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difference between a memoir and an autobiography

The Difference between a Memoir and an Autobiography

The difference between  a memoir and an autobiography can be rather minimal—or fairly large.

“So what is the difference between a memoir and an autobiography?” you may persist in asking as so many people do. Perhaps they are masking their diffidence about writing, wanting to “get it right.”

Practically speaking, for most people, there is no difference between a memoir and an autobiography. In common speech, the terms are interchangeable.

People say, “I’m writing an autobiography” or, “I’m writing a memoir.” (It’s the word memoir that has grown not the word autobiography that has shrunk.)

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But, technically (or perhaps in the historical meaning of the two words), there is a difference between a memoir and an autobiography.

Two definitions

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