Yesterday I overheard a friend explaining to someone over the mobile phone that the correct word to use is “subconsciously” and not “unconsciously”. Hours later, I was still intrigued – was the friend correct? Is the word “subconsciously” more appropriate than the word “unconsciously”.
Both of these words describe a state of mind when one is not conscious of one’s actions. Thus, both of these words should be acceptable. However, in my thinking there is a fundamental difference: the state of being unconscious is when one enters a state of suspended consciousness – a state of comatose – dysfunctional consciousness.
“Subconscious” would be a state when the consciousness is functional but at a “sub” level. In this state, actions are possible but without one’s knowledge. Thus, I agree that the correct term to employ would be - “subconsciously”.
Similarly, there appears to be complete incoherence in the interpretation of the words: “government land”, “state land” and “public land”. Few in Bhutan stop to ponder over the consequential implications of the choice of one of these words – when referring to land not privately owned by individuals or households or institutions.
I never say: “I am a poor man”. I always say: “I am not a rich man”. One might argue that the two means the same thing. Think again – the implied connotations are vastly different.