Sunday, October 01, 2006

He Did Too Say It!

[Posted by reader_iam]

Technical analysis restores the "a" to Neil Armstrong's moonwalk quote.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong's first words from the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969, now can be confidently recast, according to the research, as, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

It is the more dramatic and grammatically correct phrasing that Armstrong, now 76, has often said was the version he transmitted to NASA's Mission Control for broadcast to worldwide television.

With the technology of the 1960s, however, his global audience heard his comment without the "a," making it "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" — a phrase that technically gave the same meaning of humankind to "man" and "mankind."

The discrepancy has been widely debated for years by historians, academics and fans of space travel, with the "a" sometimes appearing in parentheses in government documents and Armstrong being listed on unofficial Web sites as being guilty of a momentous flub.

Wow! People really spent a lot of time debating this over the years? You know, I can be as picky as the next guy over how people put things, but sheesh.

I can only speak for myself, but, having been among that global audience on July 20, 1969--a memorable date all around for me (among other things, I got one of the worst spankings of my childhood, and deserved that one, too)--it was clear as day what Armstrong meant.

He was right, too.

Hat tip.