Something that is obvious is easily seen or recognized. Something that is conspicuous is so glaringly apparent, it is hard to ignore. This term skews negative in usage, describing things that attract attention for the wrong reasons. A conspicuous absence of information, for instance, is a lack or deficiency of material that was needed or expected. Conspicuous consumption is the public enjoyment of possessions that are known to be costly so that one’s ability to pay for such things is flaunted.
Today’s the day! That is, it’s the perfect day for clarifying the difference between choose and elect! To choose something is to select it from a number of possibilities. This is a very common and general verb that is unlikely to call to mind any specific situation or action. The verb elect, on the other hand, suggests the formal action of voting someone into office. Elect does have more general senses referring to picking something out (a first-year college student might elect one class over another to satisfy a requirement), but as a member of the civically inclined word family including electoral and election, the primary meaning elect calls to mind relates to governmental processes.
We won’t leave you guessing about today’s word: the verb conjecture means “to conclude or suppose from grounds or evidence insufficient to ensure reliability.” If you guess what’s going to happen, you may be risking an opinion on something about which you know nothing or very little. If you conjecture an outcome, you are drawing conclusions based on available information, with the understanding that the information is partial. While neither of these terms deals in certainty, the latter suggests a more reasoned approach to determining what's probable.