By Jason Tanamor
""I" before "E" except after "C.""
"If you double the "C" and double the "S," then you'll have success."
"Every Good Boy Does Fine and FACE."
Remember these? Of course you do, that's what they're intended to do. For those of you who don't know, these are mnemonic devices. Mnemonic, as defined by the dictionary means: To assist the memory. It's not to be confused with bubonic (as in the plague), moronic (as in the show "Amazing Race") or even ebonic (something my nephew has developed: "Israel - Is that Rolex fake? No, Israel.").
Mnemonic devices aid with a person's memory. If a person can't remember the Great Lakes, something that I'm asked to name everyday (severe rolling of the eyes), then a person can easily recall the word HOMES, for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and... what was it again?
Supposedly, a mnemonic device helps you remember something by remembering something, as in the aforementioned example with HOMES. Hmm...
Now, let me get this straight. If I have trouble remembering the Great Lakes, by incorporating a mnemonic device, I'll be able to remember the Great Lakes simply by remembering something to remember the Great Lakes.
By doing this, I'll have to remember TWO things now. If I have trouble remembering the ONE thing, how in the world will remembering TWO things be easier?
I personally don't use mnemonic devices. I'd rather take my chances remembering the Great Lakes than trying to remember a word like HOMES because then I wouldn't have to remember two things. I'd only have to recall one. By using such devices, a person may be forced to remember a THIRD thing in order to recall the SECOND thing so that he or she can remember the FIRST thing, such as the Great Lakes - Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and... what was it again?
Pretty soon, when HOMES becomes forgetful, people will be forced to remember something to jolt their memory for the word HOMES, such as PLACE OF RESIDENCE. And when that fails, a person will have to remember something to remember PLACE OF RESIDENCE, something like MORTGAGE. And when MORTGAGE is of no help to you, you'll be forced to remember something to remember MORTGAGE, such as $825 A MONTH.
And on and on until a person has a memory that includes: ANTS - ANT HILLS - PYRAMIDS - GAME SHOW - WHAT IS JEOPARDY? - THE ANSWER, WHEN YOU ARE LATE ON YOUR MORTGAGE. - PLACE OF RESIDENCE - HAS A TWO CAR GARAGE - ONE AND A HALF BATHS - THE PREVIOUS OWNERS WERE CRAZY - THE LAWN HAS ASTROTURF - WHERE ARE THE POTATO SACKS? - SOMEONE CLOSE THE PATIO DOOR - BUILT IN THE 1950s - I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS OURS - AHH - HOME SWEET HOME - WHAT, YOU’RE TAKING MY FUCKING HOME? - HOMES.
Then, when a person is asked to recall the Great Lakes (something that I am asked everyday - severe rolling of the eyes), he or she can ramble off the mnemonic device just to remember that they are Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and - and - Superior.
Now, you'll be able to remember that, won't you?
Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jason Tanamor