Mnemonic devices are techniques a person can use to help them improve their ability to remember something. In other words, it’s a memory technique to help your brain better encode and recall important information. It’s a simple shortcut that helps us associate the information we want to remember with an image, a sentence, or a word.
Mnemonic devices are very old, with some dating back to ancient Greek times. Virtually everybody uses them, even if they don’t know their name. It’s simply a way of memorizing information so that it “sticks” within our brain longer and can be recalled more easily in the future.
Popular mnemonic devices include:
The Method of Loci
The Method of Loci is a mnemonic device that dates back to Ancient Greek times, making it one of the oldest ways of memorizing we know of. Using the Method of Loci is easy. First, imagine a place with which you are familiar. For instance, if you use your house, the rooms in your house become the objects of information you need to memorize. Another example is to use the route to your work or school, with landmarks along the way becoming the information you need to memorize.
You go through a list of words or concepts needing memorization, and associate each word with one of your locations. You should go in order so that you will be able to retrieve all of the information in the future.
An acronym is a word formed from the first letters or groups of letters in a name or phrase. An acrostic is a series of lines from which particular letters (such as the first letters of all lines) from a word or phrase. These can be used as mnemonic devices by taking the first letters of words or names that need to be remembered and developing an acronym or acrostic.
For instance, in music, students must remember the order of notes so that they can identify and play the correct note while reading music. The notes of the treble staff are EGBDF. The common acrostic used for this are Every Good Boy Does Fine or Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. The notes on the bass staff are ACEG, which commonly translates into the acrostic All Cows Eat Grass.
A rhyme is a saying that has similar terminal sounds at the end of each line. Rhymes are easier to remember because they can be stored by acoustic encoding in our brains. For example: