match the sentence to the information it’s related to?
  1. Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain
  2. My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles.
  3. Super Man Helps Every One.
  4. Will A Jolly Man Make A Jolly Visitor?
  5. When Jeff Left Home, Jack Got Fat.
  6. Every Good Boy Does Fine.
  7. Memory Needs Every Method Of Nurturing Its Capacity
 
  1. money
  2. music
  3. colors
  4. U.S. presidents
  5. spelling
  6. outer space
  7. Great Lakes
Answers at the end of this document.
 

The Question
Related to mnemonics in which one word stands for another are acronyms, in which each letter stands for a word. You can make up your own as my friend Sporty King does constantly, or find a variety online to suit you. We’ve shown an example at right. Do you have others? Share them with me at Kathy@WiserNow.com and with your family and friends.


The Kiosk of Resources
  • And there are loads of music mnemonics. Here’s a link to Sound of Music’s “Do-Re-Mi.”
  • As always, check out www.WiserNow.com.
 

Answers to the quiz:

1. c. The order of the colors of the rainbow (or spectrum): red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. An alternative is “Roy G. Biv” but I find both hard to remember. Can you come up with something better?
2. f. outer space: The order of the planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. You can also substitute nachos for noodles, and until Pluto was demoted, mother served us nine pies.
3. g. Great Lakes: This is the order (west to east) of the Great Lakes: Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario. The more common mnemonic is really an acronym – HOMES – which stands for the same lakes but not in geographical order.
4. d. This is the order of the first eight U.S. Presidents: Washington, , Adams (John),  Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Adams (John Quincy), Jackson, Van Buren
5. a. The order of the persons displayed on U.S. dollars: $1 = Washington; $2 = Jefferson; $5 = Lincoln; $10 = Hamilton; $20 = Jackson; $50 = Grant; $100 = Franklin
6. b. One of many music references we could have chosen. The notes on the lines of the treble clef – E, G, B, D, F. Some say “deserves favor” for the last two notes.
7. e. spelling. It’s a mnemonic for learning how to spell mnemonic!
 

Our multiple goals are to amuse and inspire you, to share what we and people whom we admire are doing, to stimulate your curiosity and spur you to action. We hope you enjoyed this offering. You can access previous issues here. We welcome your feedback. (Kathy@WiserNow.com)
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