BUILDYOURMEMORY.COM / A mnemonics and memory improvement resource
Mnemonics and memory / Build Your Memory
roman room statue

How memory operates
Why we forget
Observation and memory
Using mnemonics to link together memories
Mnemonics to master a foreign language
Mnemonics to remember numbers - The number/rhyme system
Mnemonics to remember your dreams
Advanced number mnemonics - Pegging
Mnemonics for quotations
Mnemonics to remember abstract symbols and letters
The Roman Room or journey system
Mnemonics to remember names and faces
Mnemonics for rememberring appointments - The Mental Diary
How to combine the systems - The Mental Database

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How to remember abstract symbols and letters

Mastering a system that enables you to commit to memory abstract symbols and letters, is a very useful piece of knowledge indeed to have.
For example you could use such a system to memorise mathematical and scientific formulae, equations, stock symbols. In fact anything at all – from licence plates to chemical nomenclature.

In this section, I will endeavour to outline two distinct systems. One system for aiding you in the recollection of letters – ‘The Alphabet System’ – and one more that may be used for the recollection of mathematical symbols – ‘The Picture/Symbol System.’ Both of these systems are relatively easy to learn. So without further delay, here they are.

The alphabet system

All that you need to do to memorise abstract letters, is to transform the abstract into the non-abstract. This is done by providing each of the letters of the alphabet, with its own easily visualisable image.

I have listed the alphabet images that I personally prefer to use below. These are:

The Alphabet System

A – HayK – KissU – Yew tree
B – BeeL – ElephantV – Vine
C – SeaM – HemW – Wheel
D – DishN – HenX – Eggs
E – EagleO – HoseY – Wine
F – FrogP – PeaZ – Zebra
G – JeansQ – Cue
H – AgeR – Art
I – EyeS – Ass
J – JailT – Tea

Now there are a number of methods that may be employed in order to memorise the above list of images. However the best way is to simply read through them a couple of times. As the words sound similar to the letters that they represent, they should soon stick firmly in your mind.

The picture/symbol system

In order to commit to memory such abstract entities as the mathematical symbols as a part of an equation or formulae, what you really need to do, is to choose a series of non-abstract images to represent these symbols. A so-called ‘Mathematical code.’ The images below are the ones that I personally prefer to use.

The Mathematical Code

SymbolImage
+Window frame
-Canal
/Tennis court
Chair
xKiss
=Double Decker bus

The above set of images should not take you very long to memorise and they can come in extremely useful (particularly if you are a mathematics or a science student).

The next logical step after mastering the two memory systems outlined above, is to try to combine both of them, in order to create a system that will enable you to memorise formulae. Such a system can be used to memorise any manner of mathematical or scientific data that you choose to put your mind to. I have given an example of how precisely this may be accomplished below.

To use the alphabet and the picture/symbol system in order to commit to memory a formula such as Einstein’s famous equation E = MC2. All that is required is for you to attempt to form a strong mental image, that links together the letters E, M, C, the = sign and the number 2.

Now I know that most of you probably already know this formulae, but it serves well as an example nonetheless! Referring to the above code, the images in Einstein’s formula are elephant, double decker bus, hem, sea and knee.
You could link these images together quite easily, by simply imagining an elephant trying desperately to squeeze itself through the door of a double decker bus.

You could then imagine the bus driving along the hem of an enormous pair of trousers. Next you might visualise the pair of trousers, floating on a clear blue sea.

Finally to link together the last two images – sea and knee, you could try visualising a large bony knee, pocking through the surface of the deep blue sea. With for good measure, Einstein surfing on the waves that surround it.

If you go through the above images, then Einstein’s formula should immediately spring to mind.

Now the above example is I know a familiar and short formulae and it may seem that the images that you just created are harder to recollect than the actual details of the formulae itself.
But understand that with this system you can build up large collections of images, which can allow you to commit to memory equations and formulae that are several lines in length.

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