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It is ironic that the name of a mental device which is supposed to make our lives easier is itself so hard to spell. Is there a mnemonic for the spelling of mnemonic?

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I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, but I do hope you're not just trying to be clever in a question. –  Robusto Feb 6 '11 at 19:21
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It's easier for me to remember "the way it sounds plus an extra M" than to remember another mnemonic. –  tankadillo Feb 6 '11 at 19:23
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@Robusto - I was reading the answer to a different question to my daughter (aged 13) and asked is she had any good questions, which is how this came up. I think she genuinely wanted to know an easy to remember way to spell mnemonic. –  ukayer Feb 6 '11 at 20:07
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I, for one, pronounce both the m and the n at the beginning of mnemonic, but this is not standard and is just a quirk of mine. I also like to pronounce the g at the beginning of gnu, the p at the beginning of ptarmigan, and other such aberrations. –  JSBձոգչ Feb 6 '11 at 21:44
    
@JSBangs O, you're not supposed to pronounce that g? Guess I've been doing that wrong too. I blame my native language :P –  Ward Muylaert Feb 6 '11 at 21:57

11 Answers 11

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Sure; repeat to yourself my niece is mnemonic.

This assumes that the mn is the source of difficulty and you don't need a mnemonic for the rest of the word.

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+1 this one works –  ukayer Feb 7 '11 at 15:32
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+1. I'm convinced you made this up on the spot, which would be awesome. –  jprete Nov 15 '11 at 1:13
    
@jprete: I'm glad you think so, since yeah, I did. :) –  chaos Nov 15 '11 at 5:39

It might help to associate it to a word which is related etymologically: amnesia.

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A collection of mnemonics for mnemonic from the web:

  • Memorization's Not Easy; Memory Often Needs Initial Cues
  • My Nanny Eats Mostly Old Noodles In Cans
  • Memory Needs Every Means Of Naming It Correctly
  • Mnemonics Neatly Eliminate Man's Only Nemesis - Insufficient Cerebral Storage
  • Many Nuns Enjoy Monks Only Not In Convents

But I think the best is @Peter Taylor's simple suggestion to remember amnesia.

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i think the 2nd and the 5th are pretty good ; ) –  xtarsy Nov 15 '11 at 10:20
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I'd find it easier to just remember the letters than try to remember the 4th one. –  Urbycoz Nov 15 '11 at 12:35
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@Urbycoz Yeah, that's a good example of a bad mnemonic. –  Hugo Nov 15 '11 at 12:44

If it were a class of words you're talking about, I'd say a mnemonic would be useful. But as you are referring to a single instance, why create a mnemonic that you will have to remember (and may get wrong) to remember a single word? That adds an unnecessary burden (and abstraction) to the task.

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Mnemonics are just as much about specific instances as for general ones - for example, the use of "Naughty Elephants Squirt Water" to remember the clockwise order of the cardinal compass points. –  HorusKol Feb 6 '11 at 22:59
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@HorusKoi: That's four things, not one thing, and an order. Similarly, "I Don't Play Like My Aunt Lucy" lets you remember the musical modes: (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Myxolydian, Aeolian, Locrian) helps you remember seven things. My point is, a contrivance to help you remember a single word's spelling is actually forcing you to remember a lot more than just the spelling. –  Robusto Feb 7 '11 at 1:07
    
Good point made, Robusto. +1 from me. –  Arjun J Rao Feb 7 '11 at 14:54

M N E M O N I C.

Two M's
Two N's

M always comes before N

Never a P!
Never a U!

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who dragged P and U into this whole mess? –  Pranav Hosangadi Nov 15 '11 at 6:00
    
While we're at it- there's no F'in mnemonic. –  Urbycoz Nov 15 '11 at 12:38
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@PranavHosangadi, I think some people mistakenly think mnemonic is related to pneumonia, and come up with creative misspellings based on that. –  Marthaª Nov 15 '11 at 20:09

Maybe try these to remember how to spell MNEMONICS:

  • Men Never Eat Many Oysters Near Ice Cold Swamps
  • Many New England Memories Of Nantuckett Ice Cold Shrimp
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Who the hell can remember something like this ? –  Arjun J Rao Feb 7 '11 at 14:53
    
@Arjun: I guess (hope) that that was the joke. :-) –  ShreevatsaR Feb 7 '11 at 18:18
    
[A]: Men Never Eat Many .. what was it again? [B]: Dude, what are you talking about? [A]: I'm trying to recall the mnemonics for mnemonics .. [B]: D'uh! ;) –  Lukman Jun 23 '11 at 9:35

My niece enjoys mnemonics only never in class.

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But that requires you to remember that mnemonics starts with an m. –  Urbycoz Nov 15 '11 at 12:37

My nanny Eva makes oranges not inch closer.

It's a weird one, but that's how it got stuck in my head!

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Angry at his last trickery, Seinfeld said: "Mmmm... Newman!"

A bit more in the scientific side: pneumatics, air brakes on buses, trucks and trains are examples of pneumatic systems.

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My 11 year old has just been interviewing people for his English project on spelling strategies and just came up with what I thought was a good mnemonic for mnemonic-

Men Never Eat Marmalade On Nice Ice Creams

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Hmmm? How to remember how to spell nemonic? (sic)

Hmmm! Spell phonetically by jogging your memory... mnemonic.

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