Sound, words, and the solid A that Neil Armstrong never earned
When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon, July 20,1969, he said “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for all mankind.”
Except, according to even Armstrong himself, he didn’t say that.
Many Earth people want to believe that he said, or at least meant to say, ‘one small step for a man…’This version, is of course, the only way in which grammatically, and aesthetically, the quote makes any sense at all.
It’s “a man” compared to “all mankind.”
The official, less than perfect recording equipment didn’t pick up the A. It’s definitely supposed to be there, right after ‘for,’ just before ‘man.’
Fifty years later, but, we still want that “A”.
Armstrong himself contended that he said, ‘one small step for a man, one giant leap for all mankind.’ His face plate and visor muffled sound and didn’t help the visuals either. Some engineers concur.
And, if you sort of listen carefully, and think of ‘for’ blending inarticulately into ‘for a’ man, you can kind of hear it.
It’s more like “Fora” man, but with the ‘a’ so quietly added, it’s easy to miss. Then, maybe the first man to step foot on an entirely new world with the whole planet below watching, was nervous.
Armstrong himself believes he said it, and voice and computer analysis support that however muddled, and inaudible, the “A” was there.
Scientists have listened for telltale nerve impulses on people who are speaking impaired and found tiny vowels go missing all the time, but the brain can detect that they are there.
Using sensors attached to the brain, people who manage over time to manipulate objects with artificial fingers, arms, and legs can have measurements made of the thoughts they “say’ with their minds. There is a most definite spark of the brain when a sound is meant, but not always audible.
And it is in repeated pulses that are measurable in such muddled, sound, that audio researchers found Armstrong’s long, lost A.
He’s a hero, give him the damn A
My personal take is that when Armstrong told everyone that the a was there, they should have given him the benefit of the doubt. Then they should have corrected the quote to one that makes as much perfect sense as having a moon.
Posterity is a long time for such as Misstep, people.
He, and the others, are heroes, and if they don’t deserve whatever Apollo program good letters they made, I don’t know who does.
Armstrong, a great name, by the way, starts with an ‘A.’
Apollo starts with an A.
America starts with an A.
Amazing, starts with A.
Audacity starts with an A.
Astonishing starts with an A.
Awesome starts with an A.
Astronaut starts with an A.
I think you get the general picture, even if it’s murky, grainly, and ghostly.
Finally, I think ‘admiration’ starts with an A, and surely, all the A list astronauts deserve our admiration.
You can’t spell human without man
I think it’s touching, and ever so human ,that perhaps one of our greatest heroes did not enunciate as carefully as is humanly possible.
That makes him even more representative of the mankind part that includes all of us. (should have been “Humankind” but that’s a whole other story.
We humans misplace sounds and words all the time, witness: “God be with ye, versus “goodbye” as it came to be said. And heard. But one more thing, if, in a few hundred years, people are still misquoting Armstrong, I wonder if all of our speech will evolve with dropping most such vowels.
If so, we should all be stock-piling them for just such a colossal mix up as this.
God Be With Ye.