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Is the following still told as a joke today or were people, in general, more juvenile in my younger days? Sign in restaurant men’s room: “We aim to please. You aim too, please.”

In one of it’s meanings, aim means to direct at a target.

This often refers to some kind of weapon or, hopefully more often, something that can be used as a weapon but is not currently being used that way. The weapon is pointed at (aimed at) a target, such as a bullseye, a cute furry animal or, in a nasty, hostile, situation, a person. The weapon is then caused to fire a projectile, such as a bullet or arrow. And, if the aim is true, the projectile will hit the target.

In the case of the the above mentioned joke, in the second sentence, the target being aimed at is a urinal, the projectile is urine, and the weapon is a penis.

Please keep your “penis as a weapon” comments to yourself. I don’t want an adults-only rating slapped on this site.

In another sense of the word, to aim means to try to achieve an objective.

The first sentence of the above old joke provides an example of this. The objective that the restaurant was trying to achieve (what it was aiming to do) was to please its customers. I’m not sure that treating all of its male customers like children solely because of a few loose cannons is the right way to do that. However, I’m not in the restaurant business, so who am I to say?

Aim can also be used as a noun. In this case, it is the act of pointing a weapon, the position of shooter’s hands when aiming at a target, or the objective that someone is trying to achieve.

Because these noun senses all relate directly to the verb senses of aim, please reread the comments on the verb forms above to save me the trouble of commenting on the noun forms. My aim is to avoid as much work as possible while still completing the project I’ve assigned to myself.

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