I'm bad at names, great at stupid details such as the difference between a fillister head and truss head screw. Or LCL differences of a CYX verses DPY lamp. Much less what LCL means as a measurement and what the two ANSI lamps mean.
On a day to day basis, I need to know and it's that type of thing I learn because I need to know - much less get paid big bucks as it were because I remember such details and learned.
Learning is a need to know type of thing at least for me. Tell me your name and it not being important for my career I will forget it within a conversation. If I'm buying a few hundred of a certain part often, I will on the other hand need to learn about it and that I do quickly memorize as if with a photographic memory. Such things I needed to know about also are not as easily forgotton about.
The more you need to know or the more such things come up, the more important it is that you remember it and the more you will if it's important for you to do your job correctly. Just as 1+1=2 in it coming up, remembering something like a Mac 2K moving light fixture requires something like a HMI 1200w/S lamp - once required to memorize the lamp will become committed to memory. At well over $100.00 per lamp, and about six versions of the HMI 1200 line to mistake one for another with, one would be wise to learn what lamp to ask a stagehand to pull for you once hanging upside down from a truss 40' in the air five minutes before the show opens. At times like that or in general in having to replace lamps, you tend to learn what is used in the fixture.
This by way of remembering what you read, or do gains importance with experience. Even in sorting screws, noticing slight differences between what they look like will help you note what they are. Dump a bucket of used drywall screws and sort them once with a tape measure and for ever more you will probably never have to measure each individual screw for length. IN the future by way of you just upon looking at it will hopefully in having sorted enough drywall screws, enable you to know the difference between a 1.5/8 and 1.1/4" screw.
In Lekos and lights, you look at the beam, look at the ligting effect and what it's all doing. Focus a few lekos and you remember what they can do or what knob to pull on in making it do what it needs to. This as opposed to a Fresnel you quickly also learn in being much different. Difference between a wide flood and medium flood on a PAR 64 is what in looking at it? Such things with time become explained and understood. Until tan, it's not easy to know but for the need to know at times.
Same way you get good at anything else - practice. ship hit it right on the head. You didn't learn to ride a bicycle looking at it, you practiced riding it until you could do so on your own.
In the couple years I've been in the large enterprise IT business, I've gotten to the point where if you put most any piece of Dell, HPQ, or Cisco equipment in front of me, I can give you the model and spec on it. Works in reverse too - tell me what you want to do and I'll tell you waht you need. I didn't know all this stuff reading a book on my first day - I spec'ed and worked on this gear for a couple years.
Learning them can be hard ... sometimes it just does come down to brunt memorization. Here are a few things. A Parcan does kinda look like a can and has a long barrel type shape maybe like a soup can.
ha ha ... I don't really know any others ... I just learned through having others use the names around me for a godo while and then needing to be able to tell people what kind of light I needed. Check out a post a few things back, people posted some sights that gave pretty good descriptions of each type of light and what it does.