“Congressmen object to “crude” mnemonic in USCG training material” Marine Log

Marine Log reports that Congress has taken exception to the use of a Mnemonic in Coast Guard furnished training material.

DeFazio and Maloney wrote: “Within the USCG accredited captain’s license course offered by ‘Mariners Learning System,’ students are encouraged to use the mnemonic device ‘true virgins make dull company—just add whiskey’ to remember how to calculate compass error. We are sure you will agree that the use of this crude phrase in certification materials approved by the Coast Guard is unacceptable.”

They may have a point, but don’t we have more urgent issues?

6 thoughts on ““Congressmen object to “crude” mnemonic in USCG training material” Marine Log

  1. It is totally acceptable and has been helping mariners learn their trade for more than 50 years [that I know of] and likely goes back to the 1900’s. If they don’t like it, what mnemonic would they prefer we use instead? Without a suggested replacement, their complaint doesn’t hold water.

  2. Yes, one would think more important things, flip side one also would think the keepers of the text would have cleaned it up decades ago just out of common sense, this is 3rd party materials produced by others for teaching licensing classes. This means there are probably hundreds of texts out there to be reviewed, not a trivial task, here in Seattle alone there are quite a few license prep companies.

    In the CG Auxiliary we stopped using the old version something like 15 or 20 years ago and I don’t think the True Virgins was ever in Coast Guard or CG Auxiliary materials to the best of my memory. Some of the old timers would sometimes pitch out the old version then one of the newer versions “T V Makes Dull Children add Wisdom.”

    I have never been good at remembering things like that so I came up with a reference card that I print on cover stock in bright yellow then have laminated. I have given out hundreds over the years. Suggestion: Make a card and give it to your favorite captain or navigator. The time distance formulas and some other useful tidbits are on the card.

    Navigators Piloting and Charting Reference Card


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