# Recite the alphabet backwards

(Josh Cohen) #1

I became interested in the idea of learning the alphabet backwards after this discussion. I was thinking about using alphabet-animal pegs, and then the NATO alphabet (after SilvioB’s comment), but then thought of another idea to experiment with:

1. pair the letters
2. make images from the pairs (example: AZ → AZure → sky)
3. link them with a story

My images:

Forwards Backwards Mnemonic Image
a z azure (sky)
b y biplane
c x cxo (Esperanto letter ĉ) → ĉapelo (hat)
d w Dwight (The Office)
e v Evey (from V for Vendetta)
f u function
g t greater than sign `>`
h s Haskell file
i r iridium
j q jQuery
k p kapow (comic book sound effect)
l o “lo and behold” (I think Gandalf said this somewhere in the cartoon version of The Hobbit, but I could be mistaken)
m n Minnesota
n m New Mexico
o l ordered list (`<ol>`)
p k Pakistan
q j QJ speed timer
r i Rivendell (back to Middle Earth)
s h `#!/bin/sh` (the beginning of a shell script)
t g taiga
u f UFO (pairs well with taiga)
v e vending machine
w d WD40
x c C-x C-c (closing Emacs)
y b yblent (“blinded” in Middle English)
z a South Africa

I don’t think that method is as fast as chanting it backwards repeatedly would be, but it’s an interesting feeling to mentally recite the alphabet forwards while translating the images and pulling up the other letters. Recall feels something like doing a stroop test.

By the 2nd recall pass, I realized that I was just repeating the pairs backwards and I only needed the first 13 images, but now I’m thinking of using the entire thing as a peg list for memorizing something else.

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(Simon Luisi) #2

Since I am mathematically inclined, I would prefer to just use a formula: 27- (letter#)= opposite letter match #. So P, = 27-(16 P#)= 11 and we know #11 is K.

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#3

Hi all,
I got inspired to learn the alphabet backwards by seein/hearing an Anthony Metivier video.

I combined method of loci (somewhat) by using a simple memory cube and using PAO (Zorro Yanks Xbox); Western Virginia University (WVU)

NML can be Animal the muppet or the Animals sing House of the Rising Sun, or whatever.

EDC for me was Expert Devevelopment Corporation, a Canadian Crwon corporation.

So the memory cube concept is simple. Use a door a square on the wall a table your palm etc.

Or you can use fingers if you wish.

Each station has a PAO image, except the last (first) station, which is BA. Can be you or someone you love getting a BA degree, or some oter meaningful BA image.

Once you have the pattern you practice it till it comes naturally.

If you want to get mathematical you can devise a formula to blurt out the position of the letter.

Unlike cards, nothing changes, so once you practice it you can gobsmack friends by recting the alphabet backwards first, then forwards, then backwards, or start in the middle, etc.

You can use a silly song to sing with if you must like Row row row your boat.

Loads of fun!

Best

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