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4.5 out of 5 stars
i before e (except after c)
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am a home schooler, and the memory tips in this little book are invaluable teaching tools. Some I remembered, some I had forgotten...and some were new to me. All can serve anyone on "memory lane." It even helped me come up with memory keys on my own. Great book, and an easy read.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Judy Parkinson's I Before E is a collection of hundreds of mnemonic techniques and tips, divided by theme among 16 chapters. The book covers mnemonics related to the English language, for example, and to geography and world history, science, religion, the calendar, and so on. Some of the devices included will be familiar to readers, but not all. Everybody knows that Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge, for example, but we may not all be familiar with the order in which the Smart People of Athens lived, that is, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. The majority of the tricks included in the book are acronyms such as those two examples. But Parkinson also includes poems and other miscellaneous tricks, like using your knuckles to remember how many days are in each month, or memorizing a poem to remember the value of pi to 31 places, or using Fibonacci number to convert (roughly) miles to kilometers. The mnemonic devices that are not based on acronyms seem to me to be the more useful because they are less easy to develop on one's own. The book is short so it's not very hard to find specific tricks, but its helpfulness would be improved by the inclusion of an index.

Would this book be helpful for the student in your life? Maybe. While some of the tricks included will be familiar, most will not, and everyone could benefit from at least a few of them. On the other hand, no one could possibly need or remember them all. And some are surely more ingenious than helpful: it seems easier to simply remember how to spell the word "beautiful," for example, than to remember the technique suggested for remembering it--Big Elephants Are Usually BEAUtiful. The book, particularly as it's an attractive volume, would probably serve well as a gift for a student or teacher.

-- Debra Hamel
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Little things, little rhymes that make the simple yet essential things in life easy to remember - those little things are collected and compiled in "I Before E (Except After C): Old School Ways to Remember Stuff". Remembering how many days are in each month, simple grammar rules, and other little bits of modern wisdom that comes up so much. A great gift for young children just learning to figure out the world, "I Before E(Except After C): Old School Ways to Remember Stuff" is highly recommended to community library reference collections.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
i Before E is a charming and crisp review of facts of old days that are important to keep in mind, and then include the necessity of learning new high-tech details for quick recall relevant to todays age that are of genuine importance. It is a quaint delivery that leaves you amused and amazed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
i before e (except after c) is a delightful little book that is easy to carry around and easy to read. It is a great compilation of memory tricks useful for all ages - from toddlers (Alphabet, numbers, days of the week) to professionals (science, medical, geographical information and more). I enjoyed reading through the book and reading about many of the tricks I learned as a child and still use today. There were also mnemonics in the book I remember being taught but have forgotton over the years because I just didn't need them anymore. How useful though to have it all in a little book so that it can be referred to if I ever need it in my memory again.

I also enjoyed how this book contained little snippets of background on some of the mnemonics and it also provided advice on how to create your own memory tricks for other things in your life. My 5 year old daughter enjoyed going through this book with me to see what she can gain from it. I already taught her some of the things in the book before we read it, but she learned from the book how to use her knuckles to figure out how many days there are in each month!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Knowledge is something that at least to me is so easily forgotten. I mean I was a decent student, but since I have been out of school now for 6 years I have forgotten so much. I enjoy learning new facts and especially easy ways to remember them. The book "I before E (Except After C): Old-School Ways to Remember Stuff" by Judy Parkinson is a great book to start with.

Throughout "I Before E" you will learn mnemonics for categories in Geography, World History, Religion, Time and the Calendar, and so much more. Like "I Sighted Thomas's Rights" stands for the date 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed (count the letters in each word.) Another great mnemonic I enjoyed was "Pick An Indian Summer Apple" which stands for the 5 oceans: Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic.

This book is so useful and I think it would really be an awesome book for any parent to have to help their children in school or it would be a great reference book for older students. Although even if you are not a student, like me, it is definitely a book that I enjoyed and found interesting and even hilarious at times! I mean who wouldn't laugh when you read "Seems Like Mata Hari Picked Her Targets Carefully." (The first letter of each word references one of the Seven Wonders of the World.)

This book is classified as a Reference/Word & Language book and is a Reader's Digest book. I know I will definitely be using what I learned from this book when my sons start school!

I was given this book to review from FSB. You can read more of my reviews (and enter giveaways) at [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is an interesting little book, and one you are sure to find some use for. There are a mix of techniques, but the majority use acronyms as a mnemonic technique for memorizing information. You can take the examples from the book and easily make up your own as well, but there are some already done that are valuable.

Some you'll remember from school, some you will use to teach your kids, and a few are quickly forgettable. Highlights for me include:

The Parts of Speech Poems

Instructions for memorizing dates (very good technique, one of the few that don't use an acronym method)

Converting miles to kilometers (uses the Fibonacci numbers, great idea)

The Bible ones - disciples of Jesus, ten commandments (hilarious), and the Books of the Old Testament

Overall, there are better books about memory out there, and this book exhausts one of my least favorite methods. But, there are some real gems and you will learn a lot just from flipping through it. Enjoyable, and it would make a great gift. Recommended.

If you are interested in more general memory info, check out:

The Memory Book: The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory at Work, at School, and at Play
Super Memory - Super Student: How to Raise Your Grades in 30 Days
Your Memory : How It Works and How to Improve It
Memorize the Faith! (and Most Anything Else): Using the Methods of the Great Catholic Medieval Memory Masters
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge: The Book of Mnemonic Devices
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Very nice to have this book as I can
refer to it often. Things I learned many
years ago believe it or not were forgotten.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Made me remember all the things the nuns taught me in school that I still use today!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I just love this book. It is very useful and very informative.
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