Brain Teasers Trivia Mentalrobics
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You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!

Once mastered, the Phonetic Mnemonic System is great for remembering things. It can be used exactly like the Link, Loci, or Peg systems to form visual associations. These associations work like a mental filing system for the information that you want to learn.

Additionally, it can be used with great success to remember numbers. We have already seen how you can use pegwords to remember numbers, and the phonetic system works in a similar way. It can actually be more efficient since a word can represent more than one digit.

Suppose that you are trying to remember the telephone number 756-1286. Using the phonetic system, we know that this number can be represented by the sounds c+l+ch + t+n+f+sh which you could remember by the words "clutch tuna fish." Similarly, you could remember the first few letters of pi (3.14159265) with the phrase "Mother day will buy any shawl."


Here are some words for the first 100 numbers in the Phonetic Mnemonic System. You don't necessarily need to memorize these, but if you plan to use the phonetic system, it would be a good idea to review them and practice making words from numbers and vice versa.

1. head
2. honey
3. ham
4. hair
5. whale
6. jaw
7. oak
8. hoof
9. pie
10. dice
11. tattoo
12. tin
13. thumb
14. tire
15. tail
16. dish
17. duck
18. TV
19. tape
20. nose
21. window
22. onion
23. gnome
24. winner
25. nail

26. notch
27. neck
28. knife
29. nap
30. mouse
31. meadow
32. moon
33. mom
34. hammer
35. mill
36. match
37. hammock
38. movie
39. mop
40. rose
41. heart
42. horn
43. harem
44. warrior
45. railway
46. ridge
47. rug
48. roof
49. rabbi
50. lasso

51. lady
52. lion
53. lamb
54. lorry
55. lolly
56. lodge
57. lake
58. wolf
59. lobby
60. cheese
61. jet
62. chain
63. gym
64. chair
65. jewel
66. judge
67. sheik
68. shave
69. ship
70. kiss
71. cat
72. gun
73. gum
74. car
75. coal

76. cage
77. cook
78. coffee
79. cab
80. office
81. photo
82. phone
83. foam
84. fur
85. veil
86. fish
87. fog
88. fife
89. VIP
90. base
91. boot
92. piano
93. bomb
94. bar
95. pillow
96. peach
97. book
98. beef
99. puppy
100. disease


Here are some tips on making keywords using the Phonetic Mnemonic System. We have already explained how each digit has an associated sound and that these sounds can be constructed into words. The key here is that each digit has a sound, not a letter.

When a single sound is created with two letters, we only count it once. For example, 'toll' is 15 not 155 and 'tack' is 17 not 177.

When a repeated letter makes two different sounds, then it is counted. For example, 'accept' is 7091.

Silent letters are always ignored. For example dumb is 13 and knee is 2.


The Phonetic mnemonic system is similar to the Peg system in that it uses words to represent numbers so that you can recall items non-sequentially. It is more difficult to learn than the Peg system, but once mastered, it will allow you to remember much longer lists (the Peg system has difficulty for numbers over 20).

Whereas the Peg system translates numbers into words by using rhymes, the Phonetic system uses sounds. Each digit from 0-9 is represented by a unique sound.

0 -- z, s
1 -- t, d, th
2 -- n
3 -- m
4 -- r
5 -- l
6 -- j, sh, ch, soft g
7 -- k, q, hard c, hard g
8 -- f, v
9 -- p, b

You can then translate numbers into words by combining these sounds. Notice how only consonant sounds are used. Any non-used sounds (including all the vowels) are irrelevant. They are simply there to help construct the word. For example, the number 29 might be represented by the word 'nap' (n=2 and 9=p). The number 99 could be represented by 'puppy', 'papa,' or 'baby.' You can use the word 'tie' for the number 1.

Use these constructed keywords to make your visual associations and you will be able to recall items in any order.


We learned in Types of Forgetting that interference with other memories is one way that we forget information. Mnemonics such as the Peg and Loci systems rely on pre-memorized cues. As a result, interference can occur when you use the same cues to remember different lists. Typically, the new list will weaken the memory of the older list.

There are two ways to get around this. First, you could construct multiple sets of locations for the Loci system, and multiple sets of pegwords for the Peg system. Use the different sets for different types of memory tasks and you will reduce interference.

Another way to get around this is a technique called "Progressive Elaboration." This involves the modification of your visualization to incorporate multiple items (one from each list). For example, let's say that you are already using the Loci system to link your front door to a zebra. Now you want to use the Loci system to also remember an ice cream cone. With progressive elaboration, you would incorporate all the items into one visualization (the front door with the zebra with the ice cream cone). Now you can remember multiple lists using the same loci or pegwords.




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