The PADI (scuba instruction) people should hire a consultant from the medical-training industry to come up with mnemonic acronyms for their lists of “five steps to do such-and-such” or “nine symptoms of so-and-so.” Medical training, from what I've heard of it, has dozens of catchy mnemonic acronyms for that kind of thing; they seem to be a lot better at it than PADI is. Most of the PADI manual doesn't give mnemonics at all, but the two they do give are not so good:
Predive safety check mnemonic: BWRAF = Begin With Review And Friend = BCD, Weight, Releases, Air, Final Check. I'm not convinced that the mnemonic phrase is any more memorable than what it's supposed to remind me of. (I've decided to pronounce “BWRAF” as “Boo-RAF,” which (in my imagination) is the British air force's equivalent of “Booyah!”)
And the other mnemonic, late in the book, in the midst of the section about using a dive computer is: SAFE= Slowly Ascend From Every Dive.
...because I guess if you don't remember to ascend slowly (something they've been mentioning every few pages for the entire book), you're more likely to remember SAFE and what it stands for (“Wait, I know I'm supposed to be SAFE, but what did that stand for? Sordidly Activate Frequency Enhancer? Guess I better rush up to the surface and look it up”), and that will remind you to ascend slowly? Wouldn't it be simpler to just remember to ascend slowly?
I kind of feel like they might as well say SAFE stands for: Safety is important, Always be safe, For goodness' sake, be safe; Exceptions there are none to the rule of always being safe.
Meanwhile, there's no mnemonic at all for the five steps you're supposed to follow before diving. I decided on the mnemonic RORCOD (Ready, Orient, Regulator, COmputer, Descend), which I guess is either Rorschach's fishy cousin or the fish that roared. (Hey, I didn't say I was good at coming up with mnemonic acronyms.)