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
  • SD-WAN security

    SD-WAN security refers to the practices, protocols and technologies protecting data and resources transmitted across ...

  • net neutrality

    Net neutrality is the concept of an open, equal internet for everyone, regardless of content consumed or the device, application ...

  • network scanning

    Network scanning is a procedure for identifying active devices on a network by employing a feature or features in the network ...

Security
  • virtual firewall

    A virtual firewall is a firewall device or service that provides network traffic filtering and monitoring for virtual machines (...

  • cloud penetration testing

    Cloud penetration testing is a tactic an organization uses to assess its cloud security effectiveness by attempting to evade its ...

  • cloud workload protection platform (CWPP)

    A cloud workload protection platform (CWPP) is a security tool designed to protect workloads that run on premises, in the cloud ...

CIO
  • Regulation SCI (Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity)

    Regulation SCI (Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity) is a set of rules adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange ...

  • strategic management

    Strategic management is the ongoing planning, monitoring, analysis and assessment of all necessities an organization needs to ...

  • IT budget

    IT budget is the amount of money spent on an organization's information technology systems and services. It includes compensation...

HRSoftware
  • ADP Mobile Solutions

    ADP Mobile Solutions is a self-service mobile app that enables employees to access work records such as pay, schedules, timecards...

  • director of employee engagement

    Director of employee engagement is one of the job titles for a human resources (HR) manager who is responsible for an ...

  • digital HR

    Digital HR is the digital transformation of HR services and processes through the use of social, mobile, analytics and cloud (...

Customer Experience
  • chatbot

    A chatbot is a software or computer program that simulates human conversation or "chatter" through text or voice interactions.

  • martech (marketing technology)

    Martech (marketing technology) refers to the integration of software tools, platforms, and applications designed to streamline ...

  • transactional marketing

    Transactional marketing is a business strategy that focuses on single, point-of-sale transactions.

Close