Fat Cats and Boring Ed

Cartoon Image of Fat Cat

My fascination with mnemonics blossomed while stuffing my brain with music theory, the essential knowledge for a harpist (Yes, Your Web Writer plays the harp!). If I lose track of my key, I’ll strike some mighty bad notes. So, I invite Fat Cats and Boring Ed to help me remember my keys with these colorful mnemonic devices:

The order of sharps in key signatures: Fat Cats Go Dancing at Ernie’s Bar
The order of flats in key signatures: Boring Ed Always Drives Good Clean Fords

Even for non-musicians, these phrases are easy to memorize because they conjure up an image along with the nice flow of words. And to me, that’s the trick of the best mnemonic devices out there—I can see them as well as say them.

What’s a mnemonic device? It’s a way of memorizing facts and figures, such as names and dates, by using handy acronyms, rhymes, and rules. Mnemonic devices chunk material into groups that are easy to commit to memory and easy to recall at a later date.

If I can pin visuals to the mnemonic device or sing the phrase, so much the better—The information is ever faster to learn and recall. Here’s a great example. Do you remember these schoolhouse rock cartoons? Love this cool jazz…

Trying to commit facts to memory? Give these random Mnemonic Device Generators at mnemonicgenerator.com and spacefem.com/mnemonics, a go. However, I can’t guarantee that your results will be particularly memorable. I gave each a whirl and received nonsensical sentences. Best to make one up on your own to ensure you are including a subject that you can actively visualize (fat cats and boring Ed), or a phrase that flows off the tongue easily (a poem, rhyme, or a song).

Rules of spelling and grammar can be particularly difficult to grasp, but use a few mnemonic devices paired with cartoons and you may get them down. Enjoy Lindsay Kolowich’s 23 Humorous Grammar Jokes & Puns. Here’s a sample:

Desserted Streets

Of course, if these grammar rules delivered through jokes, memes, and mnemonics are nonsense to you, then you need a professional copywriter to create content for you. I know those rules, inside and out, but don’t expect me to act as your grammar police—I will quietly fashion content that is cool beans for you, without chiding you for grammar misgivings. Reach me at 530-541-2575 and I’ll get on it.

—Anne, YourWebWriter