Josh Cohen

This wiki page contains information about my system. —Josh

Mnemonic Systems

Most of what is found in my mnemonic systems is derived from ideas written about by Dominic O’Brien and Ben Pridmore. I’ve also borrowed a lot of ideas from these books and the memory forum.

1-digit Numbers

Numbers from 0-9 are number shapes. They are pronounced as vowels.

DigitPronounciation
0o as in boat
1i as in beet
2u as in two
3aa as in cat
4a as in father
5ai as in five
6ih as in six
7e as in seven
8ei as in eight
9uh as in puppy

2-digit Numbers

Please see this PDF document. (updated version coming soon)

There’s a longer description of of the 2-digit system in the 2-digit consonant-vowel number system thread.

The 2-digit 00-99 numbers were originally created with a modified Major System:

• 0 = s/z
• 1 = t (not d)
• 2 = n
• 3 = m
• 4 = r
• 5 = l
• 6 = b
• 7 = k
• 8 = f/v
• 9 = p (not b)

I then combined it with ideas from the Ben System so that they are now consonant-vowel. Every mnemonic image has a one-syllable pronounciation. Examples:

• 00 = SO
• 01 = SI
• 02 = SU
• 03 = SAA
• Etc.

The one-syllable pronounciations don’t necessarily match the sound of the image’s name. Examples:

• 00 (“SO”) matches its current image (sewing needle & thread).
• 28 (“NEI”) matches its current image (“ney” — a type of flute).
• 31 (“MI”) doesn’t match its image (ambulance from “EMT”).
• 65 (“BAI”) doesn’t match its image (pot of boiling water from “ebollizione”)
DigitConsonantsVowels
0s/zo as in boat
1t (not d)i as in bee
2nu as in two
3maa as in cat
4ra as in father
5Lai as in five
6bih as in six
7ke as in seven
8f/vei as in eight
9P (not b)uh as in lullaby

3-digit Numbers

For 3-digit numbers, it’s a consonant-vowel-consonant Ben System with the sounds rearranged.

Binary Numbers

I was working on a 10-digit Ben System for binary numbers, but ended up converting the binary numbers to decimal numbers:

• 000 = 0
• 001 = 1
• 010 = 2
• 011 = 3
• 100 = 4
• 101 = 5
• 110 = 6
• 111 = 7

Example: 110-101 becomes 65 which is an image of a pot of boiling water.

Card Images

I don’t memorize cards at the moment, because a hand injury prevents me from shuffling and fanning through decks.

I temporarily put aside my attempts to create a 2-card system based on the Ben System, since it’s too many images for something that I won’t use that often. I do have a 1-card, 1-image system that has these pronunciations. The pronunciations match those of my 2-digit decimal numbers. Suits are converted like this:

• = 0
• = 4
• = 1
• = 7

Examples:

• 5 of clubs = 57
• 9 of diamonds = 91
• 10 of spades = 00
• Ace of hearts = 14

There are 12 additional images for the face cards.

Sounds and Letters

For sounds, I use the one-syllable images from my number systems. I also have images for the English alphabet.

Modified Ben System

I’m working on a modified Ben System. Two of the reasons that I really like the Ben System is that it encodes 10 binary digits per image which makes it ideal for 30-digit competition rows, and also that it uses one syllable for each image.

The consonants are reassigned like this:

• 0 = s/z
• 1 = t (not d)
• 2 = n
• 3 = m
• 4 = r (also can be ‘th’ at the end of a word because ‘r’ often changes the sound of the preceding vowel, making things confusing)
• 5 = L
• 6 = b — they look similar
• 7 = k
• 8 = v/f
• 9 = P — they look similar

The vowels are reassigned like this:

• 0 = O because they look similar
• 1 = I because they look similar
• 2 = u as in “two” because they have the same vowel sound
• 3 = aa as in “cat”. 3 looks like a butterfly and cat chases butterfly.
• 4 = A as in “father” because they look similar
• 5 = ai as in “five” because they have the same vowel sound
• 6 = ih as in “six” because they have the same vowel sound
• 7 = e as in “seven” because they have the same vowel sound
• 8 = ei as in “eight” because they have the same vowel sound
• 9 = uh as in “lullaby” because 9 is balloon on a string and babies like balloons

The vowels and diphthongs have the same basic sounds as in Spanish (a, e, i, o, u, ei, ai). The other vowels are written with two letters to distinguish them (ih, uh, aa).