OT: Re: "mnemonic possession"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Oct 25 14:54:51 UTC 2013

On Oct 25, 2013, at 10:33 AM, Amy West wrote:

> As a former bio minor, I never used the King Philip phrase, and it never
> would have worked for me because it's so  nonsensiscal.

Well, as Ben suggested in the blog he linked to, http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/mnemonics-from-roy-g-biv-to-marys-violet-eyes/, you could always learn a mnemonic for the mnemonic.  As for the Great Lakes, I always preferred SHMOE to HOMES.  True, you have to remember to spell it without a C, but then you also have to remember the M in "mnemonic"--maybe there's a mnemonic for that.*  Other trivia can be found at the wiki-entry, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mnemonics.


*Another random fact about "mnemonics":  its first and second syllables are cognates (< zero- and O-grade ablaut variants of PIE *men); how many other words have that property, I wonder?

> It would have
> been much easier for me to just memorize the sequence of letters (which
> is what I did). At least the mnemonic for the visible light spectrum -
> Roy G. Biv - makes some sort of sense (a fake name). (Thanks to Arnold
> for clarifying what the King Philip phrase was: I was clueless!)
> ---Amy West
> On 10/25/13 12:01 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
>> On Oct 24, 2013, at 11:12 AM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>>> >On Oct 24, 2013, at 7:03 AM, "Joel S. Berson"<Berson at ATT.NET>  wrote:
>>> >
>>>> >>Woman in bed:  "I before E, except after C! Thirty days hath
>>>> >>September!  King Philip came over for good S-"
>>>> >>
>>>> >>Bedside visitor:  "Call the grammarians! She's having a mnemonic possession!"
>>> >
>>> >on my blog:
>>> >
>>> >http://arnoldzwicky.org/2013/10/23/remembering/
>>> >
>> Variant of the last one (on taxonomic classifications):
>> King Philip courted Ophelia for great sex.
>> I like the spaghetti version, though; you can't get really good spaghetti in Spain.
>> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list