In our previous article we looked at mnemonics – and for hooks they are useful. Mnemonics for longer words can only indicate that a word may be formed, but not what the word is. For example you might remember that SNORTED + E makes a word, but what is it ? Is it RESTONED, ERODENTS, DETONERS or all 3 ?
This is where pictures or stories are useful to remember a set of bonuses.
The set may only contain 2 words e.g you might find a RUFFIAN at a FUNFAIR.
You may not even know the true meanings of words, providing you can find a good hook.
Take the word CORTINA. Few people will know that it is a mushroom membrane. But many people will remember it as a make of car.
A fair few people will know CAROTIN is the pigment in carrots making them orange.
But, breaking the word CAROTIN into “CAR (made) O(f) TIN” or CAR O’ TIN might be a useful way to find its anagram CORTINA.
Take the set of letters A E I L N R T. Do you know all the anagrams ? Maybe this story will help.
Imagine a really large tree. Nailed to the tree is a Robin RELIANT. The nail in the tree is called a TRENAIL. The hole that the nail has made is eye-shaped (RETINAL). You peer through the hole and see a line of rats, RATLINE, heading for a LATRINE. You follow. In the latrine are ENTRAILs.
The problem with stories is that new words may be added to the dictionary, which mean the story has to change.
A SENATOR could commit TREASON – but then atone for his sins and join with ATONERS. But the new word SANTERO doesn’t quite fit.. Maybe that’s the name of the Senator!
A TSARINA might have used the services of an ARTISAN craftsman. But where does ANTIARS fit into the story ?
Why not try and make a story with the four words EOLITHS, HOLIEST, HOSTILE and LITHOES. Remember it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what EOLITHS are..but does EOLITHS remind you of another word ?
The more memorable the picture the more it is likely to stick in the mind. The letters A E I G L N T make 5 words (one a bit too rude to describe the picture here). So look the words up, and make your own (probably rude) picture.
Next time we will look at word patterns.