A short mnemonic for remembering the first seven decimal digits of is "How I wish I could calculate pi" (C. Heckman, pers. comm., Feb. 3, 2005). Eight digits are given by "May I have a large container of coffee?" giving 3.1415926 (Gardner 1959; 1966, p. 92; Eves 1990, p. 122, Davis 1993, p. 9). "But I must a while endeavour to reckon right" gives nine correct digits (3.14159265). "May I have a white telephone, or pastel color" (M. Amling, pers. comm., Jul. 31, 2004) also gives nine correct digits.
A more substantial mnemonic giving 15 digits (3.14159265358979) is "How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics," originally due to Sir James Jeans (Gardner 1966, p. 92; Castellanos 1988, p. 152; Eves 1990, p. 122; Davis 1993, p. 9; Blatner 1997, p. 112). A slight extension of this adds the phrase "All of thy geometry, Herr Planck, is fairly hard," giving 24 digits in all (3.14159265358979323846264). An extension due to S. Bottomley (2001) adds instead the phrase "and if the lectures were boring or tiring, then any odd thinking was on quartic equations again," giving 32 digits (3.1415926535897932384626433832795).
An even more extensive rhyming mnemonic giving 31 digits is "Now I will a rhyme construct, By chosen words the young instruct. Cunningly devised endeavour, Con it and remember ever. Widths in circle here you see, Sketched out in strange obscurity." (Note that the British spelling of "endeavour" is required here.)
The following stanzas are the first part of a poem written by M. Keith based on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven." The entire poem gives 740 digits; the fragment below gives only the first 80 (Blatner 1997, p. 113). Words with ten letters represent the digit 0, and those with 11 or more digits are taken to represent two digits.
Poe, E.: Near a Raven. Midnights so dreary, tired and weary.
Silently pondering volumes extolling all by-now obsolete lore.
During my rather long nap-the weirdest tap!
An ominous vibrating sound disturbing my chamber's antedoor.
'This,' I whispered quietly, 'I ignore.'
Perfectly, the intellect remembers: the ghostly fires, a glittering ember.
Inflamed by lightning's outbursts, windows cast penumbras upon this floor.
Sorrowful, as one mistreated, unhappy thoughts I heeded:
That inimitable lesson in elegance--Lenore--
Is delighting, exciting... nevermore.
An extensive collection of mnemonics in many languages is maintained by A. P. Hatzipolakis. Other mnemonics in various languages are given by Castellanos (1988) and Blatner (1997, pp. 112-118).
Keith (1999) considered the set of letters obtained by writing to base 26 with digits , , ..., , so that
Then the sequence of the first Webster-sanctioned -letter non-proper name words in this expression is given by o, lo, rod, trod, steel, oxygen, subplot, .... Additional 5-letter words are feign (9248), kooks (12288), bread (18988), dolor (27079), and so on. Additional 6-letter words are: medics (48464), prinky, thingy (121273), ampler (125998), rebuts (169912), polity (212835), and so on. The positions of the starting letter of the first -letter words are 6, 5, 11, 10, 6570, 11582, 115042, ... (OEIS A103132).
A mnemonic in French is given by "Moi, j'aime a faire connaitre un nombre utile aux sages," which gives 11 digits and can be roughly translated as, "Me, I like to teach a number useful to wisemen." This can be extended to 15 digits by appending, "immortel Archimède, artiste, ingénieur" (immortal Archimedes, artist, engineer).