Monday, May 31, 2010

Today's Word: memoriter

memoriter (meh-MOR-uh-ter): Based on or marked by memorization, e.g., learning by rote.

I found in Google Books a description of the Alpha Memoriter Bible Society, which describes, in its constitution, that "[t]he object of this society shall be to treasure up in our minds, and to repeat, memoriter, from time to time, such portions of the Holy Scriptures, as our abilities and opportunities may admit." (Caldwell, John, ed. 1816. "Juvenile Department: From the Alleghany [sic] Magazine." The Christian Herald, Vol. 2:12.)

I hope that memoriter has fallen into disuse because memorization as a learning tool has lost its allure. Some rote learning is unavoidable (I was quizzing my son on state capitals just a couple days ago), but not nearly so much as was thought two centuries ago.

I couldn't find anything about what happened to the Alpha Memoriter Bible Society. If anyone knows anything about the fate of this group of young men, please leave some info and/or pointers in the  comments.