First, a word about associations.
I use this approach - the MESH approach - to strengthen associations.
Those that are familiar with memory techniques will know that association is very important. A good way to memorise something is to associate it strongly with something else. For example, if I want to remember to buy beans when I'm out shopping I can visualise myself throwing a tin of baked beans at the mirror in my living room and imagine that the can smashes the mirror and that the can explodes, showering baked beans all over the room.When I'm out shopping later I only have to remember my mirror and I'll remember the beans.
That's a vivid and very memorable image - there's lots going on. I have four rules in mind when forming associations, and these can be represented with the word MESH.
MESH stands for: Movement, Exaggeration, Senses, Humour.
I try to include those rules in every association I form. Throwing a tin of beans at a mirror is ridiculous. Tick humour. I hear the loud crack as the mirror smashes. Tick senses. The beans explode everywhere into the room. Tick exaggeration. I do an almighty powerful throwing of the tin of beans. Tick movement.
(NB: Those familiar with memory systems may know the SMASHIN' SCOPE rules. I prefer MESH. Four rules are easier to get my head round.)
The "Adjective and Verb" Technique.
Moment of interaction
With every association there's a moment of interaction. That can be a moment when both items touch (when the tin of beans hits the mirror), or the immediate consequences of the touching (the tin made the mirror smash and the can exploded). I can beef up the moment of interaction by using a random word (See How to create a list of random words quickly) that I use as an adjective or a verb.
For example, using the baked beans and mirror example above, the moment of interaction is when the tin hits the mirror. Thus:
Tin HITS mirror.
I grab a random word and first of all use it as an adjective to modify the hitting. My random word is "blend" which gives:
Tin blend-HITS mirror.
I ask myself what does "blend-hitting" mean? To me that may suggest that the tin blends into the mirror somehow. What does that mean? Maybe the tin of beans explodes and the exploding beans shower over the mirror version of the room, rather than real room. Maybe the tin doesn't smash the mirror but passes half way into the mirror and gets stuck. Then - exaggeration and humour - the mirror spits out the tin and the beans explode all over the room.
Using the same random word - blend - I turn the random word into a verb - thus blending -
Tin HITS (blending) mirror
This means the tin hits the mirror then does the act of blending. What does that mean? Maybe the the metal of the tin could morph itself and spread out, covering the whole mirror. Maybe the bins instead spread over the mirror surface and it becomes a "mirror of beans".
Tin reel-HITS mirror.
The tin could have hit the mirror because a fishing reel "inside" the mirror has "caught" the tin of beans and is reeling it into the mirror.
Tin HITS (reeling) mirror.
The hitting of the mirror could cause some kind of black hole and everyone and everything into the room gets "reeled into" the mirror. Or maybe the tin sends the mirror reeling - the mirror is hit so hard it actually disappears into the wall.
Tin gate-HITS mirror.
The tin hits the mirror then flies outside to my front gate, showering passers-by with baked beans.
Tin HITS (gating) mirror.
The tin hits the mirror, but instead of smashing the mirror and flying across the room, the mirror magically turns into an ornate gate shape.
See also: How to create a list of random words quickly.