The Major System – elaborate, and very effective
The Major System is quite an elaborate memory system. It takes some time and effort to master it, but once you have done so, you can use it to memorise anything. You can use the sounds and mental images of the Major System to memorise lists of all kinds – you can memorise state capitals, the capitals of countries, a list of monarchs, a list of presidents or Prime Ministers, or Olympic venues, or whatever you like.
Because the Major System is based on transposing sounds (rather than letters) for numbers, it allows you lots of leeway – you can choose to make different words and images to help you memorise lists.
Here’s the first 25 images for the Major System:
The Major System can help you memorise anything
I’ve included these pages on the Major System in pictures so that you can actually see how the Major System works, and how it can help you memorise anything. Each of the pictures represents a word, and each word is made from two consonant sounds, one for the first digit, the other for the second digit (obviously, each word is linked to a particular number). If you’re new to this memory system, see my page on the Major System. And see also my page on the basics of the Major System, which explains how the sounds are linked to the numbers.
Take some time to learn these words, and become familiar with their respective pictures, so that you can get the full benefit of this amazing memory system and use it to memorise anything you like. Just keep in mind that these are words that I’ve come up with – there are many, many possible words for the two-digit numbers from 00 to 99, and you can use any words that work for you.
I’ve tried to keep them more or less uniform; they are nearly all simple, easily visualised items that are easy to link to their numbers, and simple to use to link to each other to create little ‘mental movies’. The words are as short as possible (you can use longer words if you like – just add extra syllables, as long as you don’t tack on any consonant sounds along the way).
Use any words that you find suitable
For example ‘nun’ is about the simplest word you could possibly use for 22 (or at least the simplest good word – good in the sense that it’s easily visualised). It consists of the two ‘n’ sounds and not much else. It’s also a very visual word – you can very easily visualise a nun, and you can imagine her in different situations, depending on what you’re trying to memorise.
But you could, for example, use ‘anyone’ for 22. Again, there are only the two consonant sounds in the word, both of them ‘n’, but there’s also some vowel sounds in the word. To my mind, though, ‘anyone’ isn’t a good choice – it doesn’t start with the letter ‘n’ or the ‘n’ sound, which makes it less easy to commit to memory, and (probably more importantly), it’s not a visual word. ‘Anyone’ can refer … well, to anyone! How can you visualise anyone? It’s far too vague, so, to my mind, it’s unsuitable for inclusion in the Major System.
For now, it’s probably best to learn the words I’ve suggested. As you become more familiar with the Major System, you can change a few to suit yourself, particularly if you find some of the words awkward to visualise. An example of that might be 11, Ted. If you haven’t actually seen the excellent sitcom, Father Ted, then I suppose using Ted for 11, with the image I’ve shown, is pretty pointless. In that case, you could keep the word ‘ted’ and use an image of a teddy bear. Or a teddy boy. Or someone you know personally whose name is Ted. Or Teddy Kennedy. Or Ted Cassidy (Lurch in The Adams Family, and Harvey Logan in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid).
So, as you can see, there’s a lot of wiggle-room for you to chop and change. Of course, you don’t even need to use ‘Ted’ – you could use ‘dad’ (and visualise your own dad, or maybe an actor who was known for playing someone’s dad in a TV series). Or you could use ‘Data‘, the Star Trek character.
Are you beginning to see how much freedom there is within the Major System? The only really important thing is that you link the thing (or person) to the number, and that it conforms to the ‘rules’ for working within the Major System. Once you settle on your list of words, you’re well equipped to start to memorise virtually anything with this memory system.
To learn more about the Major System, take a look at these other pages: learn the Major System peg words (these will help you to master this amazing system), and learn how to use the Major System as a Mental Notebook. And, of course, check out the other pages introducing the rest of the images for the Major System.
All the links you need are also in the sidebar >>