ethics vs morals vs morale : Common Errors in English

About ethics vs morals vs morale

Strictly speaking, ethics are beliefs: if you have poor ethics, you have lax standards; but your morals are your behavior: if you have poor morals, you behave badly. You can have high standards but still fail to follow them: strong ethics and weak morals. “Morale” formerly had both these meanings and you will find them attached to the word in some dictionaries, but you would be wise to avoid it in either of these senses in modern writing. By far the most common current use of “morale” is to label your state of mind, particularly how contented you are with life. A person with low morals is bad; but a person with low morale may be merely depressed.

ethics Meaning(s)

  • (n) motivation based on ideas of right and wrong
  • (n) the philosophical study of moral values and rules

morals Meaning(s)

  • (n) motivation based on ideas of right and wrong

morale Meaning(s)

  • (n) a state of individual psychological well-being based upon a sense of confidence and usefulness and purpose
  • (n) the spirit of a group that makes the members want the group to succeed

ethics in News

  1. Ethics panel: 6 can vote on Medicaid

    The Mississippi Ethics Commission reversed previous rulings Friday and said legislators who work for health care providers that treat Medicaid patients can vote on Medicaid issues.
    on June 15, 2013 Source: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

  2. Ethics Panel Clears Way for GOP Medicaid Votes

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Ethics Commission on Friday cleared the way for six Republican state House members to vote on Medicaid issues, but the commission's ruling wasn't unanimous and one member called it "illogical."
    on June 15, 2013 Source: Jackson Free Press

  3. Ethics Commission clears GOP lawmakers to vote on Medicaid

    The Mississippi Ethics Commission has cleared the way for six Republican lawmakers to vote on Medicaid issues. The lawmakers sought ethics guidance because they have potential financial conflicts.   
    on June 15, 2013 Source: WLOX-TV Biloxi

morals in News

  1. University of Utah study: Subtle exposure to money tweaks people's morals

    University of Utah study: Subtle exposure to money tweaks people's morals by Lindsay Whitehurst The Salt Lake Tribune Published Jun 14, 2013 10:28PM MDT It doesn’t take Scrooge McDuck-style piles of money for regular people to choose profit over ethics, according to a new study from the University of Utah. In a first-of-its-kind review, researchers found that even subtle exposure to cash can ...
    on June 15, 2013 Source: The Salt Lake Tribune

  2. Writing on the Brain: Graduate student brings scientific eye to literary journal

    Carina Aquino/Intern When it comes to gender stereotypes, female poets tend to be perceived as three things: romantics, suicidal princesses of the dark literary arts or as mellow non-conformists with free spirits and loose morals. Jenny Molberg, an English graduate student, breaks through those with her passion for writing and her enthusiasm in the scientific [...]
    on June 14, 2013 Source: North Texas Daily

  3. Davey Suicide Announces Hide Your Morals Summer Tour

    Davey Suicide has announced the initial dates for his 'Hide Your Morals' North American summer headline tour with special guests The Bunny The Bear & The Defiled
    on June 13, 2013 Source: antiMUSIC

morale in News

  1. Morale in Sheriff’s Office Low, Some Deputies Leaving Over Pay

    With no pay raises in the last five years, and short-term prospects dim, morale among Franklin County deputies is at a low point and some are looking for better paying jobs elsewhere.
    on June 14, 2013 Source: The Missourian

  2. At Foursquare, Morale Hits A New Low And Employees Look For Ways Out

    Sources both in and around the company say the negativity is starting to take a toll on investors and employees. Morale is low and employees are looking for ways out. Investors have been patient but in recent weeks, that patience has worn thin.
    on June 11, 2013 Source: Business Insider

  3. Letta hopes for morale lift from weary Italian voters

    By Catherine Hornby ROME (Reuters) - Italian local elections that end on Monday could give a morale boost to Prime Minister Enrico Letta and confirm that support for the populist 5-Star Movement is waning. Despite a slump in turnout as Italians lose faith in their politicians, Letta hopes for a positive result for his center-left Democratic Party (PD), which nearly imploded after throwing away a ...
    on June 10, 2013 Source: Reuters via Yahoo! News

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