The “Eselsbrücke”

Acronyms, songs and jingles, rhymes, pictures or phrases are so helpful when it comes to remembering certain facts.

In German we call them”Eselsbrücken”. The English word is “mnemonic”. Not any easy word to spell and pronounce for a lot of people, I know. (The “m” at the beginning is silent, by the way.)

Let’s look at two examples.

How do you remember the colours of the rainbow in order?

The mnemonic we learnt at school was “Richard of York gave battle in vain*”—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

And what about the names of the Great Lakes in North America?

Just remember the acronym HOMES. It stands for Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Superior.

Interested in finding out more? You can see a great list of mnemonics on Wikipedia.

Do you use mnemonics to remember things?

*in vain = erfolglos, vergebens, umsonst

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Foto Christine Sparks

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