What are Mnemonics?
Simply put, a mnemonic is something which helps you remember
some piece of information (such as a phone number).
Here is what Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary's 10th
edition has to say about mnemonics:
fr. mnemon mindful,
fr. mimneskesthai to remember
- more at MIND]
1 : assisting or intended to assist memory;
also : of or relating to mnemonics
2 : of or relating to memory
- mne·mon·i·cal·ly adv
mnemonic n (1858) : a mnemonic device or code
\ni-'mä-niks\ n pl but sing in constr (ca. 1721)
: a technique for improving the memory
Mnemonics and Phone Numbers
Most people find it easier to remember a catchy phrase than a 7
digit number. Unfortunately, not every number contains a
catchy phrase. There are two main reasons for this:
Not all numbers have letters associated with them, i.e.:
1 and 0 do not map to any letters.
Relatively few of all possible character combinations
are actually meaningful words (in the dictionary).
Still, most numbers do contain words which may help you
remember at least some of the digits. DialABC will show you
these words and you can string them together in whatever
way is easiest for you to remember.
An Example: 843-2273
For instance, imagine you learn that the 800 number for your
highly successful silk tie cleaning shop happens to spell out
1-888-TIE-CARE. You could then use this mnemonic
in your ads to attract business and to help your existing
customers remember your phone number.
This is because, in an emergency requiring immediate cleaning of
a silk tie, 1-888-TIE-CARE is easier to remember than
1-888-843-2273 (for most people). This "tool for remembering"
is also a "tool for communication": it will make it easier
for you to get referrals from satisfied customers since they
can communicate your phone number to their friends without
having to scribble it onto a napkin.
Quite often, there is more than one mnemonic for the same
number. Some of these mnemonics may not be useful for your
business (or worse). Likewise, a different mnemonic may be
worth a lot of money to somebody else. In the case of
"843-2273", you may instead choose to "sell" this
800 number to a large
credit card company for more money than you could ever earn
Why would a credit card company want to buy this phone number?
Because this number also "spells" 1-888-THE-CARD.
Key Pad Pit Falls
Beware of key pad translation issues! Not all phone dials
and key pads are alike in the ways they associate
numbers with letters. If you are accustomed to dialing a
vanity phone number using letters, you may find yourself
dialing the wrong number if you use a different phone.
For example, if you dial the letter "Q", you would
actually dial 7, 0, 6, or no number at all, depending
on which of the many phone key pads you are using.
This is why it is a good idea to keep the actual phone
numbers handy in addition to their catchy letters-only
mnemonics. If you look closely, much advertisement and
product literature featuring vanity numbers also include
that same phone number in pure numeric form.