1. Starryblu

    Starryblu Member

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    Word for being able to contain a large amount of memory

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Starryblu, Oct 25, 2016.

    Is there such a condition? Or word to describe it? I want to write a character that is able to have such a memory, but in the researching I've done, I haven't found descriptions that fit what I am looking for. There is some useful information here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exceptional_memory

    But these all seem to be for specific areas of memory, and I want my character to be someone who just has a great memory for practical things. For example, building a structure, the most productive way to farm, how to build weapons, etc (those are just examples I'm pulling out of my head)

    Or am I over-thinking this? Do I just have a character that has an exceptional memory?
     
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  2. Scot

    Scot Senior Member

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    Would someone with an eiditic memory meet your brief?
     
  3. SethLoki

    SethLoki Retired Autodidact Contributor

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    I can't think of any single words that'd encapsulate that trait. How about 'a colossus of practicality' ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  4. Starryblu

    Starryblu Member

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    that's a very good word. I read about that one, and found it to be very fitting.
     
  5. Starryblu

    Starryblu Member

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    i like the sound of that. i want my character's talent to be of a practical nature. most of what i have researched have been people who memorize books, music etc. my character is to provide a service, so that's where the practical part comes in. i think both of these suggestions are good, and either one works, i guess it just depends on how to write the ability into the story.
     
  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Elephantine is often used , based on the idea that elephants never forget - though that does depend on your story being set in a culture which has encountered or at least heard of heffalumps
     
  7. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    Some people like mentalists have sophistocated mnemonic devices to allows them to remember so much. Thats usually training, but they can also recite books.

    Then you have truly eidetic memories. John von Neumann was said to be able to recite every word to every book he ever read.

    Memory seems to not be required for brilliance though. Isaac Newton was said to forget everything he didn't write down.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  8. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    'Overactive cortex..?'

    I got this one when I was seven, or something, febrile convulsions.

    Transliterated to mean - for every single one of your mere human thoughts passed in a single second, the genius patient, he has a dozen, you dummo..
     
  9. Rumwriter

    Rumwriter Active Member

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    I believe the word you seek is "memory-ish..ific"
     
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  10. Neural

    Neural Member

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    I'm late to the party here, and it's not very pretty, but the first word that came to mind for me is: Encyclopedic.
     
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  11. EnginEsq

    EnginEsq Member

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    Consider coining your own word for it, possibly a portmanteau.

    "Fred has an exceptional memory for doing, but for little else. Lyrics he only remembered if they encoded an algorithm, poetry only if it provided a rule of thumb. And for trivia, it passed in one ear and out the other without a single disturbance of the gray matter in between. But give him a manual, and he'd remember the miss-drawn figure on page 46 and how it should have been. Give him a blueprint, and he could draw you an exact reproduction ten years later. Let him mill a part once, and he could produce it on request, if you had the means and the material to do so. His friends said he had a 'pragdmetic" memory, he just said it was a useful one."

    Here, I offer a portmanteau of "pragmatic" and "eidetic," take it and anything else I wrote in this post if you like it.
    It may be a little presumptuous and a bit of a conceit for me to do so, but I release this post into the public domain.
     
  12. Lyrical

    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    I recently listened to a podcast wherein eidetic memory was explored and a couple people who have it to the extreme were interviewed. These people were never able to forget anything that happened to them - not a thing. Not numbers, not faces, not events, nothing was ever forgotten. It was a pretty unpleasant way to live because they could never forgive wrongdoings love ones had done to them. The hurt was still as fresh as if it had just happened.

    The man they interviewed works in Hollywood now as a film continuity expert. He advises to make sure everything is shot and edited without something funky amiss - like a book that was in one shot suddenly not being in another. He makes a lot of money from his memory. But he admits he isn't strictly "happy."

    I think you could call it eidetic memory and not take it to this extreme, since it seems to be a bit of a spectrum rather than a fixed framework of what is or is not remembered.
     
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  13. A man called Valance

    A man called Valance Senior Member

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    Or an exceptional mental capacity.
     
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  14. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you must have an adjective, I would call him observant and his memory capacious. But I would far rather show his extraordinary recall in the context of the story.
     
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  15. tonguetied

    tonguetied Contributor Contributor

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    A common term for something similar is "jack of all trades." Usually that is followed by "master of none" but in your case that would not apply. MacGyver is another in the same ball park idea but not really too close I suspect.
     
  16. mrieder79

    mrieder79 Probably not a ground squirrel Contributor

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    an expansive memory
     
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  17. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    The one that immediately jumped to mind was a 'photographic memory,' which implies the person can remember details, not just general impressions. However, if the context of your story isn't modern, 'photographs' might not made any sense. :)

    You might want to read some biographical details of the author James Michener. Apparently he was able to absorb and remember a huge amount of detail just by thumbing through books of stuff like political history, scientific theory, etc. His brain was an amazing research tool, in that respect.
     
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