The chaining & pegging memory techniques

Written by ann lapan
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The chaining & pegging memory techniques
List memorisation is easier using chaining and pegging. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Memorisation, a challenge for many people, can be made simple using the aids called "chaining" and "pegging." Using systems for transforming dry lists into easy assimilation of memorable information, which is also called mnemonics, people incorporate the chaining and pegging techniques into their memorisation skills through observation, association and visualisation.

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The Technique of Pegging

Pegging is the process of assigning word or letter values to numbers for numerical mnemonics. During the 1600s, Stanislaus Mink von Wennsshein developed the technique that, with modern adaptations, is still in use today. The complication with pegging is that you have to memorise in order to memorise. The code for the nine digits is considered to be simple, if you can remember that for example, the digit 6, because it looks like the letter j, corresponds to the letters j, ch., and sh. But the digit 9, which is opposite 6 corresponds to the letters b and p. Other codes are z and s for zero, t and d for one, n for two, m for three, r for four, L for five, k, g, or c for seven, and f or v for eight.

Using Pegging

To use pegging to remember long numbers, write down the number and replace the digits with code letters. For example, to remember the number 14,312,149, assign d and r to the 14, m and d to the 31, n and t to the 21, and r and p to the 49. Add vowels to construct words. D plus r can become deer; m and d can become mud; n and t can become net; and r and p cam be rope. Construct a story that uses the words: A deer is in the mud in a net made of rope.

The Technique of Chaining

Chaining is an associative memorisation skill that creates an easily remembered story. Lists of words can be memorised by linking them together in a way that creates a visual images used in the story.

Using Chaining

One of the more common applications for the chaining technique is the memorisation of a grocery list. Say you had to go to the store to get bananas, milk, bread and green beans. You could construct a story about going into the store with a monkey who wants a banana. But it's not a normal monkey -- it is going to eat the banana in a sandwich with a drink of milk. In your story, you watch it eat while you munch some green beans.

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