AN EXAMPLE OF HOW MUCH SIMPLER DR. AMAZING'S MEMORY SYSTEMS ARE THAN THOSE ESPOUSED BY CONTEMPORARY MNEMONISTS.
In his book, How to Develop a Super Power Memory, "Harry Lorayne in 1957 proposed hooking together picture wordswhich represented the sets of digits.
"Let's say that you wanted to remember that Mr. Silverberg's phone number was JU 6-9950. You might "see" a picture of a shiny silver iceberg sitting in a court room as a judge(JU 6) smoking a gigantic pipe that's covered with lace!"
Lorayne also divided the trunk line into two sets of two digits:99 = pipe and 50 = lace. He did recognize the need to tie the phone number to Mr. Silverberg. The problem with his proposal was that it was difficult to determine which came first - the pipe or the lace. He called it his "fly in the ointment." His proposal required the use of three picture words to be hooked up to the picture words representing the name of the person. This is not easy to do.
To reduce the number of hooks, Lorayne suggested using only one word to represent all four digits of the trunk line. But we know how difficult it is to find 4-digit words.
Today, with our longer phone numbers, the use of a hook system is a near impossibility. I'll show why.
The following is an illustration from Bob Burg's The Memory System, published in 1992. He calls it a chain link method, but it is the same series of hooks Lorayne used 35 years earlier. Only in 1992 there were three additional digits in a phone number.
"The next telephone number you need to remember belongs to your accountant, Bruce Strauss; it is 215-5332. In beginning your Chain Link, you could use an adding machine to remind you that his number is for your accountant. In this case, however, he is also a friend, so you want to lock in his number by way of his name. The name Strauss itself does not present a mental picture, does it? Let's use the Soundalike mouse. That sounds enough like Strauss to remind you of his true name, doesn't it? For the prefix 215, you can use noodle (nu, duh and luh). Of course, you could also use natal, needle or anything that would fit... The next step is to remember the four numbers, lime (53) and moon (32) . Now, associate mouse with noodle. See this mouse sneaking his way into a bowl of noodles. In fact, there is one noodle that looks particularly good. You feel the mouse needs to add something to make the noodle taste even better. That's right, some lime (53). See this mouse squirting a sour-tasting lime on that noodle. Now, wanting true dining atmosphere, our squeaky hero goes outside, taking with him this noodle sprayed with lime so he can eat it under the moon (32)light. Bruce Strauss' telephone number is 215-5332."
Isn't that enough to make you vomit? What sane person would ever go through that mumbo jumbo to recall a phone number? And, Burg didn't even integrate the area code into his chain link!
THE DR. AMAZING METHOD
Example: John Adam's phone number is 213-965-0705.
It should be visualized as: 213 965 07 05.
Available words in Dr. Amazing's Dictionary of Word/Number Conversions for these four sets of numbers are:
213 anthem, entomb, indemnity, nightmare, nutmeg, ointment.
965 bushel, bachelor, pugilist.
07 sack, seek, sock, sky, ask, husk, soak, whiskey.
05 sale, sail, slow, solo, Sally, Saul, swell, zeal.
In seconds you can make up some memorable sentences by picking out one word from the list for each number, such as:
Adams' nutmegs bushel soaks a seal.
In Adams' nightmare a pugilist socks Sally.
Adams entombs the bachelor in a sack of swill.
213 965 07 05
Voila! Repeat any of the phrases a few times, and you have memorized Adams' number.
COMMENTS ON RECENT MEMORY BOOKS
RAPID MEMORY IN 7 DAYS, by Joan Minninger, Ph.D. and Eleanor Dugan, The Berkley Publishing Group, 1994.
It is not really a "how-to-do-it book." Authors touch briefly
on several memory systems, but the book primarily is
about memory. After reading the book, you could ask
yourself what you retained and answer, "very little."
RON FRY'S HOW TO STUDY PROGRAM - IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY, by Ron Fry, Career Press, 1992.
Consists mostly of memory tests and almost no instruction.
THE MEMORY SYSTEM, by Bob Burg, National Seminar Publications, 1992.
This is the best of the recent books. He covers a number
of topics. His method for remembering telephone
numbers is unduly complex and unworkable as a
practical memory system.
THE MEMORY BOOK, by Harry Lorayne & Jerry Lucas,
Ballantine Books, Trade Edition, 1996.
This is merely a reprint of their 1974 book. It is severely
dated with references to such as Woody Hayes, football
coach of the 50's and the Ed Sullivan Show. A number
of topics are covered but very briefly. Not in teaching
form and no tests given.
These four books taken together touch on several memory systems,
but all are limited in the number of systems covered and none
delve deeply into teaching more than one or two memory systems.
None of the above books contain a word/number converting dictionary,
which is essential for converting three-digit groups of numbers
into words so that numbers longer than four digits long can be
None of these books contain the newest memory system of MAPPING
None of these books are designed as teaching instruments, with
one lesson leading to the next.
None of these books contain more than two hook alphabet cue
systems, while MASTER YOUR MEMORY WITH DR. AMAZING: How Not to Forget covers
all the known alphabet cue systems and adds new ones.
None of these books provide complete lessons on any of the
memory systems they touch upon. Dr. Amazing's book is designed
so that the reader will prove to himself at the conclusion of
each chapter that his memory has been improved by using techniques
Most of the topics covered by the books above are unduly complex
and disorganized so that it is extremely difficult for a reader
to become proficient with recall or to improve his memory.
None of these books contain information on how to organize
materials for better recall.
MASTER YOUR MEMORY WITH DR. AMAZING: How Not to Forget
will be the bible of memory for many years
to come because it presents a sound foundation of memory principles,
it is all-inclusive [Dr. Amazing has a library of just about
every memory book published and in print since 1812], and it
has practical lessons with tests. The book is ideal for a college
course or for corporate sales groups education. Every person
wanting to use memory systems in every-day life will need to
keep the book for a reference since it contains the Dictionary
of Word/Number Conversions in the Appendix.
Dr. Amazing's book is based on actual teaching of memory systems
and stage presentations by Dr. Amazing over a period of 30 years.
His methods have been proven to be interesting and effective.
He gets down to the business of improving memory and stays with
it. The book is easy to read and it contains a sprinkling of
good humor throughout.