An eclectic blog about beads, beading and beyond

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rainbows, mnemonics and beading: an aid to memory, and ode to hope

The first email of the day brought me a feast of beadwork full of rainbows. It was in the form of an Art Fire Collection curated by a member of Art Fire Beadweavers Guild  curated by KraftyMax on My Rainbow Butterfly bracelet was featured (see photo).

Amongst the delight of exploring the rainbow beadwork of others came the reminder that I can never remember the colours of the rainbow, despite having been taught a mnemonic to do so.

A mnemonic is a device that aids memory. It is often a short poem of saying. It is a wonderful word with a heritage in Ancient Greek and is related to the goddess of the memory in Greek mythology called Menemosyne (remembrance). The mnemomic I was taught is the name of an apparently colourful fellow called, Roy G Biv. The letters in his name give us the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet 

However, for some reason I can never seem to remember his name. My partner who is from the UK learnt to remember the rainbow through remembering the phrase - Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain - Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet. For me, this never works either. I don’t seem to be able to remember the saying. So, I set to trying to find some alternatives that might work for. Two I found are great for travellers or those who enjoy a drink or two and could perhaps work for me:
  • Ryanair Offers You Great Breaks In Venice 
  • Ran Out Yesterday, Got Blotto In Vineyard

However, inspired by these and borrowing heavily from them I decided that a beading based mnemonic might just work better for me. Here’s what I came up with:
  • Ran Out Yesterday, Got Beads in Venice
  • Rondelles Offer You Great Beading in Violet

Not great poetry, but they might just help my memory a little.  If you can improve on them and/or have any handy beading mnemomics you use I’d love to hear them. After all rainbows are well worth having and remembering in our life. As Wikipedia tells us they have been a symbol of hope across many times and places:

Rainbow flags tend to be used as a sign of a new era, of hope, or of social change. Rainbow flags have been used in many places over the centuries: in the German Peasants' War in the 16th century, as a symbol of the Cooperative movement; as a symbol of peace, especially in Italy; to represent the Tawantin Suyu, or Inca territory, mainly in Peru and Bolivia;[35] by some Druze communities in the Middle east; by the Jewish Autonomous Oblast; to represent the International Order of Rainbow for Girls since the early 1920s; and as a symbol of gay pride and LGBT social movements since the 1970s. (

Here's to better rainbow memories and the hopes that rainbow flags can carry. 

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