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abstract and do not generally carry as much meaning for us as do words. They are
therefore much more difficult to remember unless you find numbers fascinating.
There are however many different ways of making them more memorable
Break up long numbers into
shorter and more easily remembered sections, 2 or 3 digits only or as many as you find
Arrange numbers in ways that
you are already familiar with e.g. if you like running or some other activity
involving numbers, try to arrange the numbers to be remembered in similar groupings.
Patterns and other meanings
can often be found in numbers by using a little ingenuity. There may be a familiar
date or house number or perhaps the number of a car we used to own. It is surprising
how often it is possible to find something of this sort on which to base a memory.
There may be a number sequence to be noticed, or a backwards sequence, an all
odd or even telephone number, or one in which a small number crops up again as a multiple.
e.g. 268 2, 6
(3x2), 8 (4x2).
Use the different senses.
Say the number out loud to yourself and listen to yourself saying
it. Listen to the owner of the number saying it to you when he/she answers
the phone, and remember how it sounded.
Write the number down and have a good look at it, see the shape and try to
memorise how it looked.
Car registration numbers and letters.
It can become quite a private game to find ever more bizarre and memorable ways of
remembering these. If you are the sort of person who does not usually use bad
language in your everyday life, it certainly makes letters more memorable if you remember
them as words you never normally use.
e.g A 123 BMT could be A 123 Bloody Mary Tudor
Peg Word System. If you
are only going to learn one system for memorising things and want it to be a simple but
effective one, then you probably can't beat the Peg Word System.
It is based on the old nursery rhyme, 'One two, buckle my shoe, three four, open
the door' etc.
All the numbers have been given a symbol as follows
One is a Bun
Two is a Shoe
Three is a Tree
Four is a Door
Five is a Hive (the old fashioned straw skep type)
Six is Sticks
Seven is Heaven (Make your own image)
Eight is a Gate
Nine is Wine (in a bottle)
Ten is a Hen
Zero is a Hero (Tarzan or whoever you like)
Learn the items thoroughly before attempting to use the system.
Then when you have them in your mind, make a mental picture of the first item on
your list associated very strongly with a bun. For instance, if the item to be
remembered was a wristwatch you had to collect from the menders, you could have a picture
in your mind of a bun wearing your watch round it.
If the second item was a hockey stick, you could think of a shoe with a hockey
stick in it instead of a leg.
The system may sound ridiculous, but it really works, which is all that matters.
Give it a try.
If you like making up stories, then you may prefer this method of remembering
This can be used for a list of any length, and involves the items to be remembered
being incorporated into a story, which is then run through in your mind when you need to
recall the items.
Loci is the Latin word for places, and this system was first used by the Greek
orator Simonides. On one occasion the great man had just left a banquet when the
building was razed to the ground and all the diners were killed. No-one really knew
who had been at the dinner, but Simonides was able to recall them all by seeing the scene
in his mind's eye and recalling where each diner had been sitting.
In the modern version, you select a room of your house and decide which of its
features you are going to use for your 'game' and in what order you will approach them.
As you look at the items to be remembered you mentally 'place' each one in one of
the allotted places in your room. Really see the tin of dogfood
sitting on the piano keys and the cabbage in the fireplace. Then when you are in the
High Street, all you have to do is to take a mental walk round your room and see the
extraordinary placing of the required objects.
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