1-1 All About Numbers

Goal:

To introduce you to five methods to memorize numbers.

  • Number-Shapes
  • Number-Rhyme
  • Letter assignment
  • The Major System
  • Dominic Method

If you would like to learn easy methods of remembering simple things such as telephone numbers, measures, PINs, or numerical passcodes, check out Number-Shapes or Number-Rhyme. They take just minutes to learn.

If you are a bit more serious and would like to memorize some dozens of digits, check out the Letter Assignment method.

If you would like to learn effective methods that allow you to memorize hundreds of digits, check out the Major System or the Dominic Method. Note: the Major System takes perhaps hours to master; the Dominic Method takes much, much longer.

______________________________________________________________________________

Numbers are intangible. As you have personally experienced in Memory Test: 2/2, memory by repetition is ineffective. In addition, memory by repetition only retains elements for a fleeting glimpse. The principle of effective number memorization is to transform numbers into images. If you have read About Your Memory, you should know that humans possess great visual and spatial memory. The five methods listed earlier all follow this principle. They are all but sets of rules that specify how different digits or groups of digits are transformed. They range in difficulty and effectiveness. I suggest you skim through this page and pick out what reads most suitable to you.

______________________________________________________________________________Number-Shapes

Preparation:

1. Write down the digits 0 to 9 on a piece of paper.

2. Beside each digit, write down the first images that a the digit’s shape brings to mind.

*I never used this method because I had tremendous difficulty associating the general shapes with distinct images. I would sometimes confuse 2 with 5 or 6 with 9. But that may not be the case for you; try it out!

3. Expand the list of images.

4. Familiarize yourself with the list.

How to use this method:

1. Transform a list of numbers into a set of images. (Use your list or refer to mine.)

-Visually

-Write down the images’ names

4. Use the Link Method to remember the images.

5. Anchor the link to a location that is relevant to the number. (For instance, your numerical computer passcode can be stored in your study.)

5. More advanced: store the now connected string of images in your Memory Palace.

Shape example:

1 – Baseball bat, Pen, Ruler, Pole, Billiard cue

2 – Swan, Shoe, Snake

3 – Handcuffs, Lips, Rock sign

4 – Flag, Sail, anything triangular

5 – Seahorse, Snake (Do not confuse 5 with 2)

6 – Golf club, Monocycle

7 – Axe, Boomerang

8 – Snow man, Egg timer, Bra, Scissors

9 – Ballon, String

(Some examples are borrowed from Dominic O’Brien’s book You Can Have an Amazing Memory)

In use:

74218

Boomerang, Sail, Snake, Pole, Handcuffs

Link method:

A ship with boomerang in place of its sail.

Snake is used instead of ropes to stabilize the sail.

Snakes climbing up a pole to reach their prey: a puffin.

A prisoner is tied, by handcuffs, to a flagpole. The flag is half staff.

Journey Method:

An angry Aboriginal warrior throws a boomerang at the sail of the white colonists’ ship. A witch summons an army of snakes using her magical flute. The army swarms all over the ship and climbs up the pole to claim its victory. The colonists surrender and are captured. Locked in handcuffs, they follow the Aboriginals in shame.

 _____________________________________________________________________________Number-Rhyme

Preparation:

1. Spell out the digits on a piece of paper.

2. Beside each word, generate a list of rhyming words. (a website that finds rhyming words: http://rhymebrain.com/en)

*Pick words that can be easily visualized. For instance, pick “sun” over “none”.

3. Familiarize yourself with the list.

How to use this method:

1. Transform a list of numbers into a set of images.

-Visually

-Write down the images’ names

4. Use the Link Method to remember the groups of images.

5. Anchor the link to a location that is relevant to the number. (For instance, your numerical computer passcode can be stored in your study.)

5. More advanced: store the now connected string of images in your Memory Palace.

Rhyme example:

One     –           Sun, Won, Gun

Two     –           Shoe, Chew, Drew

Three  –           Flee, Tree, Sea

Four    –           Shore, Store, Floor

Five     –           Hive, Dive, Revive

Six       –           Fix, Mix, Sticks

Seven  –           Heaven, Lesson, Aggression

Eight   –           Hate, Slate, Plate

Nine    –           Wine, Shine, Line

Zero    –           Hero, Pillow, Willow

In use:

97410

Wine, Heaven, Store, Sun, Willow

Link Method:

A wine bottle with wings and a golden ring above it.

A pharmaceutical store with a poster “we’ll get you higher than heaven.”

A store that sells sunshine.

Willow tree set aflame.

Journey Method:

A drinker’s soul (clinging to a wine bottle) ascends to heaven (wings). His habits unchanged, he finds a liquor store and enjoys peace under the sun in the shades of a willow tree.

 _____________________________________________________________________________ 

Letter Assignment

Preparation:

1. Write out the alphabet.

2. Starting with “A”, pair the letters with single-digit numbers.

3. Familiarize yourself with the associations.

Obviously 10 does not divide 26. Do whatever you want; you do not have to assign a number to every letter in the alphabet

How to use this method:

1. Transform groups of numbers (3,4,5; up to you) into a set of letters

-Visually

-On paper (Easier)

4. Substitute single letters or groups of letters into images. (*Do NOT add extra letters!)

5. Use the Link Method to remember the images.

5. Anchor the link to a location that is relevant to the number. (For instance, your numerical computer passcode can be stored in your study.)

5. More advanced: store the now connected string of images in your Memory Palace.

Assignment Example:

A 1
B 2
C 3
D 4
E 5
F 6
G 7
H 8
I 9
J 1
K 2
L 3
M 4
N 5
O 6
P 7
Q 8
R 9
S 0
T 0
U 0

In Use:

14159

AMANI

An Indian man

89793

HIPIL

A hip with disease

*I started with the Major System and moved on to the Dominic System. I find the Letter Assignment method extremely confusing. Pick what suits you best.

 _____________________________________________________________________________

The Major System:

Transform

91852719521639092112

Into

A Beautiful Naked Blond Jumps Up and Down

“The Major System (also called the phonetic number system, phonetic mnemonic system, or Herigone’s mnemonic system) is a mnemonic technique used to aid in memorizing numbers.

The system works by converting numbers into consonant sounds, then into words by adding vowels. The system works on the principle that images can be remembered more easily than numbers.”

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mnemonic_major_system)

 

Each digit (0,1,2,3…9) is associated with one or more consonants. The vowels and the letters h and y are unassigned.

Preparation:

1. Familiarize yourself with the following chart. (Learn it by heart.)

# Sounds Tips on remembering
0 z, s = soft c zero
1 t, d “t” and “d” both have one down stroke
2 n “n” has two down strokes
3 m, w “m” has three down strokes
4 r “r” is the last letter in “four”
5 l Open your fingers; your thumb and index finger form “L”
6 zh = soft g ( “gerund”) = j (jeep)ch (channel)sh (shrub)

th (thought)

6 and “j” are almost mirror images
7 k (kill) =  hard c (count)hard g (good) You can make K with two 7s
8 f = ph (philipines)v Handwritten f looks like an 8
9 p, b “p” is a mirror-image  of 9

0          –           Zoo, Ace,(remember vowels are not associated with any digits) Thigh, Sigh, Is, Was, As, His, South

Stuff = 018 (S D a PH)

1          –           Tool(15), The, Two, It, With, Two, Wit, Weight

2          –           In, On, An, When

3          –           Home, Him, Me, My, Theme

4          –           Are, Or, Her, Were

5          –           Hill, Will, While, Well

6          –           Which, Watch, Wish

7          –           Kill, Count, Good

8          –           Phone, Vaunt, Very,

9          –           Pub, Ball, Bean

***the words CONTAIN the digit beside it; they may include other digits as well

How to use this method:

1. Transform groups of numbers (2,3,4,5; up to you) into a set of sounds

-Mentally

-On paper (Easier)

2. Insert unassigned sounds (vowels, h, y) in between the phonetically associated sounds in order to make words.

3. Transform the words into a set of images

4. Use the Link Method to remember the images.

5. Anchor the link to a location that is relevant to the number. (For instance, your numerical computer passcode can be stored in your study.)

5. More advanced: store the now connected string of images in your Memory Palace.

***If you speak with an accent, use whatever pronunciation YOU are comfortable with; the sounds only have to work for YOU. So you may use words which you do not know how to pronounce; just come up with a sensible guess.

In Use:

91852719521639092112

A Beautiful Naked Blond Jumps Up and Down

See how easily this can be pictured?

How to Practice:

Make it a habit to transform words that you see into digits. This exercise familiarizes you with the assigned sounds of each digit.

______________________________________________________________________________

The Dominic System:

See Dominic System.

Basic Premise:

Each digit is assigned a letter.

Every two-digit number is associated with a person whose initials are represented by the digits. (if 2=B and 7=G, then 27=Bill Gates)

Every 2 consecutive digits (No overlapping as in the link method) are transformed into the image of a person.

These images are connected by a story.

The story is placed in a Memory Palace.

Expansion on the Dominic Method

See PAO System.

Basic Premise:

The people whom 2-digit numbers are associated with are assigned actions and objects, which are unique.

918294 Translates into ONE image: Person (91) doing Something (82) with Object (94)

These images are placed in a Memory Palace.

In Use:

See Domonic System.

______________________________________________________________________________Click here to go back to the Contents page.

2 thoughts on “1-1 All About Numbers

  1. Pingback: Update. | Memory Excursion

  2. Pingback: 02 Sept 2012 Notice | Jiming's Memory Excursion

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