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If you're aspiring, you're trying to be something. If you're an aspiring singer, you're probably out booking as many gigs as possible in the hopes that someone will soon discover you.

The adjective aspiring describes a person who wants to succeed at a particular goal, often one related to a career. Many aspiring artists move to New York City in the hopes that they'll get into a major gallery and sell their art. Aspiring country musicians move to Nashville to try to land a recording deal. If you're an aspiring politician, you may study political science and intern at the state senator's offices to gain experience and make connections.

Choose your words

Caught between words? Learn how to make the right choice.

insidious/ invidious

Neither insidious nor invidious are happy words: insidious describes something that lies in wait to get you, and invidious is something offensive or defamatory. Cancer can be insidious, lurking in your body without your knowing it. Invidious doesn’t hide; it’s hateful right away.

morbid/ moribund

Morbid describes something gruesome, like smallpox or Frankenstein's monster. Moribund refers to the act of dying. Goths love both. What fun!

principal/ principle

If offered a choice, would you rather have principles or principals?

indict/ indite

If you're using indite to talk about people being formally accused of lawbreaking, you're using the wrong word: it's indict. read more...

endemic/ epidemic

Endemic and epidemic are both words that diseases love, but something endemic is found in a certain placeand is ongoing, and epidemic describes a disease that’s widespread. read more...

appraise/ apprise

To appraise is to estimate the value of something, but remove the second “a,” and you have apprise, which means “to tell.” If you hire someone to appraise your house, you might have to apprise your family of the fact that you now owe the bank more than your house is worth. read more...

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