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Those are some mnemonics, Johnny

Do you remember ‘Sohcahtoa’? How about ‘Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge’? Or ‘Mom Visits Every Sunday, Just Stays Until Noon, Period’?

These are all mnemonics I remember from my youth (which explains why the last one includes the word ‘period’. More on that in a second). In Greek mythology, Mnemosyne was the mother of the Muses and the goddess of memory. A mnemonic, then, is something that helps you remember something else. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a mnemonic to remind me the word itself starts with an ‘m’, since it isn’t pronounced.

So what do the mnemonics in the first paragraph stand for, or represent?

Well, ‘Sohcahtoa’ came in handy in trigonometry classes years ago when remembering how to find the different ratios of a right-angle triangle. Sine equals opposite over hypotenuse; Cosine equals adjacent over hypotenuse; and Tangent equals opposite over Adjacent.

Considering there is very little else I remember from trip classes, ‘Sohcahtoa’ obviously struck a chord in my memory.

‘Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge’, on the other hand, I believe is still learned by a lot of music students as a way to remember the notes on the treble clef. From bottom to top, E, G, B, D, and F. I seem to recall learning that, noticing how each note was two letters above the last one, then extending the clef by two lines out the top and adding ‘After Class’ to the original mnemonic to complete the scale.

The third mnemonic I mentioned is one that became outdated in 2006 when the International Astronomical Union decided Pluto no longer met the qualities needed to be a planet and demoted it to ‘dwarf planet’.

The good news was, ‘Mom Visits Every Sunday, Just Stays Until Noon’ still works to remember Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. ‘Period’.

One that I think I discovered on my own was remembering the difference between Bactrian and Dromedary camels. ‘B’ for Bactrian has two humps, and so does a Bactrian camel; ‘D’ for Dromedary has one hump, and guess how many humps a Dromedary camel has?

How about one more, with something of a Canadian slant? Remember, ‘Super Man Helps Every One’, and you not only have the order of the Great Lakes from west to east (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario) but, as it turns out, their size from largest to smallest.

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