GASP! PEDMAS! ROY G. BIV! HOMES!
If you have ever attended school in the United States, you can probably make sense of at least one of these crazy words. (But probably not the first one – GASP – unless you have ever had golf lessons with Lou Ruina. Lou taught me to think about GASP every time I get ready to hit a ball – Grasp, Alignment, Stance and Posture). PEDMAS is how many children are taught the order of operations in math, Roy G. Biv stands for colors in a rainbow of course and HOMES help people to remember the names of the Great Lakes. Why do we remember these things many, many years after we learn them? Mnemonics work because they help us provide meaning and structure to seemingly unrelated words. They help us to organize information in a way that specifically helps us to remember. Mnemonics often involve visualizations which further helps us to recall specific information. Look at the acronyms above. Do they create a picture in your mind?
There are many memory joggers available to us in our day to day lives other than those mentioned above. Memory aids can be external, like a checklist, or internal, like an acronym. If something needs to be remembered during an emergency situation or while working out on the job floor or construction site, which do you think is better?
Fortunately, there are also a few acronyms commonly used in the safety world. Do you know these? (Answers will be shared tomorrow)
ABCs of CPR
Have you made up any of your own? If so, please share in the comments below.