Mnemonic Clue #52


The Problem: 

 For individuals who have difficulty identifying the individual sounds in words, the spelling of words that have silent letters or letter combinations that are not easily distinguished is very difficult.  If the word is one that the person does not frequently use or if the person spells the word different ways when writing, the word remains one of those problem words.  The word punctuation is one such word 


The Mnemonic Clue

The clue for the spelling of punctuation is a sequence of words.  You start with the word pun.  For some this will be a new word so provide a definition and an example of a pun.  The next word, spelled and placed underneath the word pun, is the word punch.  The next word is puncture, followed by punctuate, punctuates, punctuated, punctuating and punctuation.  The word punch adds the c to pun.  The word puncture adds the tu to the sequence. 










As with other mnemonic clues, if the person does not use the clue occasionally, he or she will forget it or not be able to use it effectively.  Saving the mnemonic clue in a place where one can find it easily or review it periodically, means that the clue can be used as an effective memory tool rather than a cute way to spell a word.  Mnemonic clues can be stored on the covers of notebooks, on a computer document, on bookmarks, or other places where it can be accessed easily or seen frequently.  Often the person will only need to use part of the clue as a reminder.


Richard Cooper, Ph.D. 

Center for Alternative Learning


















Richard Cooper, Ph.D.

July 4, 2005