It’s the time of the year (to be exact, 2 a.m. Sunday March 12, in 2017) when we all spring our clocks forward one hour, and summarily gripe about losing an hour of sleep. The official term for it is daylight-saving time or daylight-savings time, but the easiest way we’ve found to keep DST straight is the helpful little expression “spring forward, fall back.”
Mnemonics (named after the Greek goddess of memory) are tricky little linguistic devices used to remember something, and great mnemonics never go out of fashion. Let’s take a look at a few.
Are These Lakes Great Or What?
From west to east, the lakes are Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario. They’re easier to remember with this phrase: Super Man Helps Every One. Or if you just want to remember them without regard to placement, try HOMES. Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. Whatever works!
Take Off, Eh?
A terrific mnemonic for remembering the Canadian provinces in order from west to east is BASMOQ. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec.
Treble Clef Musicians, Take Note
Notes on the lines of the treble clef are E, G, B, D, and F. Thus, we get the mnemonic Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. Favor also works for the F. The notes for the spaces are even easier: FACE.
All The President’s Men (On Mt. Rushmore)
Left to right on Mt. Rushmore, we see Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln. Why Just Remember Lincoln?
Remember having to learn the planets in order? Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Remember, Pluto got kicked out of the Planet Club. That leaves us with My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles. If Pluto had remained, it could’ve read My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles….Promptly.
Always Do What Worldly Nurse Says
There are seven continents: Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, South America, Antarctica, and North America. So, Always Eat An Apple Says A Nurse.
Oh, You Want To Coordinate Conjunctions, Do You?
Well then, you must be a fanboy (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet).
Color My World
If for some unfathomable reason you need to remember all the visible colors of the spectrum, there’s a mnemonic for it. R for red, O for orange, Y for yellow, G for green, B for blue, I for indigo and V for violet gets you: Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain. Another popular one is Roy G. Biv, which takes a lot less time to say.
When In Rome
Roman numerals are hard to remember unless you’re a Super Bowl nut or have a collection of old Chicago albums. Here’s a handy mnemonic. Since I stands for one, V stands for five, X stands for 10, L stands for 50, C stands for 100, D stands for 500, and M stands for 1000, you end up with: I Value Xylophones Like Cows Dig Milk.
A Mnemonic for Mnemonic
And finally, just because we can…mnemonic is an absolutely impossible word to spell. Voilà: Mary Never Expected Much Or Normally Included Cleo. You won’t find that one online, we just made it up since we’re the ones who can’t spell it. Do you have a better mnemonic for mnemonic? Tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook!