by utilizing the peg system. Now, any number, whether it represents subway stops or not, can be made to mean something to you. And, in my personal opinion, that is the only way to memorize and retain a number. Yes, I've heard of the few rare cases of people who could memorize numbers instantly. I've heard of one person who could remember and retain long numbers as they were flashed before his eyes. (I wish I could do it!) These people don't know how they remember, they just do. Unfortunately, these are the few exceptions that strengthen my belief.

How would you go about memorizing the number 522641637527? Here is the way a memory expert of the 19th century did it. He told his students to separate the number into four sections of three digits each: 522 641 637 527. Now, I quote:—

"bring the first and fourth groups into relation, and you see at once that the fourth group is larger than the first by only five. Bringing the second group into relation with the third section, we find they differ only by four. Again, the third group is larger than the fourth by 100 and by 10, that is 527 becomes 637, the seven alone remaining steadfast. Beginning with the fourth group and passing to the third, we have the fourth group with no added. The second group is the third group with only four added, and the first group is the fourth group with only five subtracted."

This system, without any modification is also taught by some modern memory experts. When I first heard of the above method of memorizing numbers, I felt that one would have to have a trained memory in the first place, just to remember the instructions! As far as retaining the number is concerned—well, I think it highly improbable that you would retain it for any length of time—if you memorized it at all. There were no ridiculous pictures or associations made to remind you of it. I believe, however, that I

see the point that these memory experts were probably driving at. If you do try to follow their instructions, you must concentrate on the number. This, of course, is half the battle won. Any method that forces the student to be interested in, and to observe the number, and to concentrate on it, must meet with some success. It's just that it is too much like swatting a fly with a sledge hammer; the means are almost too burdensome to justify the end.

The Peg system of memorizing long digit numbers is actually a combination of the Peg and the Link methods. It forces you to concentrate on the number; it is easy to do— and the retentiveness is amazing! If you have learned the list of Peg words from 1 to 100 this should be a cinch for you. If you haven't learned them yet, this will make you want to do so. For the time being, you can make up the words as you go along. I'll use the same number as used above to explain the method.

First, let's break the number down into two digit numbers. 52 26 41 63 75 27. Now, each of these two digit numbers should represent or suggest a peg word to you:—

52 26 41 63 75 27 lion notch rod chum coal neck

All you have to do is to make a link of the six peg words! Or, any words you happen to be using. Picture a lion with a large notch in him. Picture yourself whittling notches into a gigantic curtain rod. See yourself throwing your arms around the rod as if it were your chum, or, your chum is being used for a curtain rod. Picture yourself embracing a large piece of coal as if it were your chum; and, finally, see yourself or anyone with his neck made of coal.

You should be able to make this link in about thirty seconds. After you've made it, go over it once or twice in your mind to see if you've memorized it. In repeating the num ber, all you do is transpose your peg words back to numbers. You'll know the number now, forwards and backwards! In actual practice, you should form your peg words and link them as you move your eyes from left to right across the number.

There you have it! You merely linked six objects to memorize twelve digits, and you will retain them for as long as you desire. If you have tried this while I explained it, and if you remember the number, you should feel proud of yourself. I say this because, according to some of our intelligence quotient tests, the average adult should remember a six digit number forwards and backwards, after hearing or seeing it once. The superior adult should do the same with an eight digit number. You've just accomplished it with a twelve digit number, and there is no limit to the retentiveness.

Don't let anyone talk you out of it, either, by telling you "no fair" because you used a "system." Those that do say this, are surely envious of you because they can't do it, system or not. There are always those that scream, "It's unnatural to remember with a system; you have to do it by normal memory." Well, who's to say that this method is unnatural? It is surely more natural to remember than to forget. And, by using any of my systems you're simply aiding your true memory! As I explained earlier, anything that anyone remembers must be associated to something they already know and remember. People do it all the time, sometimes consciously, sometimes without realizing it— all we are doing is systemizing it. There's a "method" to our madness! Those that say memory systems are unnatural, really mean, I think, that they don't know about them, or how to use them.

Now that I've defended your recently acquired facility to remember, let's go a step further. If you've grasped the idea, which I'm sure you have, why not use your imagination and make it even easier. If you like, you can link only four words in order to memorize a twelve digit number. Just make up words to fit three of the digits at a time, and link those. For example, you could picture a bolt of linen (522) riding a chariot (641) which is dragging a shoemaker (637—the last consonant sound is disregarded since you know that the word represents only three digits) who is very lanky (527).

If a long digit number that you wish to remember falls into line for words that fit four digits at a time—why not use them! In that way you can sometimes memorize and retain a twenty digit number, by linking only five words:—

0 0

Post a comment