Magnetic Memory Method - Memory Improvement Made Easy With Anthony Metivier (2022)

Magnetic Memory Method - Memory Improvement Made Easy With Anthony Metivier (1)The problem with looking for the best books on linguistics is that they all pile up the same titles.

And they’re usually focused only on the pop science books in the field.

Sure, those will help you out.

But even Steven Pinker at his best writes for a general audience. And most lists I’ve seen don’t even include his best books on linguistics!

So let’s go through a more robust list, one that will give you:

  • A sense of linguistics and its history
  • Key figures who often go ignored
  • Lesser known works that include granular details so profound, you’ll wonder why they aren’t more common
  • Bonus suggestions to extend your reading

Ready?

Let’s dig in!

5 Must Read Linguistics Books For Beginners

There’s no perfect place to start if you’re a beginner, but the following list is key for getting the bird’s eye view on what matters in the world of linguistics.

More importantly, this list will help you understand why linguistics is such an important field.

I’m going to start with a book that shows you just how high the stakes are when it comes to how linguistics can help societies around the world.

One: Language Death

You’ll see other books by David Crystal on a lot of lists, but I believe Language Death is the best start.

Why?

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Crystal makes it clear what’s at stake when languages are lost – and why they don’t have to be.

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You’ll learn why languages die, the consequences of losing them and a number of suggestions for preserving those languages currently in danger.

Language Death also includes a useful index of language families, individual languages and the ethnographic groups involved.

Not only has this book woken me up to how important immersing ourselves into languages is for being a good citizen of planet earth. It is easy to read and Crystal provides great examples that will inspire you to take action.

Follow up with:

  • How Dead Languages Work by George H. Coulter

Two: Course in General Linguistics

Based on lectures by Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics was one of my favorites during my early years at university.

Although many of its ideas are dated, it is still useful to think through de Saussure’s observations.

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In this book, you will encounter concepts like:

  • Signifier and signified
  • Arbitrariness
  • Value in context

De Saussure remains controversial, but that’s a good thing. As Michel Foucault points out in his seminal essay, “What is an Author?” the value of many thinkers is not whether they were right or wrong. It is in the discussions their ideas make possible.

Follow up with:

Three: Keywords

Although not technically a book on linguistics, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society by Raymond Williams traces the use of important terms we forget to think about critically.

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Heavily informed by linguistics, you will learn to understand the role of metaphor in a deeper way. How words are used is just as important as what the dictionary says they mean, and Williams does a great job of showing you how.

Follow up with:

(Video) Why does the Magnetic Memory Method focus so HEAVILY on the Alphabet?

  • Interpretation and Overinterpretation by Umberto Eco (this book is excellent for showing you the difference between definitions of words vs. how they are actually used)

Four: The Stuff of Thought

Obviously, we’re not going to leave Steven Pinker out in the cold.

But of all his books, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature is the most important. It saddens me that it isn’t on other lists of linguistics books.

What makes it so good?

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You’ll learn a ton about:

  • What slang reveals about certain cultures
  • How certain kinds of words can be classified based on mental perception
  • How to think logically about human communication in a variety of contexts
  • The role of names and naming conventions in languages

Pinker is fantastic in this book by not eliminating technical terms. Rather, he takes time to introduce them, which is not always the case in books on linguistics for the general market.

Follow up with:

  • Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English by John McWhorter
  • More books by John McWhorter (he’s seriously underrated)

Five: Talking Hands

Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals about the Mind is the perfect follow-up to The Stuff of Thought.

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In this incredible study, Margalit Fox takes you into the field to show you the connections between linguistics and anthropology. You’ll also learn a fair amount about neurology too.

This book will be interesting for those interested in sign language, but should not be limited to people reading about that field. If you are studying sign language, you’ll be delighted by the comparisons to American sign language and Israeli sign language.

Bonus: Best Books That Apply Ideas From Linguistics

As someone looking for linguistics books for beginners, general introductions are great.

But what is really helpful on top of beginner books are studies where the ideas and scientific processes of linguists have been applied to other topics.

Here’s a quick list of my favorites.

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Gödel Escher Bach by Douglas Hofstadter

Although this book is more famously known for its contributions to consciousness and artificial intelligence, you’ll learn a lot about language too. In fact, Hofstadter went on to write a book about translation after GEB, and here he talks a lot about that topic too.

Écrits by Jacques Lacan

This book is a tough read, but you’ll see how Lacan applied ideas from linguistics to psychoanalysis. The signifier/signified division he takes from de Saussure is very compelling, leading to the “Big Other” concept so loved by Slavoj Zizek.

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Jacques Lacan

Although controversial, interest in Lacan has not waned. Peter D. Matthews does a great job of explaining the issues in Lacan the Charlatan. Just searching this book for “linguistics” and scanning or skimming what you find will be valuable for you.

Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman

You probably think that Chomsky should be in the top five, but like I said: I want this alternative list to serve you better than others.

And when it comes to famous linguists who have applied their skills to other topics, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media is one of the best out there. Who better than Chomsky to detail the abuses of language by the media?

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Don’t miss the incredible documentary about Chomsky and his linguistics-based criticism of the media by the same title.

Why You Should Read As Many Linguistics Books As You Can

There are literally thousands of books on linguistics out there. No one can read them all.

But by reading a steady diet of key textbooks and books that apply linguistics, you’ll continually expand your understanding of the field.

Language is the medium of human consciousness. It’s how we share our ideas, needs and build societies. Literally nothing gets made without being able to use language.

As you explore linguistics further, you’ll note that not only your understanding of language improves. Your ability to use it improves as well, especially when you can remember new vocabulary and other kinds of information with ease.

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To help you with that, please consider getting this free memory improvement kit:

It will help you remember more from these books on language, all of which I hope you enjoy.

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FAQs

What is the trick to remember words with memories? ›

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How many times do you have to repeat something to memorize it? ›

According to this technique, “you've got to actively recall the memory 30 times,” Cooke says. So when you meet someone new, you might want to repeat her name 30 times. Create a mnemonic. Use whatever a new word sounds like or makes you think of, and you'll remember it more.

How can I memorize the whole book? ›

  1. Examine the book.
  2. Make an equation.
  3. Get index cards.
  4. Find the big points and jot them down.
  5. Make use of your Memory Palace.
  6. Create crazy imagery to help you recall the info.
  7. Stick each crazy image onto a Memory Palace station for recall.
  8. Test yourself before the teacher does.
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What is the fastest way to memorize in 5 minutes? ›

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What are 5 effective methods to improving memory? ›

Below are 8 science-backed techniques for retaining information and improving recall and memory performance.
  • Organize the information.
  • Make associations.
  • Use visual cues.
  • Create mnemonics.
  • Write it down.
  • Say it out loud.
  • Engage in active recall.
  • Rehearse.

What tricks can improve memory? ›

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  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. ...
  • Stay mentally active. ...
  • Socialize regularly. ...
  • Get organized. ...
  • Sleep well. ...
  • Eat a healthy diet. ...
  • Manage chronic conditions.

What is the best method of memorizing? ›

Chunking: remember larger numbers in smaller chunks. Method of Loci: visualize a familiar place and associate objects to it. Flash cards: good for specific facts. Shuffle cards and recite out loud.

How can I study faster without forgetting? ›

Now let's look at some of the ways research shows you can remember more and forget less:
  1. Drink coffee to improve memory consolidation. ...
  2. Meditate to improve working memory.
  3. Eat berries for better long-term memory.
  4. Exercise to improve memory recall.
  5. Chew gum to make stronger memories.
  6. Sleep more to consolidate memories.
Jul 30, 2015

How can I memorize faster? ›

Simple memory tips and tricks
  1. Try to understand the information first. Information that is organized and makes sense to you is easier to memorize. ...
  2. Link it. ...
  3. Sleep on it. ...
  4. Self-test. ...
  5. Use distributed practice. ...
  6. Write it out. ...
  7. Create meaningful groups. ...
  8. Use mnemonics.

How can I learn 10x faster? ›

These 10 Scientific Ways to Learn Anything Faster Could Change Everything You Know About Dramatically Improving Your Memory
  1. Say out loud what you want to remember. ...
  2. Take notes by hand, not on a computer. ...
  3. Chunk your study sessions. ...
  4. Test yourself. ...
  5. Change the way you practice. ...
  6. Exercise regularly. ...
  7. Get more sleep.
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How many pages can I memorize in a day? ›

Based on my personal experience,I would say, you can consider an average of at least 15 pages/hour. In the first hour, it should be around 20 pages. As every hour passes, the number of pages will start to decrease. After a break, you can again start with 20 pages/hour and the cycle goes on.

How many times should I read a book to memorize it? ›

Some studies suggest the magic number to remember something is seven repetitions. However, it all depends on your learning strategies and what works for you. Some people need to write it twice or ten times before they can remember it. Keep experimenting to see what works best for you.

Why do I forget what I just read? ›

Lack of revision or rehearsal. It is normal to forget most of what is learned within a few days after learning it unless it is constantly revised to keep it fresh in mind. As I earlier stated, your brain constantly reorganizes information, as new experiences come.

How can I memorize things quickly? ›

Simple memory tips and tricks
  1. Try to understand the information first. Information that is organized and makes sense to you is easier to memorize. ...
  2. Link it. ...
  3. Sleep on it. ...
  4. Self-test. ...
  5. Use distributed practice. ...
  6. Write it out. ...
  7. Create meaningful groups. ...
  8. Use mnemonics.

How do you use the memory palace technique? ›

The Memory Palace : Can You Do It? - YouTube

How can I remember how do you spell again? ›

You can use common mnemonics, or make up your own.
  1. Develop short phrases for complicated words. For example, "Necessary = 1 collar and 2 socks (to remember one 'c' and two 's's)."
  2. Try spelling mnemonics that use a phrase. For example, "Rhythm = Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move."
  3. Make up rhymes. ...
  4. Compose nonsense stories.

What is the easiest way to memorize sentences? ›

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