A Conversation for Mnemonics and Other Learning Devices

How *do* you avoid forgetting names?

Post 1

Titania (gone for lunch)

I'd really like to know - because I can't remember names!smiley - yikes

Numbers, yes - no problem, my head is full of phone numbers I used to have before moving, friends' parents from the time when they were still living at home, account numbers for accounts that no longer exist, company organization numbers for companies I no longer work for... the list is endless...

...maybe there is simply no room left for names?smiley - huh

I once read an article by some professor who said that anyone can learn to memorize names - if only you're interested. If you're not interested, you are not likely to memorize it - but he was wrong!smiley - cross Sometimes I can't even remember the names of my favourite authors, or composers, or artists...smiley - erm

How *do* you avoid forgetting names?

Post 2


I don't.

I have never been able to and I've learned to speak to people without using names.

How *do* you avoid forgetting names?

Post 3


the simple answer to this one is to practice doing it.

for example, lots of people quote comments from books, but can never remember where they read them.

so start trying to reference where you saw them when you quote them.

if you happen to remember that there is a lot of stuff about building elevators to space in a book you read, try and deliberately remember that it was the fountains of paradise, and that it was by arthur c clarke. (although for a start you are more likely to end up remembering that it was in a book by arthur c clarke and trying to remember the title).

try and use the skill, and eventually it arrives (unless it is completely outside the range of your possible talents, which is unusual).

How *do* you avoid forgetting names?

Post 4

Titania (gone for lunch)

Thanks R - nice to know I'm not alone!smiley - smiley And I know dozens if not hundreds of ways to start or reply in a conversation without even once mentioning the name of the person I'm talking to!smiley - weird

My trouble is that sometimes I can't even remember names that I'm supposed to know!smiley - erm

Example from RL, talking to a close friend (who knows about my name trouble):

"There was this time when I went to Turkey together with... with... with... (number of hits when searching for name=0) ...with... uh...."

"...Jenny, wasn't it?" replied my friend, filling in the name for me.

...and Jenny was a friend of mine too - and *not* a new acquaintance!smiley - yikes

I wonder if there exists something that might be called 'namelexia'?

How *do* you avoid forgetting names?

Post 5

Titania (gone for lunch)

...not to mention the number of times I've had to walk up to a colleague at w*rk to indicate I'm addressing him/her - because I'm fumbling in the dark when it comes to his/her name (again, I know their names, I might possibly hav been w*rking together with them for years) - and I don't consider it very polite to just shout 'Hey! You!' from across the room...

It's obviously the 'search' function that doesn't work - I wonder if it might be possible to install google in your brain?smiley - silly

I never forget a face though - even if I rarely manage to connect it with a name or a connection (Do I know this person? Is she w*rking in the supermarket? Is it one of my neighbours? Or is it a celebrity?) I haven't got the foggiest...

How *do* you avoid forgetting names?

Post 6


I have no trouble remembering quotes, ask any of my friends. I can quote passages from E A Poe, ol' Shakespere and most of my fathers collection of sci-fi and yet I can't put a name to a face. Especially if that face is "out of context", e g meeting someone from the stables at the shops.

How *do* you avoid forgetting names?

Post 7


I have the very same problem. Even when I do manage to memorise someone's name, I still have to use it regularly or its gone...

The best you can do is just remember the important names (my girlfriends family HAD to be memorised!) and develop your own nicknames for the rest. 'Rackets' for 'Rachel' which oddly enough isn't 100% but is still better than attempting to remember the names straight off. So Shivers, Shinners and Rackets help me make it through the day...

How *do* you avoid forgetting names?

Post 8


if you have no problem remembering the face, try remembering them wearing a namebadge.

How *do* you avoid forgetting names?

Post 9


This is my best method for trying to learn the names of new people (it doesn't always work, because it depends on the situation). I can't remember where I read it now, but anyway. smiley - smiley

Start a conversation with the new person, and *don't* ask their name. Just make small talk for a few minutes, and get a little bit of an idea of what their personality is like. *Then* ask their name. Supposedly, if you already have a personality filed in your mind to attach the name to, it is easier to remember it than if you are trying to remember the name with no associated personality.

My method obviously doesn't work when someone specially introduces me to someone else, unless I don't try to remember the name to begin with, chat for a while and then ask their name again after I've got to know them a bit.

How *do* you avoid forgetting names?

Post 10


Good idea! I'll try both the suggestions above!


Key: Complain about this post

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more