What's the difference between a journal and a diary?

@taface412 (3175)
United States
March 3, 2009 4:22pm CST
I never thought there was a difference. But in a recent post some people referred to both. i just thought you called it a diary when you are younger and a journal when you got older...or am I way off. Is there a difference between a journal and a diary?
2 people like this
5 responses
@iakulchen (615)
• Singapore
4 Mar 09
If you are going by dictionary definitions, a diary is technically a journal. A journal on the other hand can mean things like an academic journal, where you can't really use the word diary. So in a sense, you were sort of right. You are more likely to be able to use the word "diary" when you are referring to your journal when you are younger, but as you get older, you'll encounter more cases where you'll have to use the word "journal" instead.
1 person likes this
@snowcat46 (2322)
• United States
3 Mar 09
I always thought they were the same thing. But I've come to see a difference. A diary is where you write down your heartfelt secrets. Those things that hurt, scared, or made you happy. A journal is a record you keep of things you can turn into stories, poems, or just things you want to work on. It's more of a to-do list, but in paragraph form. It's a written record of your progress as a writer, I think.
• United States
3 Mar 09
I believe a diary is your personal life and something you dont want others to see. A journal reminds me of school, we had a journal to write things in that were interesting to us and maybe things that we would like to achieve and do in life. I hope this somewhat clarifies things up for you. Happy Mylotting
• United States
4 Mar 09
Since I'm a guy I tend to lean towards a journal entry, not the diary. I thought a diary was for a girl.
@AnythngArt (3304)
• United States
4 Mar 09
Actually I consider them to be the same thing, but for argument's sake, I would say that a diary reflects a regular, day-to-day recording of personal reflections with more emotional content and more privacy needed. Whereas a journal is more of a tool for writing ideas, capturing scenes or events with the idea of using them later in literary works. Those are very arbitrary categorizations, however. I guess what you do with the thoughts you write down in either is up to you. One isn't better than the other. I guess diary evokes a more juvenile record-keeping and perhaps that's why grown people tend to use journaling instead. But as well all know, adults have a lot more secrets to keep than young diary writers.