Origins – The Ego

Egoist and egotist are built on the same Latin root – the pronoun ego, meaning I. I is the greatest concern in the egoist’s mind, the most overused word in the egotist’s vocabulary. (keep the words differentiated in your own mind by thinking of the t in talk, and the additional t in egotist). Ego itself has been taken over from Latin as an important English word and is commonly used to denote one’s concept of oneself, as in, ‘What do you think your constant criticisms do to my ego?’ Ego has also a special meaning in psychology – but for the moment you have enough problems without going into that.
If you are an egocentric, you consider yourself the centre of the universe – you are an extreme form of egoist. And if you are an egomaniac, you carry egoism to such an extreme that your needs, desires, and interests have become a morbid obsession, a mania. The egoist or egotist is obnoxious, the egocentric is intolerable, and the egomaniac is dangerous and slightly mad.
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