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May 2, 2021

Things worth remembering


Over the years certain things I committed to memory long ago have turned out to be useful on a regular basis.

Below, some I frequently invoke:

2.54 centimeters = 1 inch. I use this conversion several times every week.


• "Not only... but also." It is not appreciated by many writers and publications that the words "not only" must always be followed by "but also." Even august authors, magazines, and newspapers forget this fact. I don't, nor should you.


"Misspelled" and "misspelling" are often misspelled. Two s's, two l's. Memorize it, then laugh whenever you see it spelled wrong. Which will be soon and often.


ROY G BIV — Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet. The order of colors (longest to shortest wavelength) into which white light separates when passing through a prism. Useful when you want to order groups of objects differing only in color: nature makes it easy to be natural if you know the drill.


"Red sky at night, sailor's delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning." Not just for sailors.


"30 days hath September, April, June and November; all the rest have 31...." At least once a week I rerun this refrain in my head to pinpoint how many days till something happens.

What about you?

What tricks and short cuts make your life easier?

Here's your chance to strut your stuff under the bright lights for the whole world to marvel at.

May 2, 2021 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


The only one I've ever used/needed:

Pi are round,
Cornbread are square.

Posted by: Flautist | May 7, 2021 6:16:23 AM

Thank you, JohnM.
I run short of stripe paint so often.

Posted by: Luke | May 5, 2021 1:39:53 PM

Re. days per month: I was shown to use the knuckles and the gaps in between, starting with the left pinky. 31 – less – 31 – less … up to 31 at left pointer finger for July, then continuing at the right hand with 31 for August. Last is ring finger knuckle with 31 for December. You only have to remember that February is not 30 but 28 or 29…

Posted by: Steve | May 4, 2021 9:00:39 AM

"Not only once, but many times was he at fault." breaks your "but also" rule.

Posted by: Paul Hayward | May 4, 2021 7:51:13 AM

16.4 gallons paint per mile for a traffic stripe of 4 inches width and 15 mils wet film thickness

Posted by: JohnM | May 4, 2021 7:14:57 AM

"i.e." stands for "id est", i.e., "that is", and must always be followed immediately by a comma. Most usages connote "that is to say".

"e.g." stands for "exempli gratia", i.e., "for example", and also must always be followed immediately by a comma.

Posted by: Darren Embry | May 4, 2021 1:14:55 AM

"Red is Right" is how I remember which cable goes where when connecting stereo audio gear with RCA cables. Although I suppose "White is Right" rhymes ... so you have to remember that it's alliteration and not a rhyme.

Nevermind, on second thought this one is bad. ;)

Posted by: g-bull | May 3, 2021 3:02:02 PM

Carribean or Caribbean? Carib Beans!

Posted by: Ed | May 3, 2021 8:30:23 AM

The mnemonic i use for the colors is ROYs Gun Blast IVY . It was sexy enough to remember all these years

Posted by: Kamal Shah | May 3, 2021 2:31:47 AM

28 degrees Celsius is the same as 82 degrees Fahrenheit

Posted by: MacNCheese | May 2, 2021 5:49:51 PM

lefty loosey, righty tighty.

Posted by: dulush | May 2, 2021 3:23:26 PM

Clockwise is lockwise.

Right over left and under, left over right and under = a properly tied square knot.

Don't order fish in a steak restaurant.

Posted by: Pictou | May 2, 2021 3:10:26 PM

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