Thursday, March 8, 2007

A mnemonic device, invented by me, to remember the -Stans*

Kyrgyzstan
Afghanistan
Azerbaijan
Pakistan
Uzbekistan
Tajikistan
Turkemnistan
Optional: Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire

*Well, OK, technically 6 -Stans and 1 -Jan.
**Also, do not forget India. It's a biggie.

Other sets of countries that go together nicely, for reasons that generally have to do only with word structure and not geography: Bhutan and Bahrain (extraneous H); Cambodia and Cameroon; Yemen and Qatar (both go consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel-consonant); Albania, Angola, and Algeria (both begin and end with 'A'); Ethiopia and Eritrea (Begin and end in 'E'; also, both in Africa); Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Equatorial Guinea. Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chad(guay).

Sets of countries that go together nicely, because they used to be one country: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro; Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo; Czech Republic and Slovakia; Western Sahara and Morocco (I think).

I am still trying to improve my score on this country-naming game, in case you could not guess the reason for this extravagantly insignificant post. The goal is to get to the point where every country name makes me think of another country name instantly. That, or I run out of typing time. I am up to 145/245. I attempted to justify this activity to someone yesterday, and utterly couldn't. However, I am thinking it must be good for the brain, all questions of information responsibility aside. "Thicker, bushier dendrites," as Douglas Coupland would say.

3 comments:

Rebekah said...

i don't want to be pedantic, but ethiopia and eritrea don't both start and end in "e" - they both start with "e" and end in "a".

i'm just saying, it's the truth. not that your mnemonic is ineffective. and i'm not making judgments about your intelligence.

=)

prolix said...

Ahem. Quite right.

The fact-checking office of Jocelyn Information Superhighway Enterprises apologizes for the inaccuracy. The entire mnemonic-device staff has now been fired.

prolix said...

Also, I forgot Kazakhstan.