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A Source of Mnemonic Devices

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The Order of Units in the Metric System

Following are two sets of mnemonic devices, pick your favorite. The first two can be used together to remember quite a range of metric prefixes. One is for going up in scale and the other for going down. The third device is useful for remembering a smaller set of more commonly used prefixes both larger and smaller than the basic unit. Tip: Select one device and stick with it. Don't clog up your brain trying to keep two devices straight for a single use.

Decadent Hector Killed Meg's Gigantic Terrier

This mnemonic device is for moving up the scale of metric prefixes from the basic unit to larger units.

Decadent Deca 10
Hector Hecto 102
Killed Kilo 103
Meg's Mega 106
Gigantic Giga 109
Terrier Tera 1012

Darn Clever Mnemonic Makes No Prefix Forgettable, Absolutely

This mnemonic device is for moving down the scale of metric prefixes from the basic unit to smaller units. Tip: Make sure you know how to spell "mnemonic" (starts with an "m").

Darn Deci 10-1
Clever Centi 10-2
Mnemonic Milli 10-3
Makes Micro 10-6
No Nano 10-9
Prefix Pico 10-12
Forgettable Femto 10-15
Absolutely Atto 10-18
"Absolutely" can also be "at All"

Kangaroos Hop Down My Driveway Carrying M&Ms

This mnemonic device is actually for meters. The "M" in My stands for meters. If you can remember this, you can interchange it with any basic metric unit and use this device for all metric measurements.

The table below shows the metric prefix and the matching mnemonic word.
kilo -- Kangaroos
hecto -- Hop
deca -- Down
meter -- My
(Change meter to any unit)
deci -- Driveway
centi -- Carrying
millimeter -- M&Ms

Contributed by:
Shelly Anthony

Weight of Water

A pint's a pound the world around.

A pint of water weighs one pound.

Contributed by:
Matt Cristy
Pop for Two

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