What about memorizing long numbers?

Memorizing long numbers is as easy as A, B, C.

Did mathematics give you the jitters? Do you like to run a mile if you were asked to memorize the consonant pi? Do you have problems in remembering your Social Security number? If you feel that your memory power system needs an overhauling, don’t lose hope. Just remember, the steps are easy and simple. Read this and you will never have a problem in memorizing long numbers.

  • Major System.

The first and most common way to memorize long numbers is called the Major System.   The system works by replacing numbers by words and phrases . In other words, memorizing words and phrases instead of the numbers themselves. You will agree that words and phrases are easier to remember and  easily recalled. 

The words or phrases are formed by combining vowels and consonants that stand-in or are placed instead of each digit in the number series.  Each number, from 0 – 10 is designated a consonant. It is not an exact letter-to-number correspondence but more of letter-to-consonant sound correspondence (phonetic).  Below is the mapping:

0 is substituted with “s, z”

1 is substituted with “d, t or th”

2 is substituted with “n, ing”

3 is substituted with “m”

4 is substituted with “r”

5 is substituted with “l”

6 is substituted with “j, sh, ch, zh”

7 is substituted with “k, hard g”

8 is substituted with “f, v”

9 is substituted with “b, p”

After replacing each number with the consonant, fill in between with vowels to create a familiar word or phrase that makes sense and is logical  and thus can be easily remembered and recalled. 

For example, in remembering when the Gettysburg Address was delivered (11-19-1863), substitute the numbers with consonants as suggested by the Major System:

1 is substituted with “t” or “th”, so 11 is substituted the word “that”

9 is substituted with “b”, so 19 is “t” & “p” or form the word “top”

8 is substitued with “v”, 6 with “g” and 3 with “m”, so 1863 is “t”, “v”, “g” & “m” or form the phrase “tv gem”

So, to memorise  the date, just remember the phrase “That top TV gem” and recall 11-19-1863.

You can practice with your Social Security Number and create words and phrases that are meaningful  to you,  the next time you fill up that form, or anywhere you may need it.

Such a system is also very effective and beneficial for memorizing phone numbers or zip codes.  Just create some word sequences which are meaningful to the area being remembered.

  • Edwards System

Somewhat similar to the Major System, the Edwards System also replaces numbers with words, except that it does with famous names, which are easy to remember. The Edwards system uses double digits for easy linking with people’s initials or well-known characters.

To use the system, map the numbers 00 through 99. Correlate famous characters or initials to each pair like associate 07 for James Bond (007), 08 for Kobe Bryant (8), 23 for Michael Jordan, 33 for Larry Bird. If you are lost for famous people associated with numbers, use the Major system to come up with initials for the number pair, like GB for 79, so remember George Bush; SD (Saddam) for 01; SN (Hussein) for 02. 

After you have done the mapping, break the number series to be remembered into pairs (double digits) and memorize a series of famous characters or make them interact for a memorable yet entertaining memory.

  • Grouping System

The Edwards or the Major systems do not work for mathematical consonants like pi and Euler’s consonants (e). The word and phrase series may not be particularly easy to remember. So some mathematicians came up with a system that groups the numbers in shorter series and to link them with whatever can help remember the sequence.

For example, first 16 digits of Euler’s consonant are 2.718281828459045. By using the Major System, one can come up with a phrase for it such as "NeGaTiVe iNnoVaTiVe uNFuRL BiZaRreLy ".  The capitalized letters would represent consonants substituted for the digits, as per the number system, but the whole phrase may not make such perfect sense.

So, for some Mathematicians, they have devised a way of grouping the numbers together this way:

 2.7: the standard approximation of e
1828: a leap year or the year when President Andrew Jackson won the elections

1828: repeat of the year

45-90-45: cut a square in half to get a triangle with these angles

Now sit for that Math test, or impress everyone by remembering long numbers easily and simply.    Who knows, you may just predict the next Lotto series jackpot!

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