Less Effective Mnemonic Devices

I wanted to submit something to McSweeney’s last week, so I wrote up a short list of “Less Effective Mnemonic Devices”, which I thought sounded appropriately McSweeneyish. Turns out that they already run a column about non-essential mnemonics. What are the odds!? Anyways, here are mine:

Taxonomy order: King Phillip’s Class Ordered Family Genus Species


Planets: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nothing-as-she-is-pursuing-yet-another-advanced-degree


The numbers one through ten: Onomatopoeia, Tremors, Tremors 2: Aftershocks, Frankenstein, Frankenberry, Swype, Se7en, Elvish word for ‘Friend’, NWA, Tremors 4: The Legend Begins

Members of the original 1992 Men’s Olympic Basketball “Dream Team”: Richmond, Erving, Billups, Payton, James, Duncan, Mourning, Shaquille, Majerle, Bosh, Jabbar, Laettner (Robinson, Ewing, Bird, Pippen, Jordan, Drexler, Malone, Stockton, Mullin, Barkley, Johnson, Laettner)

Hosts of Jeopardy!:

Funkadelic Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu (Fleming, Trebek)

Every other person or thing Billy Joel mentions (first name and last) before the first musical break in “We Didn’t Start The Fire”: Habakkuk, Thessalonians, Revelation, Corinthians, Song of Solomon, Psalms, Jonah, Deuteronomy, Romans, Nehemiah, Timothy, Samuel, Kings (Harry Truman, Red China, South Pacific, Joe DiMaggio, Richard Nixon, Television, South Korea)

One Comment

  1. Hi, I’m running a blog about mnemonic devices and your post is very interesting. Yes, it’s true. They are the less effective mnemonic devices.

    Best regards,

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