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Dominic System

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The Dominic System is a mnemonic system similar to the Major System. It was invented by Dominic O'Brien. It is a person-action (PA) system that encodes 4 digits at a time into compound images made up of a person and an action.

The Dominic system is a system for memorizing long sequences of numbers by first converting them into pairs of letters, and then associating those letters with easier to remember people and actions.



Dominic O'Brien has said that numbers can be assigned to images based on your first association. For example, the number 10 could be assigned to Dudley Moore because he was in the movie, 10. The numbers that don't have an immediate association with a person can be assigned images by converting the digits into letters that become the initials of people.

A number of systems exist for converting digits into letters, for example, the Major System. The digit-letter associations used by Dominic O'Brien are:

Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
Mnemonic A B C D E S G H N O

For example, the number 11 could be seen as "AA" which could then become an image of Andre Agassi playing tennis. The number 33 could be "CC" and could be converted to an image of Charlie Chaplin swinging a cane.

Long numbers are chunked in 4s. The first 2 digits are converted into a person, and the second 2 digits become an action.

So the number 1133 would be converted to an image of Andre Agassi swinging a cane, while the number 3311 could be converted into an image of Charlie Chaplin playing tennis.

Memories are constructed by converting numbers in a sequence into persons and actions within a story. The long number 27636339, for example, could be chunked into 2763 6339 and then converted into BGSC SCCN. If the memorizer has also associated Santa Claus delivering presents with SC, then the chunk 2763 would represent Bill Gates (27 = BG) delivering presents while 6339 would represent Santa Claus performing a roundhouse kick (39 = CN = Chuck Norris). The remembered story, therefore, could be that Bill Gates delivered presents and then got roundhouse kicked by Santa Claus.

The 4-digit compound images are then placed along imaginary journeys.

Other feats

Although the Dominic system is a method for remembering long sequences of numbers, it can also be used to remember other sequences such as the order of a deck of playing cards. This works by establishing some method of systematically converting the objects into numbers. If the nine of clubs is associated with 39 (CN), for instance, then Chuck Norris or a roundhouse kick could be used in a story describing where the nine of clubs is in the deck.

Lists of People

Here are lists of famous people:

Software and Scripts

Here's a website that can help you find names for your images:

Below is a small Python script from the Mentat Wiki that has been modified to output a CSV file that can be opened in a spreadsheet.

To run the script, download Python 2.7, and save this script with a .py extension. Be sure to change the word "username" to your computer's username. Then double-click on the script and the output file will be in My Documents or to wherever the output is set.

dom = zip(range(10),['O','A','B','C','D','E','S','G','H','N'])

# Remove the '#' sign before the line representing your operating system
# For Windows 7:
# f = open('C:\\Documents and Settings\\username\\My Documents\\dominic-system.csv', 'w')

# For Windows XP:
# f = open('C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\dominic-system.csv', 'w')

# For GNU/Linux
# f = open('dominic-system.csv', 'w')

dominic_table = "Number, Letters, Person, Action\n"
for tens in dom:
        for units in dom:
                dominic_table += "%d%d,%s%s,,\n" % (tens[0], units[0], tens[1], units[1])


Learning Your Images

Here are some scripts to help you practice your images. You don't need to memorize the numbers and cards, but just practice converting them into images until you know your images well:

See also

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