A mnemonic, or mnemonic device, is any learning technique that aids information retention. Mnemonics aim to translate information into a form that the brain can retain better than its original form. Even the process of merely learning this conversion might already aid in the transfer of information to long-term memory. 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 automatically and without thinking. The artificial memory in contrast has to be trained and developed through the learning and practicing of a variety of mnemonic techniques.

Mnemonic systems are special techniques or strategies consciously used to improve memory, it helps employ information already stored in long-term memory to make memorization an easier task.

“Memory Needs Every Method Of Nurturing Its Capacity” is a mnemonic for how to spell mnemonic.

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