Memory Tactics


Half the fun of MemWars is coming up with creative, memorable images associated with the facts. By arranging these images spatially on the board, you translate them from a kind of information our minds are not good at retaining (raw facts) into a kind they retain exceptionally well (spatial information). The more unusual and interesting the image, the easier it will be to "see" it on the board. The following strategies will help to choose images you'll never forget:
1.    Meaning: think of what the word literally means, but take it out of context or exaggerate it in some way. Think of a particular instance of the thing you're trying to remember a fact about. Now make it different from any other instance, by giving it an unusual color (a pink Model T), or changing the size (a tiny skyscraper), or giving it an impossible or magical property (levitating).
2.    Rhyme: think of something that rhymes with the word or name you're trying to remember.
For example, to remember the name "Sully," you could imagine a gully.
3.    Shape: for individual letters or numbers, you can use images that physically resemble the textual character.
For example, to remember the number 2, you could imagine a swan.
4.    Sound: a word that sounds similar to the word you're trying to remember can work as well.
For example, to remember latitude vs longitude, latitude sounds like flat which means horizontal or East/West on the compass.
5.    Spelling: in some cases, a sight pun may work. A word or part of a word may be spelled similarly to another word. The words don't need to be pronounced the same way.
For example, to remember the Italian verb dovere, you could imagine a dove.
6.    Personal Association: if something jumps naturally to mind when you think of the word or name you're trying to remember, that can make a great mnemonic.

For more information and ideas on creating and strengthening mnemonics, we recommend Linguisticator's core memory training course.