Browse Definitions :

Is that your conscious or your conscience that’s guilty? Are you self-conscious or self-conscience?

Writing for Business

Which is correct?
The former bank technician admitted to the identity theft exploit and said he’d had a guilty ________ about it.
a. conscious
b. conscience


Answer: b

Explanation:
These words are similar and their meanings related but DON’T confuse them. Like so many easy-to-make mistakes, those errors seem especially stupid to people who know the difference.

Here’s a prime example of someone confusing the two:

What is a Guilty Conscious?
A guilty conscious is a normal human response. It’s the emotional response that comes as a result of some action that we’ve labeled, or even perceived, as being “bad” or “wrong.”

***

They mean “guilty conscience,” of course. And the writing seems reasonably competent but the writer leaves a poor impression of their intelligence by mixing up the two words.

“Conscious” is an adjective that means “awake” or “aware.” You become conscious (awake) when the alarm rings each day. You might also  be conscious (aware) of something you did last night that you shouldn’t have, in which case your conscience (the morally-aware part of your mind or consciousness) might bother you.

How to use these two words:
Self-conscious (NOT self-conscience)
Guilty conscience (NOT guilty conscious)

Dig Deeper on Writing for Business

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • cyber attack

    A cyber attack is any attempt to gain unauthorized access to a computer, computing system or computer network with the intent to ...

  • backdoor (computing)

    A backdoor is a means to access a computer system or encrypted data that bypasses the system's customary security mechanisms.

  • post-quantum cryptography

    Post-quantum cryptography, also called quantum encryption, is the development of cryptographic systems for classical computers ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement)

    A cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement) is an agreement between a cloud service provider and a customer that ensures a ...

  • NOR flash memory

    NOR flash memory is one of two types of non-volatile storage technologies.

  • RAM (Random Access Memory)

    RAM (Random Access Memory) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

Close