I don't have many pet peeves with regards to SF literature, but this one really annoys me: when SF writers who should know better seem to conflate 'sentience' for 'sapience'. Most do this. The only exception I've noticed is David Brin, and he even coined his own word in the Uplift books (I think it's his word?) to distinguish at least human-level self-awareness, cognitive abilities and judgement: sophont. I've asked this question elsewhere and I've been told by some I'm being pedantic or a grammar Nazi. But I don't think either case is true: 1) it's not a matter of grammar, and 2) I think the difference between these two words is quite important, and doubly so in SF where the rise of self-awareness and high level cognitive abilities is a staple of the genre. Most creatures with a nervous system are sentient. They are conscious and able to perceive the environment through their physical senses and react accordingly. And they also have subjective experience such as pain, pleasure, comfort, etc. But only humans are sapient: not just self-aware, but imbued with the kind of cognitive ability to make conscious choices to reach some desired end state, for the good of himself or for a greater number or for a specific purpose, all of which might be called wisdom or sound judgement. Or I should qualify and say fully sapient, because some other creatures such as dolphins, chimpanzees, the great apes are known to exhibit some varying degrees of self-awareness. What do you think? Is this really a pedantic point? Don't you find it strange that many SF authors confuse or misuse these terms?