The Numbershape System

In the last chapter we established the ground-work for all our memory systems. We learned that memory is a linking process and that it can be aided by exaggeration, by movement, by substitution, and by being absurd.

We now move on to the first of the Peg memory systems. A Peg memory system differs from the link system in that it uses a special list of items which never change, and to which the items you wish to remember are joined or linked.

A Peg system can be thought of as a clothes cabinet which contains a number of hooks for hanging clothes on. The hooks never change, but the clothes which are hung on the hooks can be infinitely varied. The first system we shall use is a fairly short one which uses the numbers from 1 to 10.

It would, of course, be possible for me to give you the system outright, but it will be far more valuable if you create most of it yourself. I shall therefore explain exactly how to construct the system, and shall then progress to its practical use.

The first Peg system, which we shall call the Number-Shape system, requires initially that you think of a noun which you are reminded of by the actual shape of the number. For example, and to make your task a little easier, the memory word that most people associate with the number 2 is swan, because the number resembles very closely the shape of a swan.

I shall list the numbers from 1-10, leaving a blank beside each number for you to pencil in the words which you think best approximate the shape of the other nine numbers.

These words will be your constant memory hooks, so try to make sure that they are good visual images—words to which you will be able to join other ideas without too much difficulty. Give yourself not more than five minutes to complete the list from 1-10, and even if you find some numbers impossible, don't worry, just read on!

Number Number shape memory word

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