mnemonic

mnemonic
mnemonically, adv.
/ni mon"ik/, adj.
1. assisting or intended to assist the memory.
2. pertaining to mnemonics or to memory.
n.
3. something intended to assist the memory, as a verse or formula.
4. Computers. a programming code that is easy to remember, as STO for "store."
[1745-55; < Gk mnemonikós of, relating to memory, equiv. to mnemon- (s. of mnémon) mindful + -ikos -IC]

* * *

▪ memory aid
      any device for aiding the memory. Named for Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory in Greek mythology, mnemonics are also called memoria technica. The principle is to create in the mind an artificial structure that incorporates unfamiliar ideas or, especially, a series of dissociated ideas that by themselves are difficult to remember. Ideally, the structure is designed so that its parts are mutually suggestive. Grouping items in rhymed (rhyme) verse has long been a popular mnemonic technique, from the “gender rhymes” of the Latin grammars to the verse for remembering the number of days in the months (“Thirty days hath September, April, June and November …”).

      Numerous attempts have been made to invent mnemonic systems—generalized codes to improve all-around capacity to remember. The Greek and Roman system of mnemonics was founded on the use of mental places and signs or pictures in terms of the location of the items of interest. The method combines a familiar structure (locus) and the item or thing to be remembered (res). This mnemonic method, which is referred to as loci et res, is an effective way to remember a series of items. The most usual method is to choose a large house, of which the rooms, walls, windows, decorations, and furniture are severally associated with certain names, phrases, events, or ideas by means of symbolic pictures; to recall these it is necessary only to search the rooms of the house mentally until the particular place is discovered where they had been deposited by the imagination. In accordance with this system, if it is desired to fix a historic date in the memory, it is localized in an imaginary town divided into a certain number of districts, each with 10 houses, each house with 10 rooms, and each room with 100 quadrates, or memory places, partly on the floor, partly on the four walls, and partly on the roof. By means of this system, the traditional date of the invention of printing in Europe (1440) could be fixed in the memory by mentally placing a book or some other symbol of printing in the 40th quadrate, or memory place, of the 4th room of the 1st house of the imaginary town.

      Scientific interest in mnemonics was heightened in 1968 when the renowned Soviet psychologist Aleksandr R. Luria wrote The Mind of a Mnemonist, which suggested that the field was worthy of deeper psychological study. Luria described a man with synesthesia who had a remarkable memory.

      Mnemonists use a variety of procedures to facilitate recall. One method, called linking, associates any pair of items—a pen and a chair, for example—and then links those items with a third, the chain proceeding indefinitely. Interaction, and not mere association, is necessary; one could imagine the pen writing on the chair. This method has proved effective with grammar-school children as well as with adults. Other methods include rhymes (“i before e, except after c”) or substitution (the name Tchaikovsky can become “chew-cow-ski”). One point stressed by mnemonists is that bizarre images can amplify the effectiveness of the memory aid.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • mnemonic — MNEMÓNIC adj. v. mnemotehnic. Trimis de siveco, 13.09.2007. Sursa: Sinonime  mnemónic adj. m., pl. mnemónici; f. sg. mnemónică, pl. mnemónice …   Dicționar Român

  • Mnemonic — Mne*mon ic (n[ e]*m[o^]n [i^]k), Mnemonical Mne*mon ic*al (n[ e]*m[o^]n [i^]*kal), a. [Gr. mnhmoniko s, fr. mnh mwn mindful, remembering, mnh mh memory, mna^sqai to think on, remember; akin to E. mind.] Assisting in memory; helping to remember;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mnemonic — n. 1. Something used to assist the memory, as an easily remembered acronym or verse. [WordNet 1.5] 2. An abbreviated word that resembles the full word, used so as to be easily recognized; as, the CIDE uses ... tags as mnemnonics for an italicised …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mnemonic — (englisch für „Gedächtnisstütze“ von griechischen mnēmoniká „Gedächtnis“, teilweise auch deutsch Mnemonik) steht allgemein für eine Merkhilfe, im Speziellen jedoch für: ein für den Menschen lesbares Kürzel für einen Befehl einer Assemblersprache… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • mnemonic — (adj.) aiding the memory, 1753, back formation from mnemonics, or from Gk. mnemonikos of or pertaining to memory, from mnemon (gen. mnemonos) remembering, mindful, from memne memory, a remembrance, record, an epitaph; memory as a mental faculty,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • mnemonic — pronounced ni mon ik, is a device, usually a rhyme or sequence of words, used to help remember some fact or group of facts, e.g. the initial letters of the mnemonic Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain give the order of the colours of the spectrum …   Modern English usage

  • mnemonic — [nē män′ik] adj. [Gr mnēmonikos < mnēmōn, mindful < mnasthai, to remember < IE base * men , to think > MIND] 1. helping, or meant to help, the memory [a mnemonic device] 2. of mnemonics or memory n. any of the formulas used in… …   English World dictionary

  • mnemonic — index reminder Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • mnemonic — ► NOUN ▪ a pattern of letters or words formulated as an aid to memory. ► ADJECTIVE 1) aiding or designed to aid the memory. 2) relating to the power of memory. ORIGIN from Greek mn m n mindful …   English terms dictionary

  • Mnemonic — For other uses, see Mnemonic (disambiguation). Not to be confused with pneumonic. Knuckle mnemonic for the number of days in each month of the Gregorian Calendar. Each projecting knuckle represents a 31 day month. A mnemonic ( …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”