…in case you were wondering.

"A" Giant Waste Of Time.
October 1, 2006, 5:46 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

HOUSTON — It’s one small word for astronaut Neil Armstrong, one giant revision for grammar sticklers everywhere.

An Australian computer programmer says he found the missing “a” from Armstrong’s famous first words from the moon in 1969, when the world heard the phrase, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

The story was reported in Saturday’s editions of the Houston Chronicle.

Some historians and critics have dogged Armstrong for not saying the more dramatic and grammatically correct, “One small step for a man …” in the version he transmitted to NASA’s Mission Control. Without the missing “a,” Armstrong essentially said, “One small step for mankind, one giant leap for mankind.”

The famous astronaut has maintained he intended to say it properly and believes he did. Thanks to some high-tech sound-editing software, computer programmer Peter Shann Ford might have proved Armstrong right.

Ford said he downloaded the audio recording of Armstrong’s words from a NASA website and analyzed the statement with software that allows disabled people to communicate through computers using their nerve impulses.

In a graphical representation of the famous phrase, Ford said he found evidence that the missing “a” was spoken and transmitted to NASA.

“I have reviewed the data and Peter Ford’s analysis of it, and I find the technology interesting and useful,” Armstrong said in a statement. “I also find his conclusion persuasive. Persuasive is the appropriate word.”


2 Comments so far
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In the chuch where I grew up, there was a lady who was an English professor at a local university. One morning, after my fathre had been speaking, she approached him after service and began to suggest a few corrections to his grammar. His response was “Didn’t you know that Paul wrote in street-Greek.”

I like the purity of a language, but I also realize that language is not stagnant.

Comment by euphrony

Man, the fact that he could utter a single coherent sentence while stepping out on the moon for the first time is amazing enough for me. I would have been like:

“that one…small moon for … dust….HOLY CRAP! LOOK AT THE EARTH!!! SNAP!!!! WHAHOOOO!!!!” then I’s start immediately jumping around like an idiot.

“that one small moon to mankind …. earth…errrrr…big step here fellas…yeah watch your…my moon mankinds….”

Comment by Seth Ward

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