I've lost count of all the memory books and pamphlets I've read, I couldn't for the life of me regurgitate chapter headings or index words of any of them and if you asked me to draw one of their illustrations from memory, I'd be stuck. I'm no Jim Morrison so I'll not to be able to tell you what page a paragraph is on.
So it's all been a waste of time?
Well my memory for sensible things might never have been outstanding so I'll settle on a brain that performs well enough at pub quiz nights - even with added alcohol - and gives me such an endless supply of tangents for my writing. Other than that, there's not much I can do.
Still want to hear some memory tips?
Okay let me see how well I can recall the different techniques for retrieving information from our memory banks:
Use a phrase in place of the list to remember. 'Every good boy deserves fruit' works though because the notes themselves correspond to the first letter of each word in the phrase/clause/sentence.
This doesn't work for a great gulp of information like:
Radioactive substances occur in nature, and in all of them nuclear changes take place that result in three kinds of radiation: Alpha rays can be stopped by a sheet of paper, beta rays can just about get through aluminium foil, but gamma rays travel across space with so much energy that they can penetrate even lead.
There you'd be better off just finding some little ditty combined with wordplay to remember the relative strengths of the three rays; something similar to 'the mites go up and the tites go down' for remembering which are stalactites and stalacmites.
So this method works best for listed items?
Well they always drag out the formal lists that are required to be learnt by rote, such as the periodic table but you should be able to use it for remembering anything.
Suppose you had some reason for remembering the track listing of Stranglers IV Rattus Norvegicus you'd be in trouble
Even given that you are familiar with the vintage punk album, there are two songs beginning with the letter 'g' and what if your Strangled chronology conjures up "Go Buddy Go" instead? Or "Dagenham Dave" or "Don't Bring Harry" for the d instead of "Down In The Sewer"?