Sunday, November 15, 2015


It seems when I was a kid there was no rhyme without reason AND no reason without rhyme:

Liar, liar pants on fire / Couldn’t get through the telephone wire.

Here comes the bride fair, fat, and wide / Here comes the groom skinny as a broom.

Ring around the rosey a pocketful of posies / Husha, husha we all fall down. (My colleague, Natalie, remembers Ashes, ashes rather than Husha , husha.)

London bridges falling down, falling down, falling down / London bridges falling down … my fair lady. (it could be be that London bridge is falling down but … for me it was London bridges.)

Patty cake patty cake baker’s man / Bake me a cake as fast as you can

This little piggy went to market

I’ve decided that I’m a MNEMONICIST.  I’m sure to my demise, life will always be a reel adventure, either in picture or poem, one that I can loop and rewind anytime on a whim.

Western theatre television songs have been in my head since the 60’s …

He wore a cane and derby hat / they called him Bat / Bat Masterson.
Cheyenne, Cheyenne … where will you be traveling tonight … lonely man, Cheyenne …

Sugarfoot, Sugarfoot, easy lopin’ cattle ropin’ Sugarfoot
Have gun will travel reads a card of a man / a knight without honor in a savage land / his fast gun for hire in the calling wind / a soldier of fortune is the man called … Paladin … Paladin, Paladin where do you roam …. Far, far from home.

Who was the tall dark stranger there, Maverick is the name, riding the trail to who knows where, luck is his companion, gambling is his game …

Wyatt Earp, Wyatt Earp, brave, courageous and bold / long live his fame and long live his glory and long may his story be told.

Television commercials …

You wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent! (We used to sing, You wonder where your teeth went when you brush them with cement.)

Brylcream, Brylcream a little dab will do ya, Brylcream, Brylcream you look so debonair,  Brylcream, Brylcream the girls will all pursue ya, simply rub a little in your hair. 

Cheer songs (this was sung by the teenage girls in our town) … 

Hi hi yi yi yas nobody likes us / we are the girls from Vanguard / always a winnin’ always a grinnin’ always a feelin’ fine.

I'm sure everyone remembers the ABC children’s song


How about ROY G. BIV, the colors of the rainbow (red,orange,yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) from grade school Science

How about HOMES for the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior) from grade school Social Studies.

Or from grade school Music ... FACE  for spaces on the music staff, and Every Good Boy Does Fine for the lines.  And also All Cows Eat Grass for the spaces on the bass clef, and Good Boys Do Fine Always for the lines.

Some MNEMONICS are rhymes:

Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November
All the rest have 31
Save for February which has but 28 days clear
And twenty-nine in each new year.
In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue

From my grandmother … How do you spell MISSISSIPPI ?
M … I… crooked letter … crooked letter…  I … crooked letter … crooked letter … I… PP … I.

And another from grade school Spelling ...

I before e except after c … Or when sounding like A… like in neighbor or whey.

And my last example is from Astronomy 100 … the order of the planets starting from the Sun:

MERCURY, VENUS, EARTH, MARS, JUPITER, SATURN, URANUS, NEPTUNE, PLUTO … My Very Excited Mother Just Served Us Nine Pies … or now without Pluto … Served Us Noodles.

I used to work with a Cree Elder, who taught me some fundamental words in Cree.  Some examples:


For the last decade I’ve been working on my vocabulary – it began with me creating my very own, MY MNEMONIC DICTIONARY.  Here are just a few excerpts:

-Ad hominem attack a person’s character … political campaigns are ad nauseam ad hominem
-Aegis (ee jus) … protection; controlling influence … ee jus needs us
-Amaranthine … not fading or dying; immortal … a marathon … life
-Boustrophedon … writing alternate lines in opposite directions, for example, stone writing in Ancient Greece … back stroke again
-Cozen … to gain by trickery; deception …posing as a long lost cozen/cousin
-Defalcation … the act of embezzling … defalsification
-Demode … out of fashion … dem old
-Hegira … an arduous journey … he (tough guy) journey
-Lambent … softly bright … lampen
-Sastruga … ridge of hard snow … Sask rug… (Sask is short for Saskatchewan, Canada, known for lots of snow.)

Every example that I’ve cited for this particular blog entry is purely from memory.  Not once did I search or google a reference (which is likely why all are NOT entirely accurate, especially those Cree words and phrases).

I am a MNEMONICIST, but certainly not in the professional fashion of Harry Lorayne  (The Memory Book, 1974).  (Google Harry Lorayne.  In a crowd of 1500 people, Harry could remember all of their names!)

Yes, in my usual braggadocio persona, I am a MNEMONICIST.  And I was a mnemonicist before I became a BUSKOLOGIST.  And I was a buskologist before I became a HYPNOTHERAPIST. 

As a hypnotherapist I employ mnemonics with every client session.  When we (client and self) collaborate on script #1, "the most perfect place to relax," and script #2, "my new behavior," we include in the imagery all the thick descriptions appealing to visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory senses.  The thicker the description, the more effective the recall during the induction stage of hypnotherapy. 

But, dear reader, … I must confess that … I’m still the same narcissistic (an excessive, not erotic, self-interest), egotistic (even at my present age, I’m usually the toughest and smartest guy in the room), and egoistic (manifesting right now as on every blog entry day) middle-age (as long as 64 is the new 40), middle-class (as long as I'm still moiling and toiling), mis-adventurer (I only love down-hill skiing and BUSKATIONS) that many of you have grown to love (I rest my case) over the last two hundred and forty-nine blog entries!

 Je suis Paris ...


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