The world's most effective (and fun) way to remember a series of numbers, is to memorize it as a silly word phrase. This phrase is called a pseudonume, a word similar to pseudonym, because it is a false name for the numbers. You associate this phrase with the purpose of the numbers, and then "pseudospell" it when you want the numbers.
Remembering word phrases, and how they are spelled, is easy. You can spell over 50,000 words. You don't have to try to remember how to spell them, or have them written down. You can just spell them, in your head, at any time and any place. You remember several thousand names too – names of people, places, stores and products. And with these names, you can associate silly phrases, like "What's up, doc?" or "The Big Apple" or "Gotta catch 'em all!". Now compare this with how many long-digit numbers you know (telephone numbers, postal code numbers, bank account numbers, access numbers and pin codes.) A series of numbers is not visual and it's not interesting, and that makes it hard to memorize. Most people don't bother to remember more than a few dozen numbers. It's just not worth the effort. But it is annoying to not have these numbers handy. Each time we meet an unfamiliar number we have to write it down, and each time we need to use it we have to check each individual digit. Imagine if we had to remember names this way! For numbers remembered as pseudonumes, the numbers are all there, in the right order, every time we need them.
Once you have learned how to pseudospell, you need to "pseudonume" your long-digit number. In other words, you need to find or make a word phrase that matches it. You may try this, by converting your number from Arabic numerals to Pseudonumerals: 0-S, 1-T, 2-N, 3-M, 4-R, 5-L, 6-J, 7-K, 8-F, 9-P. Then look at the series of pseudonumerals that you have written, for example TKPKSTP. Think of each pseudonumeral as a consonant sound, and see what words you can come up with to match them, such as "TaKe a BiG STeP". This might work well for your number, but it's pretty hard for most numbers, especially for beginners. To make an interesting pseudonume for a long number, you probably need to use a reference list, something called a Pseudonumer®. With such a collection of interesting words, making a good pseudonume is really fun. Finding the best words to fit the number is a word puzzle, like solving a crossword puzzle.
The Peewee Web Pseudonumer at this web site includes about 4,000 pseudonumes. It works well for making a phrase for a number up to about 8 digits long. The Ponderous Pseudonumer is a 200-page reference book that lists over 65,000 pseudonumes – many longer words for making more elegant pseudonumes for longer numbers. The Pocket Pseudonumer is a one-page reference table with 443 of the most useful short pseudonumes. It is not for making phrases, but for linking pseudonumes together, in a crude but very effective way. You can print it out from this web site and use it to find and link four or five visual images, thus memorizing an eight- to ten-digit number in a minute or less. This is the fastest way known for normal people to memorize a really long series of numbers. In my test-demonstrations, after only a brief explanation, students try using the Pocket Pseudonumer to memorize an arbitrary 40-digit number. On average, they need about 20 minutes for this, while some can do it in 5 minutes! That's a number like 4 5 9 3 0 6 9 8 2 7 1 0 6 5 8 2 0 5 9 7 5 9 5 2 4 3 5 0 5 9 3 8 3 9 6 2 0 3 8 1, and these are normal first-year university students who are trying Pseudonumerology for the first time. Three weeks later, without refreshing their memories, over half of the students can still remember their 40-digit number. Nobody needs to be able to do that, but the students are surprised and delighted that they can!
A Pseudonumer® will help anyone who wants to memorize more
numbers. It is a tool,
like a dictionary for learning a new word, or a thesaurus for finding the best
word for a special purpose. Such tools are useful for anyone who
bothers to use them. We don't use these tools daily, but should
know that they are available for when they are needed. If you haven't heard of Pseudonumerology®
before, it's because it is still being developed, and is not being advertized.
(Maybe you will mention it to a few million close friends?) Once it gets known, it
may take some time getting accepted, because it seems
unnatural for adults to try this weird way to remember numbers, or to try to
remember numbers at all. That's because we can remember some numbers, and
have accepted the fact that we must look the others up each time we use them.
Trying Pseudonumerology for the first time seems as foreign to adults as trying a new
language, or trying to ride a surfboard, or play the violin. But Pseudonumerology
is completely natural for children to try, and they learn it very quickly. It is just as
easy for adults.
If you are a teacher or parent, consider teaching your children the pseudonumerals,
even though you have only learned them now yourself.