The Dominic System is a mnemonic system similar to the Major System. It was invented by Dominic O’Brien. It is a person-action (PA) system that encodes 4 digits at a time into compound images made up of a person and an action.
The Dominic system is a system for memorizing long sequences of numbers by first converting them into pairs of letters, and then associating those letters with easier to remember people and actions.
Dominic O’Brien has said that numbers can be assigned to images based on your first association. For example, the number 10 could be assigned to Dudley Moore because he was in the movie, 10. The numbers that don’t have an immediate association with a person can be assigned images by converting the digits into letters that become the initials of people.
A number of systems exist for converting digits into letters, for example, the Major System. The digit-letter associations used by Dominic O’Brien are:
For example, the number 11 could be seen as “AA” which could then become an image of Andre Agassi playing tennis. The number 33 could be “CC” and could be converted to an image of Charlie Chaplin swinging a cane.
Long numbers are chunked in 4s. The first 2 digits are converted into a person, and the second 2 digits become an action.
So the number 1133 would be converted to an image of Andre Agassi swinging a cane, while the number 3311 could be converted into an image of Charlie Chaplin playing tennis.
Memories are constructed by converting numbers in a sequence into persons and actions within a story. The long number 27636339, for example, could be chunked into 2763 6339 and then converted into BGSC SCCN. If the memorizer has also associated Santa Claus delivering presents with SC, then the chunk 2763 would represent Bill Gates (27 = BG) delivering presents while 6339 would represent Santa Claus performing a roundhouse kick (39 = CN = Chuck Norris). The remembered story, therefore, could be that Bill Gates delivered presents and then got roundhouse kicked by Santa Claus.
The 4-digit compound images are then placed along imaginary journeys.
Although the Dominic system is a method for remembering long sequences of numbers, it can also be used to remember other sequences such as the order of a deck of playing cards. This works by establishing some method of systematically converting the objects into numbers. If the nine of clubs is associated with 39 (CN), for instance, then Chuck Norris or a roundhouse kick could be used in a story describing where the nine of clubs is in the deck.
Here are lists of famous people:
- Dominic system web app (best, download a CSV)
- List of 10,000 Famous People
- List of people on Google Docs
- List of famous people
See the Dominic System Examples page for premade Dominic System lists.
Here’s a website that can help you find names for your images:
Here’s a template that you can download and fill in with your images.
Here are some scripts to help you practice your images. You don’t need to memorize the numbers and cards, but just practice converting them into images until you know your images well:
- Person-Action System
- Person-Action-Object (PAO) System
- Major System
- Ben System
- The Shaper System
- How to Build a Memory Palace
- Does Photographic Memory Exist?
- List of Memory Techniques