You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!
Once mastered, the Phonetic Mnemonic System is great for remembering things. It can be used exactly like the Link, Loci, or Peg systems to form visual associations. These associations work like a mental filing system for the information that you want to learn.
Additionally, it can be used with great success to remember numbers. We have already seen how you can use pegwords to remember numbers, and the phonetic system works in a similar way. It can actually be more efficient since a word can represent more than one digit.
Suppose that you are trying to remember the telephone number 756-1286. Using the phonetic system, we know that this number can be represented by the sounds c+l+ch + t+n+f+sh which you could remember by the words "clutch tuna fish." Similarly, you could remember the first few letters of pi (3.14159265) with the phrase "Mother day will buy any shawl."
Here are some words for the first 100 numbers in the Phonetic Mnemonic System. You don't necessarily need to memorize these, but if you plan to use the phonetic system, it would be a good idea to review them and practice making words from numbers and vice versa.
Here are some tips on making keywords using the Phonetic Mnemonic System. We have already explained how each digit has an associated sound and that these sounds can be constructed into words. The key here is that each digit has a sound, not a letter.
When a single sound is created with two letters, we only count it once. For example, 'toll' is 15 not 155 and 'tack' is 17 not 177.
When a repeated letter makes two different sounds, then it is counted. For example, 'accept' is 7091.
Silent letters are always ignored. For example dumb is 13 and knee is 2.
The Phonetic mnemonic system is similar to the Peg system in that it uses words to represent numbers so that you can recall items non-sequentially. It is more difficult to learn than the Peg system, but once mastered, it will allow you to remember much longer lists (the Peg system has difficulty for numbers over 20).
Whereas the Peg system translates numbers into words by using rhymes, the Phonetic system uses sounds. Each digit from 0-9 is represented by a unique sound.
0 -- z, s
1 -- t, d, th
2 -- n
3 -- m
4 -- r
5 -- l
6 -- j, sh, ch, soft g
7 -- k, q, hard c, hard g
8 -- f, v
9 -- p, b
You can then translate numbers into words by combining these sounds. Notice how only consonant sounds are used. Any non-used sounds (including all the vowels) are irrelevant. They are simply there to help construct the word. For example, the number 29 might be represented by the word 'nap' (n=2 and 9=p). The number 99 could be represented by 'puppy', 'papa,' or 'baby.' You can use the word 'tie' for the number 1.
Use these constructed keywords to make your visual associations and you will be able to recall items in any order.
We learned in Types of Forgetting that interference with other memories is one way that we forget information. Mnemonics such as the Peg and Loci systems rely on pre-memorized cues. As a result, interference can occur when you use the same cues to remember different lists. Typically, the new list will weaken the memory of the older list.
There are two ways to get around this. First, you could construct multiple sets of locations for the Loci system, and multiple sets of pegwords for the Peg system. Use the different sets for different types of memory tasks and you will reduce interference.
Another way to get around this is a technique called "Progressive Elaboration." This involves the modification of your visualization to incorporate multiple items (one from each list). For example, let's say that you are already using the Loci system to link your front door to a zebra. Now you want to use the Loci system to also remember an ice cream cone. With progressive elaboration, you would incorporate all the items into one visualization (the front door with the zebra with the ice cream cone). Now you can remember multiple lists using the same loci or pegwords.