[Ads-l] banana

Bill Mullins amcombill at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 2 04:47:10 UTC 2019

>  still it's inarguably a terrible phrase and indefensible. 

It absolutely is a terrible phrase, one I'd never repeat except in very specific contexts (like this).  But it also is quite defensible:  It works.  Over the years, I've heard many of the "clean" ones Garson quoted, and I can't remember them for five minutes.  But I could open a transistor radio right now and read off the values of the resistors in it.  (and if one of the colors was fuchsia, you can easily guess what word would represent it).

My son is in 7th grade, and last year he learned his first two mnemonics (not obscene, but it's coming later, I'm sure):  HOMES for the great lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior) and Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally for the order of operations in arithmetic/algebra (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication/Division, Addition/Subtraction)

Mnemonics are great. 
Chief Sohcahtoa of the Trigonometry Tribe
My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas (and if you think that she actually Served Us Nachos because Pluto isn't a planet, I don't want to know you)
Now I need a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (I use the UK spelling here since I learned this not in music class, but from the Moody Blues album)
Eight kings threatened to save ninety-five ladies for one sick knave.

I didn't learn "Roy G. Biv" until I was in high school or so.  To learn the rainbow colors, I had the other standard memory aid:  music.  In 3rd grade our school had these albums:

and I learned the colors (in opposite order from Roy G. Biv) from the song on the 2nd album (Experiment Songs) called "How Many Colors are in the Rainbow?"  You can click through to the Amazon page for ordering the discs, and play the songs.

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

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