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Make memory matter

tech reviews Updated: May 09, 2010 14:47 IST
Sneha Mahale

Recondite, desultory, obsequious… Want to know the meaning of these words and remember them for future use? A website started by an IIT alumnus Amit Aggarwal can help you do just that and also let you flaunt your command over the English language. Mnemonicdictionary.com helps people learn and remember words and their meaning easily by providing memory aids (called mnemonics) for each word.

How it began...
“The idea struck when I was preparing for my GRE in final year of college (IIT B). This technique worked for me, so I decided to reach out to all those people for whom vocabulary is a major roadblock,” says Aggarwal. His partners in the venture include Pritam Kumari and Prameela Jeppu.

Aggarwal invested a mere Rs 8,000 on the website mainly as domain and hosting charges. But the initial days were tough. “I quit my high-paying job and there was no cash inflow. I was taking care of practically everything… from technical work to marketing the website and generating revenue,” he says. But somehow things worked out.

The website relies primarily on user-generated content and encourages their active involvement in the content generation. Users can add and edit mnemonics, they can rate existing mnemonics and can also create a new word list and add words to it. All these activities are closely moderated by a team of editors to ensure good quality content on the website. While you don’t need to register to view mnemonics, registering is a must in order to contribute any interesting mnemonics of your own.

It is also India’s first website where readers are free to add mnemonics for English words in the local Indian languages. “This has helped make us popular among readers living in small towns and cities,” says Aggarwal.

The website currently has over 10,000 mnemonics and most of them have been contributed by a community of over 16,000 registered users. “We have some Google Adsense ads running on our website and that’s the main source of revenue,” Aggarwal says.

Next up
Plans include an offline version of the website database in the form of a printed book/eBook/mobile application, so that users can access it even if they are not connected to the net.

They’re also trying to reach Chinese audiences as they feel will there is a huge market of English-language learners there. “It’s a universal concept and we are open to contributions in foreign languages as our ultimate aim is to reach English learners globally,” says Aggarwal.

Some unique features
Add and Edit Mnemonics: Wiki-like format for editing and adding mnemonics.
Word List Feature that lets you create your own word list and add words to it.
A discussion forum for mnemonics and other exam-related discussions.
A word test zone where you can generate a vocabulary test based on word lists.
Free SMS word of the day.
Word games.

How it works
Abate: To reduce in amount, put an end to; subside or moderate
Mnemonics for abate: Rebate means discount... i.e. reducing the price.. abate and rebate are rhyming words.
Abate rhymes with debate. Debate means raising (when used in discussion). Opposite to debate, consider abate which means reduction.
A hunter uses A BAIT in his traps to capture animals, thus reducing their population
Ab ate mat karo, abate your weight.
Abate= a + bate which almost sounds aa bete in Hindi, imagine father sayings his son come(aa) son(bete),come join my business to reduce my load.