Acronym vs. Mnemonic

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Acronym and Mnemonic is that the Acronym is a abbreviation made out of the first letters of the words of a sequence and Mnemonic is a learning technique that aids information retention or retrieval in human memory.

  • Acronym

    An acronym is a word or name formed as an abbreviation from the initial components in a phrase or a word, usually individual letters (as in NATO or laser) and sometimes syllables (as in Benelux).

    There are no universal standards of the multiple names for such abbreviations and of their orthographic styling. In English and most other languages, such abbreviations historically had limited use, but they became much more common in the 20th century. Acronyms are a type of word formation process, and they are viewed as a subtype of blending.

  • Mnemonic

    A mnemonic (, the first “m” is silent) device, or memory device, is any learning technique that aids information retention or retrieval (remembering) in the human memory. Mnemonics make use of elaborative encoding, retrieval cues, and imagery as specific tools to encode any given information in a way that allows for efficient storage and retrieval. Mnemonics aid original information in becoming associated with something more accessible or meaningful—which, in turn, provides better retention of the information. Commonly encountered mnemonics are often used for lists and in auditory form, such as short poems, acronyms, or memorable phrases, but mnemonics can also be used for other types of information and in visual or kinesthetic forms. Their use is based on the observation that the human mind more easily remembers spatial, personal, surprising, physical, sexual, humorous, or otherwise “relatable” information, rather than more abstract or impersonal forms of information.

    The word “mnemonic” is derived from the Ancient Greek word μνημονικός (mnēmonikos), meaning “of memory, or relating to memory” and is related to Mnemosyne (“remembrance”), the name of the goddess of memory in Greek mythology. Both of these words are derived from μνήμη (mnēmē), “remembrance, memory”. Mnemonics in antiquity were most often considered in the context of what is today known as the art of memory.

    Ancient Greeks and Romans distinguished between two types of memory: the “natural” memory and the “artificial” memory. The former is inborn, and is the one that everyone uses instinctively. The latter in contrast has to be trained and developed through the learning and practice of a variety of mnemonic techniques.

    Mnemonic systems are techniques or strategies consciously used to improve memory. They help use information already stored in long-term memory to make memorisation an easier task.

  • Acronym (noun)

    An abbreviation formed by the initial letters of other words, sometimes exclusively such abbreviations when pronounced as a word (as “laser”) rather than as individual letters (initialisms such as “TNT”).

  • Acronym (noun)

    An abbreviation formed by the beginning letters or syllables of other words (as “Benelux”).

  • Acronym (verb)

    To form into an acronym

  • Mnemonic (adjective)

    Of or relating to mnemonics: the study of techniques for remembering anything more easily.

  • Mnemonic (noun)

    Anything (especially something in verbal form) used to help remember something.

    “To remember the colours of the rainbow, use the mnemonic “Richard of York gave battle in vain” (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet).”

  • Mnemonic (noun)

    The textual, human-readable form of an assembly language instruction, not including operands.

  • Acronym (noun)

    an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word (e.g. ASCII, NASA).

  • Mnemonic (noun)

    a system such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations which assists in remembering something

    “the usual mnemonic for star types is O Be A Fine Girl Kiss Me”

  • Mnemonic (adjective)

    aiding or designed to aid the memory.

  • Mnemonic (adjective)

    relating to the power of memory.

Oxford Dictionary

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