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The most common planetary mnemonic is:

My very educated mother just served us nine pizzas

Another popular planetary mnemonic is:

My very educated mother just showed us nine planets

A planetary mnemonic without Pluto is:

My very educated mother just served us noodles

There are many other mnemonics as mentioned at Mnemonic device.

I have noticed that Indians sometimes use the word "elegant" in the mnemonic instead of "educated":

My very elegant mother just served us nine pizzas

or

My very elegant mother just showed us nine planets

or without Pluto

My very elegant mother just served us noodles

What is the origin of the phrase with "elegant"?

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – tchrist
    Aug 23, 2020 at 23:21
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    I’m voting to close this question because this question displays a basic misunderstanding of mnemonics. There are no standardised mnemonics, merely those that have become popular as they are themselves memorable. Variations and alternatives will arise from time to time as people forget or improvise. As a consequence of this, any variation from a popular mnemonic will have arisen via a person who will forever remain anonymous.
    – Greybeard
    Mar 2 at 17:20
  • @Greybeard What question can i ask about the mnemonic and where? Mar 2 at 18:34
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    I think that my point is there is no answer as there is no defined standard for mnemonics. The words of a mnemonic are arbitrary and may and do change from place to place and decade to decade (as your example shows). To be frank, the question is trivial.
    – Greybeard
    Mar 3 at 1:12

1 Answer 1

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I think the premise of your question, that this specific usage is unique to Indian English. is incorrect. This variant of the mnemonic (or other variants using 'Elegant Mother') can be found in US published books going back to at least the mid 1980's.

It may be that one of these books was the ultimate source for some standardised science text that was popular in India, but researching that is probably out of the scope of this site!

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  • I am not Indian. I went to public school in New Jersey just outside NYC in the 1970s. We were taught "My very elegant mother just served us nine pickles". But I'm with Greybeard (above) regarding numerous variations simply arising anonymously. Jun 27 at 3:06

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