Monday, September 28, 2009


I'm preparing a talk I'll give on Thursday about memory. Part of the talk relates to the structure of mnemonics, those silly phrases or sentences you learn to help you remember facts. An example is My very educated mother just showed us nine planets. The first letters help you remember Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Since the talk with be partly in Norwegian, I made the rounds in the office today gathering norsk mnemonics from my colleages. What fun! I found ways to know the southern coastal cities, the northern fjords, the Swedish rivers, and north African countries.

There's even a Roy G. Biv equivalent in Norwegian: ROGGBIF. It helps you remember the colors in a rainbow. 'Bif' = 'Beef', but 'rogg' doesn't mean anything at all, so it's some kind of fictitious beef. Still, it's just as good as Roy G. Biv, wouldn't you agree? What's funnier though, is if you enter 'roggbif' into Google translate. It knows exactly what roggbif is:

Well done, Google. One of the more amusing Norwegian mnemonics is this one for the names of the planet (earth in Norwegian is 'Jord'): Mange vakre jenter med jur spaserer uten noe på. It's a bit racy, so I'll let you translate that yourself!

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