- King Peter came over from Germany seeking fortune, for the Linnaean system of classification:
kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species, form.
- No plan like yours to study history wisely, for British royal houses:
Normandy, Plantagenet, Lancaster, York, Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Windsor
(I suppose including Saxe-Coburg-Gotha would just have confused things).
- The knuckle trick for the number of days in each month
(and not that "Thirty days hath September..." nonsense).
- Roy G. Biv for the colors of the visible spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet).
- stalagmites come from the ground, stalactites from the ceiling.
And the worst "mnemonic" device I've seen, for Roman numerals:
X shall stand for playmates ten
V for five stout stalwart men
I for one as I'm alive
C for hundred,
D for five (hundred)
M for a thousand soldiers true, and
L for 50, I'll tell you.
Where to begin? The numbers aren't in any order (not numerical or alphabetical order, anyway); the numbers don't have any connection to the rest of the line (except perhaps for the common phrase "I for one"); the parenthetical aside in "D for five (hundred)" is ridiculous; and why is 50 expressed with numerals?
- Jones and Wilson, An Incomplete Education, Ballantine Books, 1987.
- Kipfer, The Order of Things, Random House, 1998.
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[ 2002-11-29 ]