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T O P I C     R E V I E W
Member # 2340
 - posted February 06, 2011 11:09
The paper was curious who could still recite things from their childhood. I even made the video reciting AA Milne's Disobedience/James, James...
(Flubbed the end because the cameras made me nervous.) Still if you want a laugh.

Also curious what can you still recite?
Member # 2854
 - posted February 06, 2011 12:12
Oh my. I never pegged you for a West Virginian. I really thought you were a native of some Scandinavian country or Iceland. [Eek!] [blush]
Member # 4924
 - posted February 06, 2011 12:26
I was able to recite the gettysburg address into adulthood ( but couldn't when I tried tonight) thanks to my fourth grade teacher who made us recite it every day.
I can also recite all the responces of a catholic mass.
Member # 2340
 - posted February 06, 2011 15:02
I live here, but don't really count as a native. LOL
Member # 2071
 - posted February 06, 2011 19:53
What a charming little film, and well done Aditu, given the pressure of the camera, you acquitted yourself just fine.

[Applause] [Applause]

I am not sure what I could recite off the top of my head, perhaps this from a Bonzo Dog song

I'm a wobbly jelly, you're a pink blancmange
I'm a sherry trifle, you're a chocolate sponge
Your dad wears a party hat, mine inflates balloons
Whoop diddly oop pop, here come the spoons.

But song lyrics is cheating really, as the tune makes them much easier to remember, and it's not from my childhood either, I do remember a couple of nonsense rhymes my father liked to say. One was

De spring is sprung, de grass is ris
I wonder where dem birdies is?
De bird is on de wing
But no! Dat is absurd,
De wing is on de bird
Member # 3187
 - posted February 06, 2011 20:12
As soon as I read the question the first two verses
of 'In Flanders Fields' jostled up from the back of
my mind and stood clearly in my forebranium.

A 5th grade teacher with what I now recognize as a
sadistic streak thought having the class memorize
the poem in writing, including exact punctuation,
would bring us to a greater appreciation of poetry
or some such.

It just assured I avoided poetry at all costs until
my late thirties.
Member # 2340
 - posted February 07, 2011 09:55
My mother could memorize things easily. So once as a punishment she had to memorize the poem backwards. Her parents found her in the middle of the night in front of a mirror reciting in her sleep. When she fretted in the morning, they assured her she could handle it.

How many US geeks can recite the Preamble because of Schoolhouse Rocks or am I alone in that one?
Member # 170
 - posted February 07, 2011 16:56
Aditu wrote:
How many US geeks can recite the Preamble because of Schoolhouse Rocks or am I alone in that one?

I had to memorize it before the days of Schoolhouse Rock, but after hearing it a billion times during Saturday morning cartoons, it's very difficult to recite it without starting to sing the words.
Member # 4289
 - posted February 07, 2011 17:28
My earliest recitations are mnemonics learned in the early Seventies (aged seven or thereabouts)when metric units were introduced into school lessons.

"A litre of water's a pint and three quarters."

"Two and a quarter pounds of jam weigh about a kilogram"

... and the execrable "A metre measures three-foot three, it's longer than a yard, you see." [shake head]
Member # 736
 - posted February 07, 2011 18:30
Stuff I remember is stuff I absorbed through routine use. I can do whole chunks of the periodic table, Newton's Laws, and the Three Laws of Thermodynamics. Back me up against a wall and I can probably recite bits of LOTR and the Silmarillion, or, at least, tell you if someone else is doing it wrong. And me and my entire family have been known to sit and recite entire scenes of The Princess Bride at each other. And, of course, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. But anything I was commanded to memorize in a class? Forget it. Can't do the TCA or urea cycles. Forgot most of the transition metals. The Preamble? Gettysburg Address? Nope and nope. First five books of the Old Testament? The Gospels? Forget it again. I sort of remember the Pledge of Allegiance. I also stunned myself and my entire family by rattling off the Lord's Prayer a while back.

Can't remember any of the music I used to have memorized either.
Member # 955
 - posted February 07, 2011 19:13
I'm Catholic, therefore I can recite many many many prayers. Besides those, I have a lot of mnemonic devices that I've used throughout the years to help me remember things.

"Please Do Not Throw Sausage Pizza Away" is the layers of the OSI model: Physical, Data-link, Network, Transport, Session, Presentation, Application.

"My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine (Pickles)" is the (old) order of the formerly-nine planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Urectum, Neptune, (Pluto).

"Kings Play Chess On Flat Girl's Stomachs" is the order of biological classification: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genius, Species.

"Oh Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me" is the order of star classifications from smallest to largest: O, B, A, F, G, K, M.

Do song lyrics count? I know a lot of songs.

I think if I was pressed, I could still recite the last names of the presidents of the United States, or at least the ones that had been in office by the time I was in 4th grade.

Speaking of 4th grade, I could still recite a whole slew of "memory work" that Mrs. Southwood used to start class with every day, probably similar in style to Grummash's rhymes.

Oh, duh, I haven't even recited the EIA-TIA 568B wiring standard for a patch cord: White/Orange, Orange, White/Green, Blue, White/Blue, Green, White/Brown, Brown. Used to use that one a lot back in the day. No mnemonic, just raw memorization. For the 568A standard reverse the green and orange colors. To make a crossover cable, make one end A and the other B.

I'll stop now.
The Famous Druid
Member # 1769
 - posted February 07, 2011 21:42
The druidlings watched Shrek so often that they could entertain themselves on long car trips by reciting most of the dialog.
Member # 736
 - posted February 07, 2011 23:45
I learned it as Kings Play Chess On Fairly Good Soft Velvet (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, Variety). But it's not accurate. In the 1980s they redrew the tree, though it took a long time for the change to make it into middle and high school textbooks. There's another level about kingdoms, the domains. To give you an idea of how slow the textbooks are, the three domain tree was accepted by consensus when I was in grade school but I didn't learn about Domain Archaea until college freshman bio in 1999. Prior to that, it was some other crap I've more or less purged. But the books did catch up - my youngest sister learned about archaea in HS.

Anyway, the proper and up-to-date mnemonic is now Dumb (or Dead or Deaf) Kings Play Chess on Fairly Good Soft Velvet. Or, if you want to toss the varieties, Faded Green Silk or Fairly Good Silk.
Member # 966
 - posted February 08, 2011 11:25
We actually had a competition to come up with a mnemonic for the biological classification. The winner was " keep people comfy on fluffy green sofas".
Member # 2950
 - posted February 08, 2011 16:54
Albert's Spaghetti Too Cold... anyone know that one? I know what it is... can anyone else recognise it? For some of us at the time we found the slightly off kilter Cast Aluminium Skateboard Trucks to be more effective.

A couple of ones local to me are:
I Put Some Water In Charlie's Hat
Silly Uncle Fred Found Our Lost Kitten...
Can you spot the references? (look at my tags for a clue)

Once upon a time I learnt both 'October' and 'Tam O'Shanter' word and punctuation perfect for exams... as well as big chunks of Wilfred Owen's war poetry - all long forgotten now - similarly I learnt big passages of various parts of Shakespeare... also long gone. I can probably call up a phrase or two from any of them at a push - or like Xanth realise a misquote (I guess even the forgotten stuff is in there somewhere/somehow)

I can quote fair amounts of "Withnail and I" and when pushed reasonable amounts of Python and bits of Bill Bailey's "Pubbe Tale" (which I am determined to learn as a 'party piece')

Richard Of York Gained Battles In Vain is very famous as is probably Never Eat Shredded Wheat...

Unfortunately most of the stuff I learnt as a young man has been pushed out by my adult life crap (remembering National Insurance No., endless PIN No's, bank account No's, internet/net passwords, everyone else's passwords (you get that too?), car reg. no's, server IP addresses, and all the rest of it...)

Of course we can all remember childhood rhymes and the like without even thinking about it... because they were etched into our brains before any of the other sh*t mattered - what sticks and what doesn't is something I believe we all wish we could all crack - damn that would be sooooo cooool.... if we could command what is worthwhile and what isn't and make the important stuff stick and the crap only stick as long as needed...

Unfortunately my wife lost her father in January, suddenly and unexpectedly... and that brings a certain level of remembering and not being able to remember that hurts - why can't you remember more of his life??? and how come you can only remember stupid little events... (Happens to us all - but it is a lesson on how memory is a bad friend to us, it lets us down when we need it most. or does it? perhaps it is part of the human condition to only be able to remember parts of a relationship when it is taken away?)

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