Difference Between Mnemonics and Acronyms (With Table)

Instead of using long phrases, a few methods have been introduced to cope with the use of these phrases. For instance, mnemonics, acronyms, abbreviations, initialisms are the methods that curtail the usage of certain longer words. This art of memorizing certain words has really influenced a lot in every contemporary education system. 

Mnemonics vs Acronyms

The difference between Mnemonics and Acronyms is that acronyms are applied to ease the use of the long phrases by using the first letter of all the words in sequential order. Meanwhile, mnemonic is a made-up name or rhyming word that is simply used to memorize certain sentences academically. 

Mnemonics are the made-up names or phrases that have been taught to children in their school in a way to memorize certain universal idioms. This learning method is popular far and wide, as it helps humans to retrieve and commemorate specific valuable information in the future. For instance, the vision of knowing each month orderly is learned with the help of the knuckles method. 

In contrast, the acronym is a word or name that takes the first letter of the longer component of words in a way to minimize the difficulties in grouping up longer phrases altogether. The pronunciation of acronyms is often formulated as a word, for instance, NASA, the acronym of National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 

Comparison Table Between Mnemonics and Acronyms 

Parameters of Comparison Mnemonics Acronyms 
Meaning Mnemonics is a learning technique where methods are used to improve human beings’ memory. In other words, Mnemonics helps to decode the information into a simple form by using imagery tools or retrieval cues. An acronym is a word that is formed by the initial letters of a longer name or phrase. On the other hand, an acronym is also pronounced by the use of syllables, the mixture of two words or just as the word itself.
EtymologyThe word Mnemonics was invented by Greek Sophists, poet and philosopher- Simonides of Ceos. He was created to remember the places he had been sitting in order to identify the routes. The word Acronym is derived from the Greek roots- Acronym, which means height or summit name.
PronunciationMnemonics is a learning strategy or method to remember a certain difficult word. Mnemonics do a simple way to recall an onerous word. An Acronym is pronounced by saying the initial letters of a long word and making them a short new word. 
Other languages Mnemonics are used in Music to remember the rhythms, acronyms, Expressions, Models, Note Organization Images, Connection, Spelling, visualisation and Ode Mnemonics which are helpful for a person to improve the memory by using these techniques.An acronym is used in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German, Hebrew, Indonesian, Russian, Swahili and Vietnamese. Besides, it is originally mentioned in English.
Examples Short notes are the best way to remember a tedious lecture. NASA is pronounced as Nah-saa instead of its entire word- National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

What is Mnemonics?

Mnemonic is a type of knowledge that uses innovative approaches in a way to make it strong for the people to commemorate. Moreover, it uses elaborative encoding, retrieval cues, and imagery methods to encode certain information for the students to store and retrieve them efficiently. 

Mnemonics use relatable ways of teaching instruction instead of stuffing with complex ideas. It is a Greek word, which relates to the concept of memorizing something, and is therefore called the art of memory in this contemporary education system. 

Furthermore, mnemonic has various types of ways to acknowledge the memorization process, such as by using music, name as in VIBGYOR (Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red in Rainbow), expression or wordings, model, ode, notes, connecting two relatable things for strong understanding, visualization, and spelling.

For instance, as in ARITHMETIC, for A rat in the house may eat the ice cream, the order of the planets in the solar system is represented by ‘My very excited mother just served us nine pies’, knuckles method for the pattern of the months, and more. 

What is Acronyms? 

As earlier pointed out, an acronym is a word or a phrase that uses the initial letter of each term in the longer component of words to keep in mind certain expressions. Occasionally, they use the syllables of the words to make an acronym for that set of words.

Unlike initialisms, which are pronounced by emphasizing each word, the pronunciation of acronyms is uttered by enunciating the whole word instead of naming each alphabet. It was taken from the Greek language, meaning the “tip/summit/height of names”. Moreover, acronyms have really made communication easier by shortening and speeding up the long phrases. 

For instance, NASA is a well-known example of an acronym called National Aeronautical and Space Administration. Here the initial letter of each of the words in the phrase is taken into consideration. However, it is pronounced by uttering the collection of letters as a new word, like “Nah-saa”. 

Other examples are ASAP for As Soon As Possible, PIN for Personal Identification Number, NATO for The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, YOLO for You Only Live Once, and more. 

Main Differences Between Mnemonics and Acronyms 

  1. Mnemonic is a learning technique that is used to recall a difficult word or phrase. Whereas an acronym is a new form of the word which is created by the initial letters of a long word or phrase.
  2. The Mnemonic is created by a Greek Sophists, poet and philosopher- Simonides of Ceos. But, An acronym is derived from the word Greek acr- height, and nym is a name.  
  3. Mnemonic is a learning method to remember any hard word or phrase into easy form. On the other hand, Acronyms are pronounced by the initial letters of a word, by the syllabus, the mixture of two words or by pronouncing them as they are. 
  4. Mnemonics are used as various methods to recall difficult learning such as Expressions, Acronyms, Models, Notes Connection, Spelling, Visualization and Ode Mnemonics. Notwithstanding, Acronyms have developed in various languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, German etc.
  5. When it comes to Mnemonic, short notes, flow chart, mind map or memorising months with the help of Knuckles method. In the case of Acronym, NASA is spelt as Nah-Saa instead of pronouncing the full form- National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Likewise, LOL instead of Laugh out Loud.


Acronym and Mnemonic are a way of learning techniques of a difficult or long word into a simple form. Mnemonic is derived from the greek by a poet Simonides of Ceos, where he tracks the route, where he had been. For instance, VIBGYOR in order to remember the seven colours of the rainbow. Besides, Mnemonics are used as a technique to overcome the struggle to remember difficult things, like drawing a mindmap of an entire chapter for the difficult subject. 

The acronym is a word formed by the initial letters of a longer word or phrase. Acronyms are pronounced by various methods- By the syllabus, by the mixture of two words or by the word itself. For instance, NASA is pronounced by Nah-saa instead of its full form. Mnemonic is a learning method or strategy which helps a lengthy study into a lucid and comprehensive form.


  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=-GyqWwP8jKAC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=mnemonics&ots=VoW3uOS75i&sig=ecran_A2WbsBIRiW-SF5bNnMqZ0
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.5555/1624861.1624890
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