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What’s the difference between conscience and conscious? They stem from the same Latin root, but their usage is distinct. Writers occasionally confuse the two words, but if you remain conscious, you’ll likely be able to say with a clear conscience that you know the difference.
Conscience and conscious both come from the Latin word conscius; the word elements mean “with” and “two know.” (Yes, the -science in conscience means the same thing as science itself.)
Conscience is a noun meaning “sense of the quality of one’s character and conduct,” “adherence to moral principles,” and “consideration of fairness and justice.” Confusion between conscience and conscious occurs because the latter word is sometimes used as a noun synonymous with consciousness, meaning “mental awareness,” though the longer form is usually employed.
- Conscience vs. Conscious (dailywritingtips.com)
- Conscience+ (danariely.com)
- The True Self (divinelightblog.wordpress.com)
I’m a writing tip junkie. Any tweet or blog post or random comment that begins, “Here’s the best tip I’ve ever gotten about writing…” makes me click. What’s thirty seconds of time when I could pick up a gold nugget that changes my writerly life?
Mostly, 1) I already know them, 2) they’re pedestrian, or 3) they’re wrong, but occasionally I get one–or twenty-one in this case–that I think are worth passing on. See if you agree:
- Don’t try to be a writer
- 21 Tips About Writing From Twitter (worddreams.wordpress.com)
- Decorative Skinny Notepad (alittlebitme.com)
- Writing Tip #21: Identifying TRUTH (jakevanderark.com)
- 10 Tips on How to Start a Writing Career Part 4 (contentangel1.wordpress.com)
- 16 writing tips to capture and keep a blog audience (holykaw.alltop.com)
- 3 Tips For Freelance Writers On Elance – Honesty Is The Best Policy (onlineincometeacher.com)
- Writing Tips from Colson Whitehead (silverbirchpress.wordpress.com)
English has borrowed words from other languages indiscriminately, and has done so for hundreds of years. Often, this happens even when a perfectly sound native or imported synonym already exists, but sometimes the new term gains its footing because it expresses a concept better than an existing term, or conveys a connotation or nuance no other single word or phrase does.
But speakers and writers of English don’t always use the word as it is intended, leading to semantic drift. In the interests of preserving the purity of some highly evocative terms, here are twenty such words acquired from French:
- What’s the Difference Between a Bun and a Chignon? Plenty, Actually (bellasugar.com)
- C is For Chagrin (anglophonism.wordpress.com)