Tag Archives: Big Bang Theory

Why calculator spelling is so cool! Episode IV – A New Hope

It’s amazing how “silly, little  things” get reaction on the internet. I write about all sorts of “important” and serious things – but one topic that has got lots of positive reaction from around the world is a “silly” post about calculator spelling –  a random, spontaneous post that’s turned into a series of posts on the topic!

O calc spelling

It seems lots of people have fond memories of calculator spelling – and I was amazed to find out that it is a world-wide phenomenon! Posts about this at the end:

For me, one of the best things about re-discovering calculator spelling is “using the Force” of calculator spelling to help my 8-year-old son Orlando master some of the spelling basics – especially vowel combinations like OI. I’ve also been using the Force of Star Wars to make spelling more interesting 🙂


My son learns better with his hands and so the fun aspect of punching numbers into a calculator and making words and looking at the calculator upside down – helps him remember the words.


He also learns well from forming words with Scrabble letters. He shuffles the letters around and then taking a “mental snapshot” of what the word looks like.

O scrabble

So this week, we’ve had fun and laughs – doing both – forming letters with  Scrabble letters of the limited calculator spelling alphabet  and then punching the words into a calculator.  Here’s the alphabet  you’ve got to work with.


We used a simpler version:


I’d been trying to help my son remember the OI combination for words like mOIsture.

Calculator spelling and Scrabble helped him remember a few more OI words:



A cheeky smile spread across my son’s face as he turned to me and said:

What a shame we don’t have a T in calculator spelling!


He cracks me up!

It seems kids around the world like making “naughty” words with calculator spelling:

Here’s a link to an earlier post about this – and other posts about calculator spelling AND harnessing the force of Star Wars to teach spelling.  Enjoy!





Tonight’s spelling is about how the F sound can be made with the letter combination GH – an in lauGH and of course PH.

I’ve already got ideas about how to make PH words memorable: 🙂

O phantom


More random fun, “geeky” stuff about calculator spelling

So many fascinating facts about calculator spelling.

In a previous post I wrote about how I hadn’t thought about calculator spelling since the 1970s – until this week when I was trying to “entertain” my son who was starting at a new school.


I started doing some “research” on the phenomenon of calculator spelling and found out all sorts of amazing, random facts – well random at least!

The Hollies released an album called 5317704.


To those fluent in the language of calculator spelling – that is of course HOLLIES upside down!

I even found out about a Nerdcore rapper MC Frontalot who has a song called 80085.


I will definitely have to check him out – sounds interesting to me –but then again I also like calculator spelling.

There are similar “Nerd” gags in shows like Big Bang Theory where Raj’s favourite number is 5318008.

BIg Bang Theory

Anyway, I was interested to find out this stuff. It’s funny how a silly memory can take you on a journey to find out other stuff.

Must go now – and discover more about MC Frontalot and the genre called Nerdcore!

Here’s a clip if you are interested:

Also: there are so many other cultural references about calculator spelling on that font of knowledge: wikipeda:


…and here’s my first post about Calculator spelling:


So who is writing this and why is he so keen on retro?

Hi, I’m Tony Biancotti and I love retro or vintage (if you prefer to call it that!)


I now work in an often serious job – helping people with serious communication tasks and challenges – and I’ve found  you can connect with people from all different parts of the world and in different parts of businesses through the power of COMMON experiences and the power of RETRO.

TB NASA story

I’ve connected with:

– super-smart computer and engineering types through mutual memories of Star Wars and model planes and rocketships

– top female execs through a common love of Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet

– serious senior army officers and former officers through a common love of Airfix models, toy soldiers, and even 80s drum kit sounds

-a very senior and clean-cut Singaporean exec who turned out to be a massive fan of punk, the Sex Pistols and The Clash from his days studying in the UK.

This responsible and mature exec’s  passion for and knowledge of “punk” caught me by surprise!

He became so engaged, enthused and  full of youthful energy in the session. (You just can’t tell people by their appearance. The more senior people get in organisations the more conservative and alike they all look!)

IO + toy soldiers

(My son loves my collection of toy soldiers – glad I kept them!)

Discussing common retro passions can help create commonality, make training more enjoyable, and connect with the human side of people.

Common passions (especially for retro)  builds credibility and connection.

Lots of my presentation and communication heroes like Guy Kawasaki and Garr Reynolds reveal their retro passions – especially for Star Wars. And they both have a habit of quoting from movies and 80s songs!

My point is  – RETRO is not just about the past and childish passions. RETRO can help you connect and forge FUTURE relationships. RETRO is so powerful.

I’m a very active blogger and the things that get the biggest response are usually about “little things” that bring back strong and positive memories.


If you ever need any communication help, I can help you harness your creativity and hook attention with lots of tips from everyday life for  boosting creativity and hooking attention in everyday situations.

I can also help you improve your presentations and business writing.

I can share with you practical and easy-to-apply tips I’ve gathered over many years working as a:

  • TV journalist
  • political speechwriter
  • lawyer
  • blogger
  • musician and performer
  • coach and trainer in persuasionpositive messagespresenting and better e-mail and business writing.

I’m also a very busy dad and husband juggling my work and travel with family life and our two wonderful kids – Orlando and Cleo.

You can contact me on tonybiancotti@ozemail.com.au    or on Linked In or Facebook. Tony is of course short for Anthony .