Memory - Animal Alphabet

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To memorize a list using a peg system, you use your imagination to link the items in the list with a fixed list in memory. It is best if the items in the fixed list are tangible animate objects that can be imagined interacting with the items to be memorized. One standard peg system in English is the rhyming system in which 1 = sun, 2 = shoe, 3 = three, and so on through 10 = hen. The first item on the list to be memorized is imagined as interacting with the sun, the second item interacting with a shoe, and so on. The standard rhyming system is usually limited to a list of ten but has been expanded by some authors to 15.

The English alphabet is a well-known ordered list but the items are too abstract to make effective memory pegs. We will make the alphabet more memorable by associating each letter with an animal (A = Alligator, B = Butterfly, etc.) Then when memorizing a list, we may imagine the first item interacting with an alligator, the second item interacting with a butterfly, etc. This gives us a fixed list of 26 pegs, a more than two-fold improvement over the traditional rhyming peg system. If you have trouble forming a vivid mental image of any of the animals in this list, you should edit the cards to substitute your own animals for the stock ones.

Armed with both the rhyming peg system and the animal alphabet, you will have a method for memorizing items in a grid. Label the rows with numbers and the columns with letters like a spreadsheet or map coordinates. The item in cell B3 is imagined interacting with a butterfly and a tree, linking it to cell B3.

This deck will help you fix the animal alphabet in your memory so you can use it as a set of pegs for memorizing future lists. The animal alphabet provided is the following:

A = alligator
B = butterfly
C = crab
D = dolphin
E = elephant
F = frog
G = giraffe
H = hippopotamus
I = impala
J = jellyfish
K = kangaroo
L = lizard
M = mouse
N = nautilus
O = owl
P = panda
Q = quail
R = rhinoceros
S = snail
T = tiger
U = unicorn
V = vulture
W = walrus
X = Xmas reindeer
Y = yak
Z = zebra



Mnemosyne Compatibility: 

  • 2.1+

Card Set File: