Memory game (photo: 'smil via Flickr)

For those of you who will have some actual trauma during the holidays, I would like to offer this longstanding tool for handling an accident.  One sports absolute is R.I.C.E. Hopefully, you are not envisioning tossing rice at your broken leg.   No, what that means is;  rest,  ice, compression and elevation.

If you suffer an injury such as a sprain, strain, muscle pull, or tear, immediate first aid can prevent complications and help you heal faster. One of the most important acronyms to remember if you get a sports injury is R.I.C.E. R.I.C.E. stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Using these 4 immediate first aid measures can relieve pain, limit swelling and protect the injured tissues, all of which help speed healing.

Another basic home remedy for childhood stomach upsets is known to families as B.R.A.T. Of course, you’re not supposed to swat the afflicted, but supply soothing food: bananas, rice, applesauce and tea (some versions make this one into toast).  . . .

Bananas are part of the BRAT diet, a diet many physicians and nurses recommend for children recovering from gastrointestinal problems, particularly diarrhea. BRAT stands for the different components that make up the diet:

  • Bananas
  • Rice cereal
  • Applesauce
  • Toast

I saw a new acronym that really works for me, mentioned in a post by Jim White, although it’s not one of the natural medicinal variety of acronyms.

“Officially, the panel is called the WikiLeaks Task Force. But at CIA headquarters, it’s mainly known by its all-too-apt acronym: W.T.F.,” writes Greg Miller for the Post. “The irreverence is perhaps understandable for an agency that has been relatively unscathed by WikiLeaks.”

For everyday confusion, consider the temperature indications you use, F or C.  Bet you use ‘C’ for Centigrade, but among friends I find the use is switching over to irony, and we mean “Commie’ degrees.

Another old friend is the memory trick for the colors of the rainbow that I learned in grade school, Roy G. Biv.

A curious characteristic of many memory systems is that mnemonics work despite being (or possibly because of being) illogical or arbitrary. “Roy” is a legitimate first name, but there is no actual surname “Biv” and of course the middle initial “G” is arbitrary. Why is “Roy G. Biv” easy to remember in order to memorize the order that the seven colours of the rainbow appear? ROYGBIV can also be expressed as the almost meaningless phrase “Roy Great Britain the Fourth” again referencing “Roy” but using the GB national code for Great Britain and the Roman numerals for 4, viz: IV. The sentence “Richard of York gave battle in vain” is commonly used in the UK. School children in Singapore are sometimes taught “Raju Of Yishun Gave Birth In Vain”, Raju being a common Indian name and Yishun being a residential area.

It’s helpful to have an easily remembered key when you find that you have trouble quickly recalling things you use.   One of mine is that I have a ring I get asked often about because it’s big and attracts attention.   It’s tourmaline, and I hang up trying to tell someone who asks – so I’ve put together the colors, “pink and green”, then rhyme it and find “tourmaline”.   Usually.

Have any favorites of your own?

Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.