Tuesday, December 26, 2006


SKIPNUMSkipnum (Self-Coding Instant Phonetic Number Memorygrid!) is an entirely new memory system. It was developed bymy close friend and associate Heinz Norden, the well-knownwriter, translator and polymath.Skipnum differs from other major memory systems in thatit is based almost entirely on phonetics. The system is basedon two elements everyone knows:1, The initial letter of the memory word is the same as theinitial letter ofthe number which is attached to that word. Forexample the numbers from 60 to 69 all begin with an 's', andtherefore so do the memory words for the numbers from 60 to69.2. The vowel sound ofthe memory word is the same as thevowel sound of the unit digit in the number for which we aremaking the word. For example let us take the number 42. Thefirst letter in our memory word must be an 'f because 42begins with an 'f'. The next sound in our memory word mustbe '00' because the digit number in 42 is two, and its vowelsound is '00'. That means we have 'foo' which we can easilymake into a word by adding either T or 'd' giving us 'fool' or'food'.Let us try another example. The number we wish to create amemory word for is 91. The first letter is 'n'. The digitnumber in 91 is 1, and its vowel sound is 'uh'. To complete ourmemory word for 91 we simply have to complete 'nuh'. A 't'or an 'n' completes this most satisfactorily giving us 'nut' or'nun'.There are a few exceptions to these two basic rules, but theyare logical and easily remembered.1. Ten to nineteen. These numbers do not ofcourse have thesame initial consonant. They are however collectively the 'tens'or 'teens' and therefore we use the letter 't' for these numbers.2. Twenty to twenty-nine. A full set of memory wordsbeginning with 'tw' is not available so 'tr' is used instead. Wecan remember this fairly easily by recalling that children oftenconfuse 'tr' and 'tw'.3. Fifty to fifty-nine. We cannot use 'f' as the initial letterbecause we have already used it for forty. Instead we use 'h'because it stands for 'half', and fifty is halfway between 0 and100.4. Seventy to seventy-nine. In the same way that we couldnot use 'f' for fifty because we had already used it for forty, wecannot use V for seventy because we have already used it forsixty. This is overcome easily by using the second consonantof seventy, i.e. 'v'.5. Eighty to eighty-nine. There is no initial consonant hereso instead we use the first consonant in the word eighty, whichis 'g'.6. Vowel sound for nine. We cannot use the 'i' sound for ninebecause we have already used it for five. Instead we use one ofthe most common remaining vowel sounds (which is containedin the word vowel!) 'ow'.7. 00-09. These are included in the Skipnum grid forconvenience, because these two-digit units occur frequently intelephone numbers and elsewhere. We use the initial conso-nant 'b' because it is easy to remember when we think of007,James Bond!Before reading on, have a quick look at the memory grid inthis Chapter, trying to familiarise yourself with the ideas thathave so far been explained. The grid is laid out simply anddearly, and should not be hard to follow.You have noticed from looking at the grid that a preferredmemory word is given in bold It is usually the simplestpossible word formed by the above two rules, and is preferablyone that can be used both as a verb and a noun. If possible itshould have more than one meaning, and should be able toserveas a connectorinmakingphrases from the memory words.Vulgar, action and emotionally charged words are also prefer-able because they are easier to remember.Where they arise, silent initial letters such as 'g' 'k' 'w' and'y' are ignored in the memory words.Since more than one word can often be formed within theboundaries ofthe rule, alternate words may be used. Some ofthese are given in the Skipnum grid for you to choose from.This possibility of alternate words is particularly useful insituations where you might be trying to remember a longnumber which contains the same two-digit sequence morethan once. You don't have to repeat the same word, but canuse another word representing the same number!Another advantage of this memory system is that you don'thave to learn the memory words by heart since they are 'selfcoding'. They will pop into your mind instantly as long as youknow the rules!Up to this point in the Chapter you have been given a lot ofdetailed information which at the moment you may have founda little bit difficult to absorb completely. It is advisable now toreview quickly the entire Chapter, consolidating those areaswhich have given you some trouble. To assist you in furtherconsolidation, I have randomly listed the numbers from 1-100on the next two pages so that you can readily test yourself ineither remembering the words on the grid or 'selfcoding' yourown.When you have completed the Skipnum grid to your satis-faction take the plunge and try to remember 100 items. Youwill find to your surprise that it is not really much moredifficult than remembering twenty! When you are confidenttest yourself with your friends.

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