That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.

  1. "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    That is a contradiction. Neil Armstrong meant to include the article "a", but he was probably so excited to be making the announcement that he left it out accidentally.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Vanadium 50

    Vanadium 50 18,055
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    Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    What is the point of this? What does this have to do with astronomy?
     
  4. Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    I was thinking the same thing.
     
  5. jtbell

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    Nah, it's probably because he's from Ohio. An Ohio accent is so flat and featureless that it's easy to lose a little word like an "a." Or even syllables of words. A friend of mine who lived in Columbus for a few years told me that the natives call it "Clumbus."

    I grew up in Ohio (not in Clumbus, though), and when I left the state, everybody else sounded exotic. :eek:
     
  6. Pythagorean

    Pythagorean 4,622
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    Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    I thought I remembered something about an audio analysis revealing that he actually did say "a".
     
  7. Pythagorean

    Pythagorean 4,622
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  8. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

  9. FredGarvin

    FredGarvin 5,087
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    Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    On the BBC show "Being Neil Armstrong" the writer interviewed one of Neil's best friends growing up. He said that they came up with that on the way to the moon and it was inspired by a poem or story that Neil knew. For the life of me I can not remember what it was. They did talk about it though.
     
  10. Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    If you listen to him say it, he says "man" directly after "for", leaving no room for an "a". There's not even the tiniest of pauses between the two words for a hidden "a" to fit. He definitely missed the "a".
     
  11. mgb_phys

    mgb_phys 8,952
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    Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    Why didn't they use a second take ?
     
  12. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    I was 14 and lived near NASA in Clear Lake. It was on the local news that he had chosen the phrase from one that had been sent in. They also quoted some of the phrases that did not get considered. Hmmmm.

    I remember thinking "how cool to have been the person to have your phrase chosen". Up until today, I thought it was common knowledge that Armstrong didn't come up with it. Wow. Could it be that the information was only on a local tv broadcast? Are there any interviews with him immediately after the moon landing where he states he made it up himself? I can only find where years later he took credit for it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  13. edward

    edward 1,005
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    Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    Alternative phrases might make an interesting thread.:wink:
     
  14. Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    I heard one that got rejected; "Ah crap, I stepped in alien poop".
     
  15. Pythagorean

    Pythagorean 4,622
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    Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    Good catch. I'd heard it on the radio one day a while ago.
     
  16. edward

    edward 1,005
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    Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    A British scientist named Gary Peach claims to have come up with the quote.


    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article6722041.ece
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  17. Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    Of course he meant "a man". Look he had just taken a hair raising decent that almost killed him and now he is stepping for the first time onto an alien world and you are judging him for leaving out an "a"? That is crazy. It was amazing that he would be able to talk at all.
     
  18. ideasrule

    ideasrule 2,321
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    Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    I think the quote sounds better without the "a". Leaving it out gives the two phrases a very beautiful parallel structure:

    one small step for man
    one giant leap for mankind
     
  19. Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    That's one small step for a man or woman, one giant leap for personkind.
     
  20. Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    Or in European style

    That's one small step for a human(m/f), one giant leap for personkind
     
  21. Re: "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."

    That's the thing, everyone hears it and it sounds like a good quote. Problem is, they don't realize that it doesn't really make sense.
     
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