# Square root mnemonics

Here’s a cute little poem:

I wish I knew
The root of two.

O charmed was he
To know root three.

So we now strive
To find root five.

The beginning of each stanza is a mnemonic for the number mentioned in the following line.

√ 2 = 1.414
√ 3 = 1.732
√ 5 = 2.236

I found this in Twenty Years Before the Blackboard by Michael Stueben. Steuben sites the sources as Dictionary of Mnemonics, London 1972. He doesn’t give any other information such as author or editor.

It rhymes with heaven
The root of seven.

Update: Here’s Python code to validate the mnemonics above.

```    from math import sqrt

def validate(line, num):
digits = [str(len(w)) for w in line.split()]
x = int("".join(digits)) / 1000
assert(x == round(sqrt(num),3))

validate("I wish I knew", 2)
validate("O charmed was he", 3)
validate("So we now strive", 5)
validate("It rhymes with heaven", 7)
```

Related post: Numbers worth memorizing.

## 8 thoughts on “Square root mnemonics”

1. Lo:
The root of four.

2. (The above comment had three emojis to represent three 0s of precision. For some reason they aren’t displayed, but it also works as it is.)

3. sqrt(7) = 2.646 (assuming we’re rounding, not truncating)

“heaven” rhymes with “seven”.

Perhaps some other reader can use these two facts.

4. Ashley Kanter

It rhymes with heaven
The root of seven

5. Jerry Bowman

To make it rhyme how about

Or:
The root of four.

6. The square root of six
It bore some conflicts

7. The scared root of six
It fled from conflicts