Mnemonic Alphabet Systems

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Alphabet systems are typically used as a type of Mnemonic Peg System to memorize lists of up to 26 items in order. If you are looking to create images for letters, see the Images for English Letters page.

Alphabet Peg System

With an alphabet peg system, each letter is associated with something that can be remembered. You can then remember a list of up to 26 items by associating each item with one of the alphabet pegs.

Example: If your first three alphabet pegs are: A = ant, B = baboon and C = cat, and the things you want to remember are the items bread, milk, and peanut butter from your shopping list, you can associate the images:

  • imagine ants crawling over bread
  • imagine a baboon drinking milk
  • imagine a cat rolling around in your peanut butter

Then when you are at the supermarket, you can go through your alphabet pegs to recall your shopping list items.

You can make more than one set of alphabet pegs. Some methods are listed below.

First Letter Method

This method involves making a list of 26 things that start with each letter of the alphabet.

Here is an example using animals:

  • A = ant
  • B = baboon
  • C = cat
  • D = dog
  • E = elephant
  • Etc.

Here is an example using food:

  • A = apple
  • B = banana
  • C = carrot
  • D = dates
  • E = escargot
  • Etc.

Here is an example using objects:

  • A = ark
  • B = balloon
  • C = car
  • D = door
  • E = earring
  • Etc.

Here is an example using names of people:

  • A = Andrew
  • B = Betty
  • C = Charlie
  • D = David
  • E = Edward
  • Etc.

Letter Sound Method

Some people recommend making the pegs start with the same sound as the letter.[1]

Here are some examples:

  • A = ace or ape
  • B = bee or bean
  • C = seed or sea (because "c" is the first sound of "sea")
  • D = deed
  • E = easel
  • Etc.

Letter Shape Method

You can also build alphabet pegs based on the shape of each letter. Here are some examples:[2]

  • A = geometric compass
  • B = brassiere
  • C = banana
  • D = crescent moon
  • E = comb
  • F = scythe
  • G = sickle
  • H = chimney pot
  • I = candle
  • J = hockey stick
  • K = sign post
  • L = L-square
  • M = fedora
  • N = crank handle
  • O = doughnut
  • P = sword with hilt
  • Q = hoop and stick
  • R = pincers
  • S = snake
  • T = sledgehammer
  • U = horseshoe
  • V = hand fan
  • W = badminton birdie
  • X = diabolo
  • Y = martini glass
  • Z = folding ruler

References

  1. Use Your Perfect Memory, 3rd Edition, by Tony Buzan
  2. Alphabet Systems