The Alphabet Trick

Published 9 Comments on The Alphabet Trick

Your subconscious is much more powerful than you may realize.  It remembers everything and it can make quick judgments based on millions of experiences..  It’s a super computer right in your head.  The only problem is that it can’t be accessed in normal ways.  It tells you things in dreams and fragments and feelings.  However, I have discovered a specific trick that helps access the subconscious.

Let’s say you are trying to remember the name of a particular actress in a movie you saw long ago.  It’s right there, on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t remember it exactly.  It’s…It’s…Argh!

Here is what you do:

  • Go through the alphabet and pretend that her first or last name starts with that letter.
  • A – Ahhhhh, B- Bbbbb.
  • Give each letter about 3-5 seconds.
  • Eventually you will get to a letter and N – Nnnnnn NICOLE KIDMAN!

Your brain likes games and it loves associations.  Playing this little game gives your subconscious a way of shining through.  It has the information, you just need to give it a way to say it.

Next time you want to brainstorm a particular name for a product, or remember the company name of that guy, or remember the name of the restaurant, or a song, or book, or whatever….Just go through the alphabet and see if your hidden brain will help you out.

UPDATE:  Apparently, the “alphabet trick” is also a sexual technique.  I didn’t realize they called it that.  Anyway, Google can’t tell the difference and ranked me third on the list for that query.  Welcome Porn people.  The stats for this page have skyrocketed.



  1. I have been thinking more and more about how the brain works, and it is a little unnerving. For example, if you have an random itch, seemingly on your arms, whatever is causing the itch might not be on your arm at all. It just might be some kind of random electrical stimulus in your brain that is touching the nerve that controls your arm feelings. So it is really your brain that has the itch. And by scratching you are sending a new electrical signal to that same part of the brain that had the itch and maybe that distracts it from the itch. I also have been thinking about different streams of consciousness. I can have three different through processes at the same time (kinda in different voices in my head, although one voice is clearly the strongest), but I think there are even more streams, just I can’t access/connect to them with one of the streams that is in my active conscious. I also heard an interview on NPR about Glia, which was fascinating. I think this will be my next non-fiction book,

    Anyway, I think the alphabet trick is learned. I do it too (and our father before us). Whether we learned to file our memories according to the alphabet or we just do that naturally and were lucky enough to realize a way to easily access the information, I don’t know. But I don’t think it works for everyone. Just like people learn differently, people probably remember differently. However, it will be really interesting when brain scan technology can pinpoint thought and memories.

  2. Kids remember things by going through the alphabet? I have three kids. I can’t get them to remember to put on their clothes in the morning. You must have smart kids.

  3. I’m gonna have to say glen, if your kids cant remember to put clothes on, you have some pretty stupid kids. My nephew at age 4 could put clothes on in the morning. If you are referring to children still in their infancy, then, your point is moot, of course they cant dress themselves.

    Furthermore this “trick” is universal knowledge. I cant think of a single person who wouldn’t resort to phonically sounding out letters to find names of forgotten people. Hell this is basically a logical solution to the problem. Ground breaking stuff glen. Ground breaking stuff.

  4. @Jason: Do you have kids? All the kids I know stay in their pajamas for as long as they possibly can. Also, it’s not universal knowledge. Lastly, thanks for contributing. Your comments are wonderful. Keep up the good work.

  5. This trick works for me. But I’m guessing it would not work for illiterate people (or very poor spellers). And deaf people couldn’t do it phonetically.

  6. I have always done this as well and it works pretty much every time. I never understood WHY it worked though, just something I discovered years ago. This article explained it a bit.

    For people who thinks that everyone can do this or that this is just universal knowledge, it isn’t. In my family I’m the only one who does it. In fact, when we’re all trying to remember something they usually turn to me and say, “Do the alphabet thing…” Haha!

    1. I’ve been doing this for years and this is the first time I tried to google it to see what it means. I was afraid it meant I was getting memory issues. It really does work. Thanks for shedding some light on this.

      1. I have also been doing this ABC trick for the past few years. It works 100 % if the time. Nobody else in my family can do it. I’m glad others have discover this technique.

Whatya think?