When it comes to the use of mnemonic devices, word formation and phrase formation styles always get all of the credit for helping people remember all types of information.
However, there is one often overlooked style of mnemonic device that many people use each and every day whether they think about it or not.
Known as the visual mnemonic device, this type of memorization technique allows a person to associate words that they have to memorize with various pictures or images in their mind about what they need to remember.
Despite the fact that visual mnemonic devices are used each and every day by people around the world, they are the most difficult type of mnemonic device to create, and oftentimes you will simply find it easier to stick with word forming or phrase forming types of mnemonics.
Even if you are not familiar with the term visual mnemonic device, I can guarantee that you have used one at least once in your life. Do you remember the first time that you ever had to use a screwdriver to tighten a screw or a wrench to loosen a nut or bolt?
Chances are that the person who taught you how to do the task told you something that people have been passing on for generations: righty tighty, lefty loosey.
This cute and simple little rhyme has helped people from all walks of life instantly remember which way you need to turn a bolt or screw to tighten it and which way you need to turn to loosen it, making a job that you would have otherwise had to think about for a few seconds into second nature.
If you have noticed something about the example given above, it is that a visual mnemonic device innately differs from a word forming or phrase forming style mnemonic.
To begin with, the visual mnemonic device does not take advantage of having anything to do with the first letters of any words that you may have to memorize or the formation of any words or phrases using those first letters. Instead, you are given a little rhyme or some other slogan which is amazingly easy to remember and recall.
In fact, unlike other types of mnemonic devices that are usually only useful for a relatively short amount of time, you can store a visual mnemonic in your brain for years and years without ever forgetting it because you paint a picture in your mind of what you are supposed to remember.
Our final example on how to use mnemonic devices effectively comes to us from the field of trigonometry. Yes, the math course that has baffled high school and college students for centuries is where we will conclude our examples on how to take advantage of the basic characteristics of mnemonics.