Home · Articles · News · Dr. Know · Dr. Know
October 21st, 2009 MARTY SMITH | Dr. Know
 

Dr. Know

     
Tags:

What is a mnemonic for remembering Southwest Portland street names in order from Burnside to College?

—Maurice

First, Maurice, allow me to commend you for your restraint in not signing yourself “Roy G. Biv.”

For anyone out there who doesn’t know, a mnemonic is a phrase that helps you remember an ordered list by the words’ initial letters. The most brilliant mnemonic I know of was invented by the comedy writer Robert Smigel for the phylum-class-order-family-genus-species progression of Linnaean taxonomy. It’s “please come over for gay sex.”

I will never forget this. Unfortunately, most mnemonics weren’t devised by the creator of Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, and it shows.

Take this one, for Earth’s geological periods/epochs: “Camels often sit down carefully. Perhaps their joints creak. Possibly early oiling might prevent painful rheumatism.” Yeah, thanks a load for that one, Professor Thinky Q. Smartguy. I think I speak for several generations of geology students when I say: fuck you and your camels.

The one thing the deservedly anonymous creators of these corny old mnemonics have going for them is that they’ve set the bar pretty low for yours truly. I’d like to also point out that the list of streets in question (Burnside, Ankeny, Ash, Pine, Oak, Stark, Washington, Alder, Morrison, Yamhill, Taylor, Salmon, Main, Madison, Jefferson, Columbia, Clay, Market, Mill, Montgomery, Harrison, Hall, and College) is longer than most mnemonicized lists.

Anyway, here goes: “Bill’s An Anal Plunderer, Oliver Slept With A Mounted Yak, Tom Somehow Made My Jetta Cream-Colored—Man, My Mother Has Hot Cousins!”

If you can do better, have at it—maybe we’ll post the best ones on the Web. But if any wisenheimer writes in looking for a mnemonic for streets from Burnside to Yeon, he’s getting a knuckle sandwich.


QUESTIONS? Send them to dr.know@wweek.com.
 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
 
 

 

comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close