STEVEN VALDEZ provides his theory
Growing up in the West, the majority of my knowledge of U.S. Geography consisted only of what existed on this side of the Rocky Mountains. The Midwest and Eastern states all seemed to blend together in my mind and remembering which state was which was something I really struggled with.
Memory is directly tied to the ability to learn. If I study really hard and ace a test on the states, but two weeks later fail a pop quiz on the same material, then acing that test didn’t necessarily mean that I learned the material. Only that I crammed all that info into my head to hopefully be able to spit it back out at test time.
That’s where mnemonics come in. It’s a method of remembering certain things by tying them to something else easier to recall. For example, HOMES is a mnemonic device for remembering the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. So when it came time to study the states of the Northeastern Seaboard I made up my own.
“Many new hairstyles visit mass. Really incredible! Not just dull or messy.”
Starting at Maine and heading south to Maryland you have:
“Many (Maine) new (New) hairstyles (Hampshire) visit (Vermont) mass (Massachusetts). Really (Rhode) incredible (Island)! Not (New) just (Jersey) dull (Delaware) or messy (Maryland).”
For a time I couldn’t remember the difference between infer and imply. One refers to the person speaking and the other to the person listening. So I came up with a baseball analogy to help me remember:
“The pitcher implies. The fielder infers.”
Therefore, the one speaking implies and the one listening infers.
Mnemonics have been used from grade schools to Med Schools (I’m sure your doctor still remembers a few). I think this technique should be encouraged in children of all ages. It’s a fun, effective way to learn that will follow them throughout their lives.
TTFN (ta-ta for now).