648a71a35ce6e4a1c5cd63451a2a20df
Armchair philosopher

How To Memorise Pi to 30 Decimal Places

A simple mnemonic device for memorising Pi

This was a post I wrote here on Thinker's Playground a few years ago, before I relaunched the site

The original post was a little too long, so I've broken it up into separate posts:

Unless your study or work involves using Pi, memorising it serves absolutely no practical purpose other than impressing fellow geeks with how clever you are. Despite that, quoting Pi has become one of the standard daring displays of memory with new people breaking the Guinness world record for it every few years. The current record is to 67,890 decimal places.

I’ll get you started on the first 30, after that, the remaining 67,861 is up to you.

Pi to 30 points is, (of course), 3.141592653589793238462643383279

For our purposes, we can break the chain of decimals into fifteen groups of two: 14, 15, 92, 65, 35, 89, 79, 32, 38, 46, 26, 43, 38, 32, 79. Now, all we have to do is use the words we learned for the [peg system] and link them using the Link System.

  • 14 = TyRe
  • 15 = TiLe
  • 92 = BoNe
  • 65 = JaiL
  • 35 = MuLe
  • 89 = FoB
  • 79 = CoB
  • 32 = MooN
  • 38 = MoVie
  • 46 = RoaCH
  • 26 = NotCH
  • 43 = RaM
  • 38 = MoVie
  • 32 = MooN
  • 79 = CoB

Simply use the Link System to link tyre, tile bone, jail, mule, fob, cob, moon, movie, roach, notch, ram, movie, moon and cob and you can quote Pi to thirty decimal places as you like. Note- for this, you can also use words with more than two consonant sounds, for example, ten words of three consonants. I find though, that this tends to get a little sloppy and it’s a little more difficult to think of suitable words. By sticking to the 100 words shown here and using them regularly, they will become as familiar to you and as natural to use as numbers are.

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