Saturday, March 12, 2005

Mnemonics and creativity

I made up this mnemonic to help me remember Kipling's six "'honest serving men" (What, Who, When, Where, Why, How); as five of them start with 'W' I thought it would be easier if the mnemonic is based on the last letters of the W words.

Thus the mnemonic is:


The TONEY part is the last letter of the W words, so putting a W as a prefix should jog the memory:

W + T = What
W + O = Who
W + N = When
W + E = Where
W + Y = Why

and odd-man-out is H, which is for 'How'.

What other mnemonics linked to creativity are there, and what new ones could be made up? There is SCAMPERR but I think one is needed for the de Bono's 'Six Thinking Hats' - I'm always struggling to remember the function of each hat.


Eroteme said...

John, consider this. What if there was a program (I mean software) which given an input of N terms, creates a Mnemonic for a person? I am already working on the algorithm for it and I suppose it would help children in school and just about anyone who want to remember a list of items. We could also take the user's areas of interest (say, sports, or movies) and create a menmonic in that related area so that the person is easily able to remember. The base data source could be static or could pick information off the web in certain areas so as to create mnemonics pertaining to some hot news which usually tend to stay fresh in the mind. Lets add this to the Inventing and creativity blog. What say?

John's Ideas and Creativity said...

That's a brilliant idea. Perhaps you could submit that one to the GIB?

My favourite mnemonic is:

Most vicious elephants munch jam sandwiches under new pillows.

Obviously for the planets. Once heard never forgotten! :)

Munmun said...

Hey! I remember one for Planets too :-) Its 'Mary very early married john sitting under the neighbourhood porch'.
Mnemonics is a very interesting topic. Associating the things which we want to remember with figures and diagrams really helps. Like a movie reel or something.. Have been able to manage studies using this method, many, many times :-)