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Chemical Education Today


A Mnemonic
for Representative Element Groups
Mnemonics’ virtues are legion and well-documented (1).
Covey previously submitted a mnemonic for the symbols of
the first 105 chemical elements (2). One drawback of the
scheme, though, is its nearly uniform employment of nonsense-
words (e.g., Motcru rh’p’d agcd in Sn’sb’). It is unclear whether
memorizing such a text is a task any simpler than the one it
aims to ease. Moreover, Covey’s mnemonic text unfolds in the
order of increasing atomic number; we wondered whether a
group-by-group ordering might also have merit.
Here is our effort to ease memorization of the elements
of several major groups and their respective chemical symbols:

Group 1: Has LIttle NAncy Kissed RoB, CaSey,

and FRank?
Group 2: BEtty McGee CAn SuRe BAnter RApidly!
Group 13: Ben ALways GAve INez TooLs.
Group 14: Call SIlly GEne’s SNack PuB!
Group 15: Nate Pulverized AShley’s SiBling’s BIke.
Group 16: Olive Savored SEeing TEd POut.
Group 17: Fred CLeaned BRushes In ATlanta.
Group 18: HEnry NEeded ARticles, so KRis XEroxed RoN’s.

For Harold T. McKone, on the occasion of his retirement.
Literature Cited
1. Quigley, M. N. J. Chem. Educ. 1992, 69, 138–140.
2. Covey, W. J. Chem. Educ. 1988, 65, 1089.

Timothy Chambers
Department of Philosophy,
University of Hartford
West Hartford, CT 06117

Jennifer Arab
Saint Joseph College
West Hartford, CT 06117

www.JCE.DivCHED.org • Vol. 83 No. 12 December 2006 • Journal of Chemical Education 1761