Friday, August 21, 2009

Dark Mnmnmnmneomnics

I think probably the best-known sentence mnemonic in English is the one for the planets:

My very energetic mother just served us nine...

Well...

My very energetic mother just served us nachos.

All right.

Being that it is taught to children, it seems natural that this mnemonic is, um, appropriate for children. Compare this with the first Thai mnemonic I learned, which is the mnemonic to remember a certain class of consonants. It goes like this:

gai jig dek tdai dek tdai bohn pbahk ohng.

Which loosely translates to:

A chicken bit a child, who died. The child died on the rim of a large basin.

I can just imagine six-year-old me, shivering in my bed at night, afraid to fall asleep, since that is where monster chickens bite me on large basins, on the rims of which I lie dead. And what if I
passed a chicken on the street? Or a large basin? Or, Lord forbid, a large basin AND a chicken?


Can you imagine the Goosebumps books this would have been inspired? The gory Halloween costumes (older sister is chicken, little brother is child, pooch-stomached father is large basin)? The Gorey cartoons? The Pixar films? What a frightening concept.

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