Developing the Major System PAO Numbers 1-99:

Hello, I know that I haven’t posted here in a while, and I was wondering whether I am required to develop my own PAO for the major system to attain the most effective imagery using the least amount of time possible. Over here Anthony Metivier cautioned against using a Dominic System generator:
The Dominic System vs. The Major System For Memorizing Numbers - YouTube

However, I wondered if this also applies to the creation of the PAO for the Major System. If using a Major System Generator would lead to performance issues, then my next question would be how to generate my own list? I have some problems with coming up with words because whatever I come up with is inconsistent with the system itself. For example, if 1 = t, d, and I want to come up with a word corresponding with 11, then I come up with “Donut,” but donut also has an “n” in it; thus, it would be designated by the system as number 121 rather than 11. Lily would be 55, but that was someone else’s idea, as would ale for 5, etc. Interestingly I still remember someone else’s idea, but I’m not sure if I should continue with someone else’s major system or come up with my own list.

Also, I am currently generating a Dominic System list, and generating a list of characters is somewhat easy. However, I am worried that when I begin generating words for actions, I might get stuck. For generating character initials, I just write down random character names I remember and hopefully, I’ll eventually fulfill all the required initials for the generation of the Dominic system.


I used the major system to help create a PAO, but I focused on only the first letter of the first and last names. For example, for me, Sylvester Stallone (SS) is 00, while Ted Turner (TT) is 11. However, when it made sense, I was lax, so Spider-Man is SM, or 03. I used actions and objects that seemed to fit (at least to me) with each person, and didn’t use the major system. So, the action object for 00 for me is a left hook to a slab of meat (from a Rocky movie).

Disclaimer - I finished my PAO last fall, and study it on and off. I can recall it all, however I’m very slow. To recall the encoding for most of the numbers I have to remember what letters they are. So, when I see 18 I first think TF, then Tom Friedman. I’m not yet able to go directly from 18 to Tom Friedman.

@Epix101, you raise a number of good questions. Here’s a few of my opinions for consideration.

If you are talking about system generation, then it’s much more efficient to start with someone else’s images and to make it more effective, remove the ones that don’t make relevant visual sense to you and replace them with ones that do. The greater amount of effectiveness comes from practice with any system. @michael2, if you are considering competition, an hour a day practicing is not out of the question.

@metivier’s ecommendation for not using a generator in providing names seems based on a common saying I’ve encountered in teachning in the computer field. “If it was hard for me to learn, it should be hard for you to learn also.” I always wanted to find tools to make my outcome easier or people that knew more than I did without having to reinvent the wheel. But I also know that hard work imprints information better than letting other people do the work for you.

But what are the reasons you should you choose between the Major and Dominic systems? The two systems are following different goals and you should select the system based on your goal.

Are you interested in pursuing competition where time pressure makes quick encoding and decoding of large amounts numbers is essential? Or are you more interested in having a long-term set of pegs that are relevant to your domain of information and could be altered in another domain for more unique images?

The Major system is a popular digit-to-sound system providing flexibility with associating sounds to multiple letters that didn’t need any improvements until people started competing. The Dominic system is a digit-to-letter system providing one-to-one associations to letters providing a strong ability to encode and decode quickly which is essential for competition.

Follow good system principles of being very consistent with your rule application. (Initials only or first-syllables only, person-only or object-only) And I wouldn’t use more than one system. One well learned system is better than two systems half-known.

Check out the examples available here on the wiki concerning the PAO system.

Happy encoding!

I use categories to divide mine up.

00-06 Family
07-09 Friends
10-19 Athletes etc

Sometimes I use major system for the 2nd digit.

50s are celebrities. 52 is Natalie Portman.

I like the split up with different categories because sometimes it helps me in recall.

Also, certain numbers are assigned regardless of category. Michael Jordan is 23 even though he doesnt fit the category.


@Bigdonnyv, is there any special way you associate the categories with the first digit? This is an excellent way to knock off some the difficulty of using two letters for mapping to a person.

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Hey Doug,

The first digit is known by the category.

So celebrities for my are 50-59.

So Natalie Portman is 52. 50-59 Celebrities- N for Natalie=2, Natalie Portman is 52.

But i dont always use the major system. Aaron Rodgers is 12 because thats his number. I like using categories because I find recall Ill often narrow one im missing for my category.

So lets say I get 505212. 50 cent uses a lightsaber(Natalie Portman was in Star Wars) to slice cheese(Rodgers plays for the Packers and their fans wear cheeseheads).

But no theres no special reason the first digit is a specific thing. Just try to come up with 10 categories and make them pop a little different. Like athletes, mix the sports up. Now I have 2 american football players but they are much difrerent. Julio Jones and Aaron Rodgers.


So I’ve managed to generate a list of characters for numbers 00-99, but I’m having trouble with generating action words or objects for a few numbers (13 numbers to be exact) for letters and numbers. My PAO system works by aligning the letter/sound produced by the first or last letter of the word on the list. For the action words I am having trouble generating, it’s for numbers 23, 24, 26, 28, 50, 53, 54, 56, 72, 73; while for the objects, it’s numbered 23, 73, 86.

My system labels numbers as follows:

0= s, z
1= t, d
2= n
3=m, w
4= r
5= l
6= j, sh, ch
7= k
8= f, v
9= p, b, g

Are there any suggestions for how I can overcome this roadblock or possible suggestions for the remaining numbers? Thanks!! (I’m thinking of expanding my list or adding a two-word rule… Tell me if this is a good idea)

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Is this what you looking .

23 - nm - numbing
24 - nr - nairing (or narrowing)
26 - nj - nudging (or notching)
28 - nf - knifing
50 - ls - lassoing
53 - lm - looming
54 - lr - lowering
56 - lj - leashing
72 - kn - canoeing (or keening)
73 - km - combing

I hope it will help you,
Well, my pao actions is just random not letter based.


You dont need your actions or objects to follow the major system, have them relate to your person.

@Rajadodve786 Most PAO peg systems are based on a person and then associated for extended secondary values with actions or objects. You based your pegs on actions which I haven’t seen before and thought it might not be possible. But it looks like it is!

Do you use it with any other associations like a person or object? Do you use it for number visualization? Or is it just an action peg system? Well done!

Sorry, thinkaboutthebible but I am not using this , even I haven’t a pao yet (half completed pao)

Epix asked for this type of actions that’s why for helping him I wrote that actions based on major system letters.

My 2 digit system is totally object based system , 2 objects per loci (well I directly put that objects on the location, sometimes If I want I can add any type of actions in them too)
But I am adding actions in 3 digit system a lot. (Any type of actions that came in my mind first)

Edit : if you wanna interested in making this there is a list available on Wikipedia major system based actions (If you have some trouble with that actions , I will help you to find good actions)

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@Rajadodve786 Thanks, I was curious because it seems much easier to start with a person when visualizing 6 digits in a PAO or 4 in a PA. It’s the way we think in sentences with the subject first. I am working mostly with theory right now. And my practice is based around verbatim text so I don’t have much need for number memorization that the PAO is excellent for. I appreciate your suggestions.