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

Networking
  • network management system

    A network management system, or NMS, is an application or set of applications that lets network engineers manage a network's ...

  • host (in computing)

    A host is a computer or other device that communicates with other hosts on a network.

  • Network as a Service (NaaS)

    Network as a service, or NaaS, is a business model for delivering enterprise WAN services virtually on a subscription basis.

Security
  • Dridex malware

    Dridex is a form of malware that targets victims' banking information, with the main goal of stealing online account credentials ...

  • crypto wallet (cryptocurrency wallet)

    A crypto wallet (cryptocurrency wallet) is software or hardware that enables users to store and use cryptocurrency.

  • zero-day (computer)

    A zero-day is a security flaw in software, hardware or firmware that is unknown to the party or parties responsible for patching ...

CIO
  • outsourcing

    Outsourcing is a business practice in which a company hires a third party to perform tasks, handle operations or provide services...

  • chief operating officer (COO)

    A chief operating officer (COO) is the corporate executive who oversees ongoing business operations within the company.

  • project management

    Project management is the discipline of using established principles, procedures and policies to guide a project from conception ...

HRSoftware
  • team collaboration

    Team collaboration is a communication and project management approach that emphasizes teamwork, innovative thinking and equal ...

  • employee self-service (ESS)

    Employee self-service (ESS) is a widely used human resources technology that enables employees to perform many job-related ...

  • learning experience platform (LXP)

    A learning experience platform (LXP) is an AI-driven peer learning experience platform delivered using software as a service (...

Customer Experience
  • market segmentation

    Market segmentation is a marketing strategy that uses well-defined criteria to divide a brand's total addressable market share ...

  • sales pipeline

    A sales pipeline is a visual representation of sales prospects and where they are in the purchasing process.

  • market basket analysis

    Market basket analysis is a data mining technique used by retailers to increase sales by better understanding customer purchasing...

Close