The worst memory technique

The point of all memory techniques is to help you learn and retain information. I can appreciate all the different techniques and their approach on how to help you remember something, but there is one technique I believe to be the worse. I don’t think I have ever used it… Acronyms.

From Webster, an acronym is: a word (such as NATO, radar , or laser ) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term and can be read as a word.

The hard part of using an acronym is that the letters have to form a new word. Some say you just have to use the first letters of the words you are creating the acronym for which I agree with but still don’t use acronyms haha

The problem I see with acronyms is you have to remember the acronym itself and the words that created it which means you have two layers of images to remember.

Let’s use the acronym GPU. GPU means Graphics processing unit. I know this as a graphics card for the computer. The first step is that we need to create an image for GPU. To keep it simple, let’s picture a computer. The next step is to create images for the words and connect it to the GPU’s image.

Graphics can be some paper for graph paper. Processing can be a pro player ( John Elway) all messy. Unit can be Mew (U) knitting.

I am working on my computer when all of a sudden John Elway comes in all muddy and starts tossing all this paper at my computer. Mew flies in the window all mad because there is a mess so he knits a rope to tie up John Elway.

So I had to create an image for the acronym (1st image layer) then I had to create images for the actual words (2nd image layer). I would also need to find a way to store the information like in a palace.

Now it might not seem so bad to remember an acronym, but you need to remember that GPU is already defined and been around for a long time. I never think of graphics processing unit when I hear GPU. I just think of a graphics card.

When you create your acronym, you have never see the acronym before and don’t know how it relates to the words. So you have to put more work into trying to make a word if you can out of the first letters of the words.

I think one of the biggest issues is you might have no clue what the acronym means outside of the context of what you are learning. Say you are studying USA presidents and you decide to create the acronym GW for George Washington. Yes I know it is just initials but just go with it!

GW makes perfect sense when talking about the presidents and history. Maybe you are at the gym and you see a note for yourself to check GW. You have no idea what that even means because you are in a different context and you just made up the acronym.

We are just talking about one acronym but what if you have 100’s? This is why I don’t think I use this memory technique because of how much extra work it is to memorize the original words. I would only memorize acronym needs already created and if I needed to haha

What are your thoughts about acronyms? Do you use them?

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