With your list of my key words, you can make a part of your permanent mental baggage any collection of date you wish. Obviously, usefulness will be your first criterion even in drilling with lists of words. Scarcely less desirable is this type of one-two-three memory as a social asset — from an “also-asked” you can leap easily into the proud position of the life of any party. To know the names of the first fifteen Vice-Presidents of the United States would be a curious accomplishment of no great use. On the other hand, you are constantly coming across references in books to “the sixth President” or “the eighth President,” or “the sixth and the eighth Presidents,” and so on. And aren’t people constantly asking you, or aren’t you asking yourself, “Who came after Monroe?” and so on? So, knowing the order of succession of the Presidents of the United States is a really useful accomplishment.
Of course, it’s just as important to know the second group of fifteen. Interestingly enough, this second group begins with out second most famous President, Abraham Lincoln. Rather than use the sixteenth to thirtieth key words in learning this group, it is easier to think of Lincoln as the first President, and add fifteen to get his number on the complete succession: 1 + 15 = 16. And so on.
Of course, in these days of flux, with world politics as much American’s interest (if not business) as WPA or CCC camps, it’s well to know just where things are happening. Polish up your geography. Consult The World Almanac for a list of the world’s largest islands or longest rivers. You’ll find Java among the first, the Amazon and Volgan among the second. In that way, you can get a least a quantitative mind’s eye picture of land and water that make news. People make news, too — first and foremost. Do you know the names of the rules of the five greatest countries? But, for that matter, do you know the names of these countries? You’ll find the lists in the omniscient and aforementioned World Almanac.
Of course, these are buts samples of the kind of knowledge you can have at your instant command. Apply your key words to any situation that requires data remembered for the sake of your career or for the sake of your ego. Practically any factual book you pick up contains a number of related facts you will want to pick out of your mental files just like that — one, two, three, four, five!