PEG system will show you how to count with objects (which can be
pictured) instead of numbers. This is not a particularly new thought.
It was first introduced by Stanislaus
Mink von Wennsshein along about the year 1648. In the year 1730,
the entire system was modified by Dr.
Richard Grey, of England, who called the idea, letter or "number
equivalents." The idea was great, but the method just a bit
clumsy because he used vowels as well as consonants in the system.
Since 1730, however, many changes have been made, although the idea
is basically the same.
order for you to learn the method, you must first learn a simple
phonetic alphabet. No need for dismay – it consists of only ten
sounds, and with my help, it shouldn't take you more than ten minutes
to learn them. This will be the most worthwhile ten minutes you've
ever spent, since this phonetic alphabet will eventually help you to
remember numbers, or numbers in conjunction with anything else, in
such a way that you never would have thought possible.
will give you now, a different consonant sound for each of the digits
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 0. These you must commit to memory.
I'll make this simple for you by giving you a "memory aid"
for remembering each one. Read them carefully and with your full
sound for #1 will always be - T or D. The letter T has one down
sound for #2 will always be - N. Typewritten n has two down strokes.
sound for #3 will always be - M. Typewritten m has three down
sound for #4 will always be - R. Final sound of the word, "four"
sound for #5 will always be - L. Roman numeral for 50 is L.
sound for #6 will always be - ch, sh, soft g, etc. The letter g
turned around is almost like the number 6.
sound for #7 will always be - K, hard c, hard g. The number 7 can be
used to form a K. One seven right side up, and the other upside
sound for #8 will always be - F or V. (Cursive) Written f and figure
8 both have two loops, one above the other.
sound for #9 will always be - P or B. The number 9 turned around is
sound for #0 (zero) will always be - S or Z. First sound of the
you will attempt to picture the little memory aid that I have given
with each one, you should remember them easily. Please keep in mind
that the letters are not important; we are interested in the sound
only. That's why I call this a phonetic alphabet. With some of the
digits I've given more than one letter, but the phonetic sounds of
these letters are the same, in each case.
lips, tongue and teeth are used in the same identical way to sound P
and B, or F and V, or J, sh, ch, etc. The sound of the letter G in
the exclamation, "gee" would, according to the phonetic
alphabet, represent #6, whereas the same letter in the word, "go"
would represent #7. The letter C in the word "coat"
represents #7, the same letter in the word "cent" would
represent zero, since it is pronounced with the s sound. The letters
Kn in the word, "knee" or "knife" would stand for
#2, because the K is silent. Remember then, it is the sound that's
important, not the letter.
Now, look this over once:
J, sh, ch,
K, c, g
away from this page and see if you remember the sounds from one to
zero. Test yourself on remembering them out of order, too. You should
know them all by now. I could give you one more aid for memorizing
these sounds, by telling you to remember this nonsense phrase: TeN
MoRe LoGiC FiBS.
This will help you to memorize the sounds in order from one to zero.
It is necessary, however, to know them out of sequence - so you
shouldn't have to rely on the nonsense phrase too long - the original
memory aids that I gave you, should suffice.
simple phonetic alphabet is of utmost importance, and the sounds
should be practiced until they are second nature to you. Once they
are, the rest of the Peg system will be a cinch for you. Here is a
method of practice to help you learn the sounds thoroughly: Anytime
you see a number, break it down into sounds in your mind. For
example, you might see the number 3746 on a license plate; you
(might) be able to read it as m, k, r, j. You might see an address
85-29, and be able to read it as fl-np. You can look at any word and
practice breaking it down into numbers. The word "motor"
would be 314.
word "paper" is 994, and "cigarette" would break
down to 0741. (The double tt is the same sound as a single t,
therefore it represents #1, not #11.)
of the vowels, a e i o or u have any meaning at all in the phonetic
alphabet; neither do the letters w, h or y. (Remember the word,
going any further, complete the following exercises. The first column
of words should be changed to numbers, and the second column of
numbers must be broken into sounds (use the text areas):
are ready now to learn some of those "pegs" I mentioned. I
would suggest however, that you know the sounds thoroughly before you
go on to the pegs themselves.
Phonetic Peg Guide 1 - 10
right, since we now know a certain phonetic sound for all the digits
from one to zero, you can see that we can make up a word for any
number, no matter how many digits it contains. For example, if we
wanted to make up a word for #21, we could use any of the following:
net, nut, knot, gnat, nod, neat, note, knit, etc., because they all
begin with the n sound (#2) and end with the t or d sound (#1). For
#14 we could use tear, tire, tore, door, tier, deer, dire, dray,
tree, etc., because they all begin with the t or d sound for #1, and
end with the r sound for #4. Remember that we are interested in the
consonant sounds only.
you get the idea of how I formed those words? If you do, then I can
go ahead and give you the first few "pegs." Each one of the
peg words that I will give you has been specially chosen because it
is comparatively easy to picture in your mind, and that is important.
the number 1 contains only one digit, and that one digit is
represented by the t or d sound, we must use a word that contains
only that one consonant sound. So, we will use the word, "TIE."
From here on in, the word, "tie" will always represent the
number 1 to you.
I said, it is important to be able to picture these objects, so I
will give explanations of all those where I think an explanation is
word, "NOAH" will always represent #2. Picture an old,
white haired man on an ark.
word, "MA" will always mean #3. Here I suggest that you
always picture your own mother.
word, "RYE" will always represent the number 4. You can
picture either a bottle of Rye whiskey or a loaf of rye bread.
you decide on a particular mind picture for this, or for any of the
pegs, use that particular picture always. You can see how I arrive at
these words. They all have only one consonant sound, and that one
sound is the one representing the digit of the number.
word, "LAW" will always represent #5. The word "law"
itself, cannot be pictured; I suggest that you picture any
policeman, in uniform, because they represent the law.
6 is the word "SHOE."
7 is the word "COW."
8 is the word, "IVY." For this one, you can picture either
Poison Ivy, or ivy growing all over the sides of a house.
9 is the word, "BEE."
10 has two digits, the digit 1 and a zero. The peg word for #10
therefore must be made up of a t or d sound and an s or z sound, in
that order. We'll use the word, "TOES" - picture your own
it would be a little difficult to remember ten completely
unassociated words as I have just given you. Since the peg word for
any number must contain certain sounds only, you'll find that it is
easy. As a matter of fact, if you have read the ten words once, with
a little concentration, you probably already know them. Try it!
you say the number to yourself, think of its sound first, then try to
remember the peg word. Test yourself in and out of order. You should
know that # 3 is "ma," without repeating, "tie,"
show you how fantastic your memory can be with my little memory aids,
you can do this until the words become second nature to you; If you
come to a number, and you think you can't remember its peg - think of
the sound for that number, and say any words that come to your mind,
starting with, and containing that particular consonant sound only.
When you say the right one, it will sort of "ring a bell"
in your mind, and you'll know that that's the right one.
instance, if you couldn't think of the peg word for #1, you might say
to yourself, "toy, tow, tea, tie"; as soon as you say
"tie," you'll know that that is the correct word.
can see, now, what I've done. I have built you up slowly with each
item. First I gave you an aid to remember the phonetic sounds, now
those sounds are your aid to remember the very important peg words;
and the peg words will help you to remember anything where numbers
are involved, so make sure you know them well.
if you. feel that you know the first ten peg words thoroughly, I'll
show you how to use them for remembering objects in and out of order.
I'll give you ten objects, out of sequence, and prove to you that you
can remember them after reading them only once!
- TV set
- wrist watch
- fountain pen
first one listed is #9 - purse. All you have to do is to make a
ridiculous and/or illogical association of the peg word for #9, which
is "bee," and purse. If you have realized the importance of
actually "seeing" these ridiculous associations in your
mind, you'll have no trouble. For this first one, you might see
yourself opening a purse and a swarm of bees fly out of it, stinging
you. Just "see" the picture for a moment, then go to the
- cigarette. You can see yourself smoking a shoe instead of a
cigarette, see millions of cigarettes falling out of a shoe, or you
can see yourself wearing gigantic cigarettes instead of shoes.
- ashtray. You might see yourself dropping ashes into a scooped out
loaf of rye bread instead of an ashtray, or, you're buttering an
ashtray instead of a slice of rye bread.
am giving you one or more ways that each object can be associated
ridiculously with its peg word. You are to use only one of these
pictures for each one. Use one that I give, or one that you think of
yourself. The first illogical picture that comes to mind is usually
the best one to use, because that is the one that will come to mind
later on. I'll help you with all ten of them, since it is the first
time you are attempting this method; but after this you should be
able to do it without my help.
salt-shaker. Picture yourself milking a cow, but the cow has
salt-shakers instead of udders. Or, see saltshakers coming out
instead of milk.
- lamp. You can picture your mother wearing a gigantic lamp for a
hat. See the lamp going on and off. (Action-Rule #2.)
(law) - typewriter. You might "see" a policeman putting
handcuffs on a typewriter, or you can see a typewriter walking the
beat, swinging a club, like a cop.
(Noah) - Television set. You might picture Noah sailing on a
television set instead of an ark.
(ivy) - wrist watch. You can see millions of wrist watches growing
all over the side of your house, instead of ivy; or, you can see
yourself wearing ivy on your wrist instead of a watch.
1 (tie) - fountain pen. Picture yourself wearing a gigantic fountain
pen instead of a tie, or you might see yourself writing with your
tie, instead of a fountain pen.
10 (toes) - telephone. See yourself dialing with your toes, or, you
pick up the telephone, but it turns out that you're holding your
toes. (Probably talking to a heel.)
a piece of paper, number it from one to ten, and try to fill in the
objects in order, without looking at the book. When you come to #1,
just picture your peg word, tie, and the ridiculous picture of your
wearing a fountain pen instead of a tie will come back to you
immediately. So you know that # 1 is fountain pen. When you picture
Noah, you will see him on a television set instead of an ark; so you
know that # 2 is television set.
will remember them all quite easily. The wonderful part about it, is
that you also know them out of sequence. You can see, of course, that
it makes no difference. You can also call them off backwards-just
think of the peg word for # 10 (toes) and work up to "tie."
Memory Parlor Game Suggestion
should now be thoroughly amazed at your own ability. But wait! Why
not memorize twenty-five objects instead of only ten? Well, at the
end of this chapter you will find the peg words for numbers 11
through to 25. Please learn those just as you learned the first ten.
When you know them perfectly, try this on your friends. Have them
number a sheet of paper from one to twenty or twenty-five, or as many
as you wish (to show off with).
have him call out any of those numbers, haphazardly, and then name
any tangible object. Ask him to write that object alongside the
number called. Have him do that until every number has an object next
to it. Now call them right back to him from # 1 right down to the
last one. Then have him call any number, and you immediately give him
the object, or have him call any object and you tell him what number
let that last part throw you, there is nothing to it. If I was to ask
you now what number salt-shaker was, you would "see" the
ridiculous picture of a cow with salt shakers instead of udders.
Since "cow" is the peg for #7, then you know that
salt-shaker was #7.
the look of astonishment on your pal's face when you're through!
Phonetic Peg Guide 11 - 25
do not go on to the next chapter (available in the ebook) until you
are sure that you know all the peg words from 1 to 25:
"tot," it is best to picture a child that you know.
#12, you can see the object called, made out of "tin."
"tomb," picture a gravestone.
#20, you can see the object called, on your face in place of your
"net," you can use either a fishing net, a hair net, or a
#23, you can see the object you wish to remember forming your
"name." For instance, if the object were cigarette, you
would picture your own name printed out very large with cigarettes.
If you don't care for that idea, you might picture one of your
business cards for "name," or any other possession that
has your name on it. Whatever you decide on, you must use it all the
"Nero," I always picture a man playing a fiddle.
please, that once you decide on a particular picture for any of the
peg words, you are to use that picture all the time.
you know the pegs from 1 to 25 thoroughly, (and I suggest that you go
no further until you do), and if you feel confident, (or even if you
don't) why not take test #2 in Chapter #3 once again (in the ebook).
Try it, and then compare your present score with the original one!
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