Monday, March 29, 2010

How many letters?

When it came time to get my boating license, I signed up for a local class through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. It was a four night class on boating safety and water rules and regulations. While it doesn't teach you how to operate your specific boat, it does give you a lot of tips for remembering rules and terminology. For example, the green light is on the starboard (or right) side of the boat; the red light is on the port (or left) side of the boat. Green, starboard, and right all have more letters than red, port, and left. Certainly a quick way to remember this important information.

Unfortunately, there was a certain young man in class with me. I'm going to guess that he was 14. This mnemonic device may not be as helpful to him:
Instructor: "Which has more letters red or green."
Young man: Holds up left hand, counts out letters for red. Holds up right hand, counts out letters for green. Confidently he says "Green!"
Instructor: "Well, at least he didn't have to take his shoes and socks off."
Ah, such a wonderful product of the education system. And remember, he may be operating a boat near you.

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