An Introduction To Memory

The word memory is probably one of the most prevalent words identified through human nature. Everything we have done is a memory, everything we will do is a memory. Something done five minutes ago is a memory. Whether or not it is noteworthy is the difference. People don’t realize how many memories are made in a day. Some of those memories last only a few minutes after they’ve occurred, while others, last a lifetime. 

Our memories make us who we are. Memory is a representation of what we value, what we find important…memories establish what we value, who we love. 

The etymology of the word ‘memory’ is rather simple. Created during the 13c., the word memory was established as a ‘recollection (of someone or something); awareness, consciousness”. It is also “fame, renown, reputation,” from Anglo-Fr. memorie, from L. memoria, from memor “mindful, remembering,” from PIE base*men-/*mon- “think”. Meaning “faculty of remembering” is late 14c. 

The more contemporary definitions of ‘memory’ include:

1. the mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions, etc., or of recalling or recognizing previous experiences.
2. this faculty as possessed by a particular individual: to have a good memory.
3. the act or fact of retaining and recalling impressions, facts,etc.; remembrance; recollection: to draw from memory.
4. the length of time over which recollection extends: a time within the memory of living persons.
5. a mental impression retained; a recollection: one’s earliest memories.


I am grown old and my memory is not as active as it used to be. When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened. It is sad to go to pieces like this, but we all have to do it. [Mark Twain]

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