Mnemonics keep tricky concepts in mind—and delight writers

You may not be called on to recite the spectrum of visible light or geological periods, but what wordsmith can resist wacky mnemonics like the one that begins, “Cows Often Sit Down Carefully…”?

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Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge

Or is it Fudge Does Every Boy Good?

Something like that.

Anyway, BuzzFeed recently reminded us—we’d forgotten—about the old art of mnemonics, or patterns of letters, ideas, or associations that aid in remembering concepts, be they the notes on the treble clef lines or the classification of the planets. (Oh, right: The notes are E, G, B, D, and F, making it Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge.)

The Buzzards trotted out some oldies, such as the musical notes, along with less familiar ones, at least to those of us who spent our youth feeding our arithmetic homework to the dog. Just so you know, Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally reminds one the order of operations: parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction. Whatever that is. (Also, arithmetic = A Rat In The House Might Eat The Ice Cream.)

BuzzFeed also served up these:

A hand gesture guaranteed to make you not only “the coolest kid ever to walk in a physics class,” but also the guy who remembers the rules of electromagnetics.

A trick for recalling multiples of 9 (except that it confused us).

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