When you apply sunscreen, do you make sure to rub it into your skin real good? I do, I have always done it this way, and to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever personally suggested to me otherwise. That is, until my friend Marian showed me a better way. The first day of our vacation with friends, we all lathered on the sunscreen – SPF 30, although we now know that our northern friends the first few days should use SPF 50, and we rubbed it in real good. Marian got a little crispy, but just a little. Marian determined that she would be better protected if the sunscreen was not rubbed into her skin, but left on top of her skin, acting as a barrier. And from then on out, every time she applied sunscreen (which was several times a day), she would chant, “Barbecue sauce, not a rub… barbecue sauce, not a rub…” By the end of the week, if I even saw her reach for the sunscreen, I automatically thought, barbecue sauce, not a rub. So that is Marian’s mantra, which could also be called a mnemonic, because it helps me to remember to leave a barrier of sunscreen and not thoroughly rub it in.
Brought to us by dictionary.com, mnemonic is today’s Word of the Day, pronounced ni-mon-ik. Used as a noun, mnemonic is something intended to assist the memory, as a verse or formula; as an adjective, it means assisting or intended to assist the memory. Well Marian, your mantra certainly did assist my memory in changing the way I have applied sunscreen my whole life, and therefore, I am calling it a mnemonic. Or, it could also be Marian’s mnemonic mantra. Yep, that’s it!