How to Create Your Holo-MeME

First Stage of Creating your Holo-MeMe.....

avatar kelvin yin yang

By klegrant

First Stage of Creating your Holo-MeMe

As you’ll have gleaned from the above, when creating your Holo-MeME, there is absolutely no limit to what you can use as your primary mental image. Out of the trillions of objects found in nature, mythology, technology, art and the universe etc, virtually anything goes. The possibilities, as well as your choices, are only limited by your imagination, which is, in itself, limitless.

At this stage, for the creation of a Holo-MeME, all you need to do is two things: creative visualizing and assigning a meaning. The real fun starts from Lesson 4 onwards when you start memorizing words.

                 Here, in this section, to get your creative visualization[1]*  juices flowing, I present you with a tiny sampler from just a few categories.

[1] The common term ‘Creative Visualization’ refers to multi-sense experiencing ie mean using as many senses as possible to engender an emotional, physiological, psychological response.

2.1 kitchen gadgets and household appliances

a) assorta) assorted kitchen gadgets, utensils and devices

                If you, like me, love cooking, but, also like me, don’t want to waste time in the kitchen, then you want to have at your disposal the most energy-efficient (Your energy!) purpose-specific and time-saving kitchen gadgets, utensils and apparatus on the planet.

The place to go for these I found out many years ago to my wonderment and relief is a street in Tokyo known as Kappabashi. A popular place for tourists from all over the world and a chef’s wonderland, it’s known as “Kitchen Town” in English, though I particularly like the literal translation: “Raincoat Bridge.” Oh, and I love the mascot- a curious, even cute-looking supernatural monster from Japanese folklore known as a Kappa.


The other great thing about kitchen paraphernalia, not just from culinary considerations but also from an English learning perspective, is that when you look at particular utensils or gadgets of enigmatic shape and form, more often than not you can’t for the life of you imagine what they’re for. They definitely get you thinking multi-dimensionally.


[1] The common term ‘Creative Visualization’ refers to multi-sense experiencing ie mean using as many senses as possible to engender an emotional, physiological, psychological response.


When I first saw this curious gadget  I was racking my brains trying to work out what it was good for.  I came close to my eureka moment when shown this variant   . However, it was only when I saw this one with a context ie the cherry that the penny dropped.  Called a cherry pitter or  cherry pit remover, as its name suggests, it’s for removing the seeds of cherries (also olives, etc). Definitely not something whose purpose is immediately obvious, such an image could be used to remember either the object itself ie the pitter, or the verb ie pit.

Going from the obscure to the obvious, here is an appliance whose purpose could not be any clearer:  As always with mental images, use it as a mental trigger to unequivocally remember a word or general concept, in this case the verb “toast” or the noun “toaster“.

Another easy one is the “slow cooker” here:

 A wonderful example of a mental image that can be visualized,  it can be automatically associated with and used to remember the adjective “slow”. In English, the second word can be safely ignored. 

Here you have your first couple of exercise in creative visualization.


How many of the following gadgets would you find in your kitchen? Do you know exactly what they are used for?                                   a        b c

  d e f

g                      h                               i                       


Close your eyes and try to imagine your larger-than-life version of each one in full-colour 3D. Move them around in your mind. Trace their contours and feel their textures. Are they rough or smooth? Hard or soft? Flexible or rigid? Cold or warm to the touch? Could they be dangerous? Or are they completely safe? Do you know the English verbs associated with them? If you think you know how you might use one, activate your kinesthetic sense by mentally going through the action.


Match the above mental images (or mentally visualize your own) with the English words below: 

1  grate  2  open  3  funnel  4  crack  5  skim

6  baste  7  mash  8  tenderize  9  spoon  10 scrape

Now try to match the English words with their Vietnamese equivalents below?

1 grate 2 mở 3 phễu 4 vết nứt 5 gầy

6 rưới 7 nghiền 8 tenderize 9 muỗng cạo 1.

a)      đánh đòn,

b)     phá vỡ mở

ống khói,

ghi lò,


hớt bọt,

cái thìa,

thực hiện đấu thầu,


làm trầy

b) Household appliances

Can you imagine the “modern” equivalent of this household appliance from around 1910?

Vacuum Cleaner

What do you think the original vacuum cleaners looked like?

Another way to create a memorable and unusual mental image is to imagine what an everyday object might have looked like when it was first invented. Imagine how awkward they would have been to use.

How about the next contraption from Europe around the Middle Ages?

Can you guess the function of the next life-saving device? A not uncommon addition to the repositories of well-to-do Victorian era English housewives?

Close your eyes and transport yourself back in time. Imagine yourself cleaning your house with one of the first generation vacuum cleaners in the world, enjoying the aromas of pig roasting on a spit and feeling the joy of knowing that your house is not a fire risk because your fire extinguisher is at hand.

Welcome back to the 21st century! You have arrived just in time for your next exercise in creative visualization and multi-directional thinking.


Match the following mental images (or mentally visualize your own) with the English words below. Then translate into Vietnamese. Please be reminded that the words are merely suggestions. Within reason and a logical framework, mental images can be used to represent whatever it is you wish them to represent.

dry lick    play    shower   cool    wash    sew   relax    brighten

2.2  animals symbolizing aspects of the human condition

Being an animal that has been on the earth in its present form since about 215 million years ago, the turtle has been quite a compelling candidate for a symbol of longevity for a long time.

longevity (tuổi thọ; sống)

In religion, mythology, and folklore from around the world, the turtle symbolizes other things too, but it is longevity with which we most readily associate it. The world’s oldest known tortoise, said to have been presented to the royal family of Tonga in the 1770s by the man who discovered Australia, died in 1965 at the age of 188.

In Aesop’s Fables each of the animals represents and symbolizes an aspect of the human condition, human strengths or weaknesses. In many languages the most prominent characteristics of animals are used to describe personality traits. In English, there are the following idioms:

                    as sly (or cunning) as a fox;

                    as gentle as a lamb;

                    as strong as a horse.

What simile does the owl bring to your mind? What human quality does it make you think of? The illustration on the left is by the worst artist in the history of mankind ie me while the one on the right is by arguably the greatest artist in the 20th Century ie Picasso. Either could be a candidate for recalling the adjective “wise” in the simile “as wise as an owl” or even the simile itself.


Try your hand in creative visualization of the following animals. What aspect of the human condition or human quality does each one symbolize? Do you know any idioms or similes associated with each one?

mule ass dog lion mouse tiger dragon chicken peacock


As___________ as a mule

As___________ as an ass

As___________ as a dog

As___________ as a lion

As___________ as a mouse

As___________ as a tiger

As___________ as a dragon

As___________ as a chicken

As___________ as a peacock

2.3 animals representing countries

Animals also have a tendency to insinuate themselves into our unconscious in such a way that we immediately associate itself with a country. Take a quick look at the following rather unique animal. Besides the name of the animal itself, what word, comes to mind, when you look at the following picture?

Australia [ɒˈstreɪlɪə] OR (ɔˈstreɪl yə)

The word I am looking for, of course, is Australia. Whenever and wherever I am travelling around the world, it never ceases to amaze me the number of people who exclaim “Ahhh! Kangaroo!” when I mention the fact that I have family in Australia. This cute and unique creature can be seen on our country’s 50 cent coin, we eat them, and for every one human in Australia there are approximately three kangaroos…but I ask you, whenever you meet a Chinese on your travels do you exclaim “Ahhh! Panda!”?                 Notwithstanding the foregoing, in my repertoire of symbols, the kangaroo, as one of the most distinctive animals on the planet, is immediately and irrevocably associated with but one country. As such, it my obvious choice if I want to remember Australia.


What animal images immediately come to mind when you think of the following countries?

 America   Kenya  England  France Spain  New Zealand   Italy  China

I wonder how many animals you could think of. Select from the following if you had trouble:

 water buffalo    oryx    bulldog   Giraffe   African elephant    panda 

bald-headed eagle     lion      rooster      bull      kiwi     wolf     tiger 

2.4 paintings

(for representing abstract concepts)

One of the most famous, outstandingly and instantly recognizable mustaches in recent history, as well as the face of the man wearing it, is that of the Spanish surrealist and self-proclaimed genius Salvador Dali.

 One of his most famous, outstandingly and instantly recognizable paintings is “The Persistence of Memory”. As a fan of Surrealism in my teens and one who refused to wear a watch or have a clock in my room, I used to, quite bizarrely, have a poster of it on my wall. Here are a few details from it.


As an abstract concept, “persistence” is not easy one to represent in a concrete fashion. Try to think of one! Not easy is it? The entire painting or any of the above details could be used to represent it. As the key to success in any endeavor in life, no less in your English studies, persistence[1] is one quality you need in abundance; you’ll also need clear and unambiguous mental images.

One of the many obstacles one needs to overcome when studying a language is the abundance of synonyms. Looking up the word “determination” in an English-Vietnamese dictionary we will find

quyết đoán, đầy mục đích, kiên quyết, nghị quyết, quyết, dẻo dai,

 All of these words express the core idea of a quality that makes you continue trying to do something even when it’s difficult.

Hang on a moment! Some of those definitions sound very similar to those for ‘persistence’. The subtle difference, however, is that in “persistence” there is a core nuance of refusing to give up or let go, especially in situations where other people are against you.

So how do we differentiate between the two? The answer, of course, is a mental image which banishes confusion, one which makes that subtle difference in meaning easier to grasp. There are a great many images that encapsulate the idea of a resolution to continue, fixedly, in the direction toward the attainment of a goal but for me, the following captures the essence. The tree is all alone.

Determination” by Pete Collom


The following are details from some well-known paintings. What do they represent to you? Can you think of any predominant characteristic, emotion or idea associated with them?  How do you react to them?





[8] In Chinese: (坚持不jiānchíbúxiè)In Voietnamese…. quyết đoán, đầy mục đích, kiên quyết, nghị quyết, quyết, dẻo dai

cương quyết; thủ tiêu; định rỏ; phán quyết; quyết định; xác định :: Unwavering firmness of character, action, or will:decidedness, decisiveness,  purposefulness, resoluteness, resolution, resolve, toughness,

2.5 sculptures

(for representing abstract concepts)

One of the most famous and easily recognizable sculptures in the world is “The Thinker” by the French artist Rodin. You find life-size replicas of it all round the world, reminding us of what the human race needs to be constantly doing if we are to survive.

For a 3-dimensional object that you can instantly associate with the verb “to think”, a sculpture depicting a naked man sitting on a stone, leaning forward with his head down and chin resting on the back of the hand is a perfect example. What the hell is he thinking, I wonder?

Less obvious is any link or association your mind might create with the following sculpture by Henry Moore simply entitled the Reclining Figure. 

He said “All art should have a certain mystery and should make demands on the spectator.” Keep this in mind when you do the next exercise in which the objects are open to a great variety of interpretations.


What do the following sculptures seem to represent to you? In Vietnamese or English, how many ideas come to mind?



2.6  illustrations from children’s books etc

Any well-written children’s book is usually accompanied by illustrations that enhance the experience of the reader, making a story come more alive, adding more dimensions to it, deepening the reader’s understanding. What if the idea you wanted to remember was somewhat more abstract, say lying? A suitable Simplified Memory Image to represent this would be a picture of Pinocchio.

The story of the little boy whose nose got longer each time he lied is one familiar to children all over the world. 

Focus your attention onto his nose. Making it more prominent or unique in some way will increase the chance of remembering it later. Do something like that now.

Depending on how good your visualizing skills are or how much mental effort you wish to exert at this stage, one quick and easy thing you can do is to zoom in on the part of the image which represents the core meaning, and visualize just that: Pinocchio’s head with the elongated nose. 

Close your eyes and visualize either of the suggestions above, imagining what it feels like for normal people when they are telling a lie.

Edward Lear (12 May 1812 – 29 January 1888) was a multi-talented English artist, and author. He is well known now mostly for his literary nonsense in poetry and especially limericks. As well as being highly amusing, these five line AABBA rhymes not only provide excellent training in the pronunciation of some of the more bizarre and words in English, but also hints at the incantatory nature of language through rhyme, rhythm and resonance.

           There was a Young Lady[9] whose chin             
Resembled the point of a pin;
So she had it made sharp,
And purchased a harp
                                     And played several tunes with her chin.                                 

There was an Old Person of Tring[10],
who embellished his nose with a ring;
He gazed at the moon
 Every evening in June,
That ecstatic Old Person of Tring.

As you can see, they are also accompanied by wonderful illustrations that possess many of the recommended qualities for memorization. This type of mnemonics architecture, which we explore in some of the later lessons, takes you onto another level of Memorization Power that prepares you before you embark on the learning of poems, quotations and short literary passages.

Listen to it here as you watch an animated kinetic typography


Try to view the following illustrations from multidimensional perspectives, imagining what is happening. What scenarios do you think preceded them? What do you think will follow them?



[9] Có một Lady trẻ có cằm, Giống như các điểm của một pin;Vì vậy, cô đã có nó làm sắc nét,Và mua một cây đàn hạc Và chơi nhiều giai điệu với cằm.
[10] Có một người cũ của Tring, Ai tôn tạo mũi của mình với một vòng;Cậu nhìn chằm chằm vào mặt trăng Mỗi buổi tối trong tháng Sáu,Đó ngây ngất Cũ người của Tring


2.7 Gestures and Sign Language

I don’t know. I don’t know.

A person standing with bent arms and upward facing palms is an almost universal representation- in the English speaking world at least!- of someone who has no answer to your question. Our guy here has got absolutely no idea.

Close your eyes and imagine his eyes rolling upward, lips curling downwards as he cocks his head to the side. Empathize with his feeling of frustration and there will be no doubt in your mind as to his meaning. The meaning is clear.

Clear also is the meaning of the common Indian greeting Namaste. Hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards in front of the chest while making a slight bow, it literally means “salutations to you” of “I honor your presence”. . 


is one gesture you don’t want to see during a conversation. It’s sarcastically telling you to “shut up”.  It’s telling you, “Talk to the hand, because the ears ain’t listening” or “talk to the hand because the face don’t understand!”

Needless to say, what must be avoided in your mental meanderings is a gesture like the following:

Cute and quaint that it is, it exists nevertheless as probably the most ambiguous, multi-meaning filled and confusing gesture in the world. It’s known as the South Asian Head Wobble or Bobble. Only from the context can you determine whether you are seeing and hearing a “Yes”, “No”, “Maybe”, “I don’t know”, “OK”, “Good”, or, even, “I understand”.

ASL (American Sign Language), which is the simultaneous movement of hands, arms, body and facial expressions to convey thoughts, is a rich source of raw materials we can exploit for the goal of increasing our competitive advantage in learning and memory.





Act out the following scenarios. Try to not only see but also hear and feel the meanings they suggest.

The meanings, in no particular order, are:

crazy       congratulate       choose or pick out         confuse

cover        command        come       concentrate        corner

 khùng. chúc mừng, chọn hoặc chọn ra, gây nhầm lẫn,

bìa, lệnh, đến, tập trung, góc

2.8 symbols and signs

“A symbol is something such as an object, picture,
written word, sound, or particular mark that represents
something else by association, resemblance, or convention.

    ” WikiPedia

Humans, using their imagination, love creating symbols; and, depending on what significance they attach to them, they can endow symbols with incredible power.

Your name is one of the many symbols that represent you and a source of your power, the power to transform your life and do whatever you wish in life; a tortoise shell, depending on where you grew up, is a symbol of longevity or an omen of some sort; in a boarding school dormitory in the west, the ringing of a bell just before 6pm is a symbol that dinner is on the table and a guarantee that your salivary glands are going onto high alert; Mount Tai is one of the many symbols of China; the tiger, according to the Chinese Zodiac,  is a living symbol of strength and power, courage; individualism or passion.

In our daily lives, we are surrounded by symbols everywhere.

There are those we associate with recycling:

If you have a driving license, are honest, polite and like to do the right things, there are symbols which are almost universally acknowledged as ones that tell us we should stop.

A red octagon, particularly one emblazoned with even more symbols, in whatever language, further emphasizes the need to come to an immediate halt. Whatever you are doing!

There are also those which tell us we can go.

If you have a computer and do anything to do with texting, blogging etc, you’ll often see symbols such as [ 🙂 ] to inform you that someone is smiling.


There are those that tell you that they are frowning [ 🙁 ]


For the more esoterically minded, there are the beautiful Sanskrit, Balinese and Tibetan symbols each one representing the three sounds read as a, u, m in the three tone composition and believed to denote Brahma, Vishnu, Siva,

which are represented as follows in Japanese:

And in English:


And as we approach the end of this lesson, I really need to show you some of my favourite examples of the complex and enigmatic Arabic calligraphy.

In a quick glance around my office as I write this I can see a Daruma doll, a photo of a chrysanthemum, a papier-mâché tengu, a small statuette of a tiger, a postcard decorated with a stylized snake, a tiny ivory owl, a rose, a lump of coral, a fluffy miniature koala and a bottle of Guilin Sanhua Jiu. Each object is more than itself; it’s a memory, a reminder of a small vignette from a time and place in my life, a souvenir from some of my time and travels both throughout Asia and beyond: gifts from friends, a furry reminder of the place where I grew up, and so on….

EXERCISE:: 10    

Think about some of the objects and symbols in your life and what they mean to you. Look around your room now. How many objects can you see which symbolize or represent something? What role do they play in your life? What do you associate with them? What do they resemble? What do they remind you of?

As we come to the end of this lesson, I’d just like to say that I hope you have enjoyed yourself. I trust you have discovered some of your latent abilities and hidden talents, activated one or two learning modalities that had been lying dormant.

Having realized the importance of simple memory images and Holographic Memory Encoders in the game of learning, you are now ready to embark on the next step in the process of invoking the synaesthete within you as you creatively visualize AudioGraphic Codes. This all starts to happen in the next lesson in which you learn the 3 important rules while applying 7 techniques in 4 steps of the process.

See you there!

This is the end of Lesson 1


Suggested answers to the exercises

Exercise:: 1

  1.j   2.i   3.g   4.d   5.f   6.e   7.a   8.b   9.h   10.c

Exercise:: 2






















1 baste, 

1 đánh đòn,

2 break open 

2 phá vỡ mở

3 funnel, 

3 phễu,

4 grate, 

4 vỉ lò,

5 open, 

5 mở,

6 skim,

6 tách kem,

7 spoon, 

7 muỗng,

8 make tender,  

8 làm thầu,

9 mash up, 

9  ngâm lên,

10 scrape

10 cạo

đánh đòn, crack, ống khói, ghi lò, mở, hớt bọt,cái thìa, tenderize, gâm,

làm trầy

Exercise:: 3










sáng, thư giãn, may, tắm, mát, rửa, khô, nhấp chuột, chơi


Possible answers from a Westerner’s perspective are:

mule:      stubbornness as in the simile: He’s as stubborn as a mule

ass:          vanity, self-importance, or aggressive stupidity eg. He is such an ass!

dog:         hardworking

lion:         ferociousness

mouse:  timidity

tiger:       invincibility, might, and power.

dragon:  powerful, protective, and fearsome

phoenix: rebirth

chicken : cowardice

peacock: pride

Exercise:: 5

Some possible answers are:

America: eagle

Kenya: lion

England: bulldog

France: rooster

Spain: bull

New Zealand: kiwi

Italy: wolf

China: panda


Exercise:: 6

The paintings are, clockwise from the top left:

Ascension, Adoration of the Magi, Medusa and The Truth


Any answers possible

fig  9     This  bronze sculpture by Marino Marini, created in 1939 is entitled ” The Pilgrim

fig 10    This  sculpture by the Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti is entitled “Cat” 

fig 11    This  sculpture is by Henry Moore and entitled ” Family”      


Any answers possible   


The meanings, from the top, left to right, are:

 1 congratulate    2 command        3 come       4 corner   5 choose or pick out     6 concentrate      7 cover     8 confuse 9 crazy    


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