cashewbeast2 (cashewbeast2) wrote in linguaphiles,
cashewbeast2
cashewbeast2
linguaphiles

Use of the word "aspiring"

nikki_orlando

I wrote this caption to accompany the attached picture. (Orlando is the cat in the photo)

"Orlando has pretty well got this down, but Olympia artist Nikki McClure’s new title is a helpful primer for aspiring humans."

Afterwards, it occurred to me that the use of the word "aspiring" here felt a little off. I meant to suggest the humans are aspiring to be cats, but usually the noun that "aspiring" is modifying is what the being in question hopes to become. An "aspiring writer" hopes to become a bona fide author. An "aspiring actor" dreams of Hollywood success. By the same logic, an "aspiring human" is someone or something less than human, but wishing and hoping to become a real human being. In the end, I went back and rephrased it as "for humans with feline aspirations." But that too may be fraught with ambiguity: do the humans simply share the cats' aspirations? Or are they aspiring to be cats?

So what do you say, Linguaphiles? Am I overthinking this? Does the context make it obvious enough, and "aspiring humans" is acceptable? Or am I missing a more proper, polished and unambiguous way of phrasing this thought?
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  • Website section title

    Hello friendly linguaphiles! I'm trying to come up with a title for a website section. The section will list some of the work that an artist was…

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    Hello peeps, I hope you can help me with a little thing... it's for a fantasy thriller I'm currently working on, set in modern day (post-2010), where…

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