Remembering Even Larger Numbers

(It is recommended that you read the posts “Remembering Numbers,” “More on Remembering Numbers,” and “Three Digit Numbers,” before proceeding with this post.

       There will be times, and you have probably encountered them already, when it is difficult to develop reasonable words using just the consonants.  Jerry Lucas, the former Ohio State University All America and Hall of Fame basketball player, is an accomplished mnemonist who has written many good books, as well as training courses, on learning and memory improvement.  One of them is Learning How to Learn1 He calls the memory consonant system used in previous blog postings the one sound method.  He has developed another technique, the one word method, not to replace the one sound method, but rather to supplement it when it is difficult developing mnemonics to the consonants available for a given number.  In the one word method, the same consonants are used, but the only the first consonant in a given word is used.  Consider the following number:

208117111889

Here is a recoding using the one word technique.

Now iS THe Time To Come To The aiD oF The Party.

Now consider this number:

1942198087

And a recoding using the one word technique.

To Be oR Not To Be That iS The Question

or

8021589

and a recoding using the one word technique

THere iS No Time Like The Present.

Of course the two techniques can be combined as the problems presented by the number dictate. 

Consider the following number

4307699

And a recoding using a combination of the one sound and one word techniques

RaMS Can’t Jump Big Pigs

So here 430 was recoded by the one sound technique and the remainder of the number by the one word technique.

Now consider

5039051

LeaSe Me Before Someone Else Does

So 503 is recoded using the one sound method and the remainder of the number by the one word method.

And here’s another

5718303

Let’s Go To The MuSeuM

Now here the first four digits are recoded using the one word method and the remainder using the one sound method.

            From now on, feel free to use both techniques.

            Let’s try some five digit numbers now

It is good to try your own recodings before looking at the possible recodings.

41946

10553

99477

32195

27335

Here are some possible recodings

41946  raT BRuSH (a rat brushing himself)

10553  TuSSLe LaMb (a lamb in a fight)

99477  BoB ReGGae (Some guy named Bob doing the reggae)

32195  MooN DouBLe (two moons)

27335  MuG MoMMa Law (momma testifying to a judge about being mugged)

Now for some six digit numbers

246802           

200201

296621

939766

844764

Here are some possible recodings:

246802            hoNoR SHaVe sun (a judge shaving the sun)

200201            Noah SeeS hoNeSTy

296621            NaP CHoo CHoo NeT  (a train taking a nap in a net)

939766            BuM BaG CHoo CHoo (a bum with a bag on a train)

844764            FiRe RuG CHaiR (a rug and chair are burning)

Now for some seven digit numbers

7487337

9720454

9720386

Here are some possible recodings

7487337          CaR RaCK MoMMa Cow

972454            BaG iN SouR LaiR

9720386          Big Nose Move SHoe

If you can handle seven digit numbers, then you can remember phone numbers less the area codes. 

Now for some eight digit numbers

19461492       

22429131       

50293450

63027120

78902134

85673022

And here are some possible recodings.

19461492        TuB RoaCH TiRe PiN

22429131        NaNNy RaiN BaT MuT

50293450        LiCe MaP MaRe LooSe

63027120        JaM SuN CaT NoSe

78902134        CalF BooZe NighT MaRe

85673022        ViLe SHaKe MooSe NuN

Often, before I resort to this recoding technique, I look for any meaning inherent in the number.  For example for 19461492, I would recode it by the year of my birth,1946   and the year Columbus sailed the ocean blue 1492.  The consonant sound systems provide a fall back technique when there is no inherent meaning. 

Now for some nine digit numbers

134498919

324457890

464856789

585450220

693279044

747254321

889122020

Here are some possible recodings

134498919      DaM RoweR PaVe BeD Bee

324457890      MiNoR RiLe CalF BooZe

464756789      RaSH RaKe LaTCH FoP

585450220      LauGH LuRe LiCe NuNS

693279044      SHiP MaN CaPS RoweR

747254321      CaR CaN LuRe MeN Die

889122020      FiFi BaT NuNS NoSe

As was mentioned previously, the first step can be to look for personal meaning in the numbers.  For 747254321 above, I could have recoded it as the year (last 2) I finished my Ph.D., the year (last 2) I finished my Masters Degree, then to count down from 5.

Now here are some ten digit numbers.

0287591313

1345980217

2738598211

3585903510

4211980221

5877352120

6410948296

7686430910

And here are some possible recodings.

0287591313    SuN MuG LaP ToM ToM

1345980217    ToMb RaiL BeeF SuN DoCK

2738598211    NeCK MoVie LaP MaN ToT

3585903510    MaLe FaiL BooZe MaiL DoZe

4211980221    RuN ToT TouGH SuN NeT

5877352120    LoVe Coo Coo MaiL MaT MooSe

6410948296    SHaRe TieS BeeR MeN BuSH

7686430910    CaSH fiSH RuM SouP TieS

Once you’ve mastered ten digit numbers, now you can handle phone number to include the area codes.

            Now for some 11 digit numbers

19834589020

33941127820

53859123998

Here are some possible recodings.

19834589020              TuB FoaM RoLL SoNS

33941127820              MuMMy BeeR RaiDeD NeCK FaNS

53859123998              LooM VeiL BuTToN MaP BeeF

Twelve digit numbers

298764529874

697234902210

821309567841

029913434571

And their possible recodings.

298764529874            NaP FiG CHaiR LioN BuFF CaR

697234902210            SHiP CaN MooR BooZe NuN ToeS

821309567841            ViNe TiMe SouP LuSH CalF RaT

029913434571            SoN Boo Boo duMb RuM RiLe CaT

Thirteen digits

1357982441123

5012897843291

765732143592

And possible recodings

1357982441123          DuMb LuCK BeeF NeaR RaT TiN Ma

5012897843291          Louse TiN FoP CalF RaM KNee BooT

7657321435921          CaSH FiG MaN TouR MaiL BiN NeT

fourteen digits

22428917312250

66223904678123

02913221471121

And possible recodings

22428917312250        NuN RaN iVy BiTTeN NaiLS

66223904678123        CHoo CHoo NooN MaPS RoaCH CalF FooT NuMb

02913221471121        SuN BooT MoNey GNoT Tie DiNNeTTe

fifteen digits

166289123422178

332178934567012

545658213131332

994433891221345

and possible recodings

166289123422178      TuSH CHiN CalF BooT NaMe ReigN  GoaT CaVe

332178934567012      MuMMy GNaT CaVe BooMeR LuSH CaSe DoNe

545658213131332      LuRe LuSH LiVe FaN DiMe ToMb TiMe MeN

994433891221345      Boo Boo RoWeR MuMMy FiBBeD NuN TiMe RaiL

Now you’re to the point where you can handle some credit card numbers.

sixteen digits

4973568902120034

6490345782341229

8292785437212102

and possible recodings

4973568902120034    RoPe CoMb LaSH FiBS NeT NoSe SuMMeR

6490345782341229    SHaRe BooZe MoweR RaKe FuN MaRe TiN kNoB

8292785437212102    FuN BooN CalF LuRe MuG NeT kNoTS Noah

Now you should be able to handle most credit card numbers.

We shall go no further here.  If you want to make it to 79 digits, as the student at the beginning of this chapter did, or memorize pi to 100,00 decimal places or more, you are now on your own.

[1] Lucas, J.(2001).  Learning How to Learn. Dallas:  Lucas Educational Systems

© Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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