A distinguished colleague and I have been scouring our resources for a noun which correctly articulates the distinction between a pangolin and a croissant. Exempli gratia, one is alive, the other is not, yet both would be on a spectrum which this word describes, henceforth the two are related by this elusive word.
Nouns broaching the concept we desire to convey include:
Yet each of the aforementioned words fall short of a satisfactory definition.
Man (or woman): "That looks like a croissant." Woman (or man): "I'd say it's a pangolin, but who am I to assume its [__________]?"
This example was adapted from a recent conversation which was ground to a startling halt due to our collective lack of knowledge and comprehension of the English language. Our conundrum has severely impeded our ability communicate, to the point at which we must humbly grasp in desperation into this vast hive mind of linguaphiles for an answer.
We thank you dearly, with the kindest sincerity.