Typography as a memory tool/mnemonics and how to use them today

Hi all,

I have recently picked up a book about when text was written in long sentences with no breaks (ancient times) versus the broken written sentence structure we have now (started in medieval times).

Also, I have been examining how brackets, apostrophes, and the colon symbol act as de facto mnemonic tools/memory devices/memory systems. Mathematical symbols are mnemonic tools and Mathematical rules function similarly.

I wanted to know if YOU, the reader, have read any books along these lines and we (our community here) can benefit.

Thank you,


As in “×” is the sign for multiplication, because you should really do 97x96 like this:

97 -3
96 -4

Taking 100 as a base, you find 97 is 3 removed from 100 and 96 4 removed from 100. Now you use your mnemonics, which tell you that multiplication is done in an “×”-like fashion:

  1. take either 97-4 or 96-3 (“×” as in across) for 93
  2. simply multiply the -3 and -4 to get 12

…put them together and you get 97x96 = 93 12

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Thanks Bjoern,

I was looking for books on this subject that deals particularly with the Typography of mathematics to simplify things for us in this forum. :slight_smile:


Check out Vedic Math by Jagadguru Shankaracharya Shri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji Maharaja. It’s based on 16 Sutras that serve a mnemonic purpose; however, they lose a bit in translation… might need to learn some Sanskrit/Hindi if you are really into the mnemonic aspects of it.

Also covers the Katapayadi System in there, but again… pretty useless without knowledge of Devanagari.

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Awesome Bjoern!

I wanted to know how punctuation facilitated conveying information in print.

THAT is my main goal.


In what context? Latin alphabet? Math?

Look up any introductory text on Hebrew that explains nikkud. The dots around the letter that tell you which vowels to use… mostly used in children books and dictionaries. Also check the vowel signs in Hindi and Thai. That’s basically what that punctuation is good for.


No…What happened during the Renaissance was that because of the Gutenberg press, the visual demonstration of logical arguments and use of ciphers became possible over a wide scale because of printing and not manuscript making.

Using brackets/parentheses…Italicized letters…etc.



Elverskog, Johan. “The Gutenberg Fallacy and the History of Printing among the Mongols.” Tibetan Printing: Comparison, Continuities, and Change , edited by Hildegard Diemberger et al., Brill, LEIDEN; BOSTON, 2016, pp. 21–37. JSTOR ,

So, do you want to hear about how an é is long and an è is short, because the first is slowly walking up a hill and the latter is quickly running down a hill? Works most of the time in French, not always in Spanish.

…not sure where we’re going with this.

Hi and thank you again for posting

Lina Bolzoni wrote a book called “The Gallery of Memory” and in it, she shows how typography was visibly used to show arguments and lines of reasoning during the renaissance in Italy.

Prior to the printing press, this type of demonstration was not really done…its not seen in scrolls or uncials.


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