Cranial Nerves

J. A. Kiernan jkiernan at
Wed Mar 15 10:20:53 EST 1995

In article <gfb1.15.2F660A23 at> gfb1 at (Guy F. Barbato) writes:
>From: gfb1 at (Guy F. Barbato)
>Subject: Re: Cranial Nerves
>Date: Tue, 14 Mar 1995 21:26:59 GMT

>In article <3k0p8d$2aa at> purves at (Bill Purves)
>>In article <199503130442.UAA01789 at>,
>>walt dennig <wrdennig at CRUZIO.COM> wrote:

>>>I remember the mnemonic device: On Old Olympus Towering Tops, A Finn And
>>>German Viewed Some Hops.  
>>>The word *Some* has me stumped.  Was the accessory nerve ever named
>>>something else?  Or have I got the mnemonic device wrong? 

>>It's also known as the spinal accessory--the Some is for "Spinal."
>>The mnemonic can also go "Viewed A Hop" to cope with just-plain
>>"Accessory."  When I learned the mnemonic, "Finn And" was replaced
>>by words suggesting that the poor German had a large rump.  

     Yes indeed, and when I was a student, the "German" was "girl."
     A few decades earlier still, the "viewed" had been been "performed"
     because for a time the vagus nerve was called the pneumogastric.
     This ancient mnemonic for the cranial nerves (known as the "clean
     version" among British schoolboys) still does not accommodate
     current nomenclature, because the 8th nerve ("arsed") has been
     called vestibulo-cochlear for many years, and the name seems
     unlikely to change again.  Sic transit gloria.

                                     John A. Kiernan
                                     Department of Anatomy
                                     Univ. of Western Ontario
                                     LONDON, Canada  N6A 5C1

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