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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I couldn't resist

As many of you know, when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon he forgot to bring along enough indefinite articles. On landing he made the following very famous statement:

That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

The semanticists in the crowd will appreciate that what he meant to say was not this contradiction but "that's one small step for A man…"

For a while I thought that I found this lost indefinite. I found its way into Kennedy's famous Berlin speech, where he identified with the city's residents by uttering the famous sentence "Ich bin Ein Berliner." However, my German friends assured me that though Kennedy's shout out was well received and was very moving, it did not quite mean what it said. Apparently what he wanted to say was "Ich bin Berliner," the added Ein, the indefinite article leads to the following translation: "I am a jelly donut," a Berliner being a scrumptious city specific treat. At any rate, move the indefinite from Kennedy to Armstrong and historical linguistics is set right.

Ok, this is all just preamble for the real point of this post. I heard a great trivial story today that I thought I would relay to you. I know that I don't usually do this sort of stuff, but heh, WTH.  I got this from a friend and it puts Armstrong into a very positive light.  Here is what I got verbatim.

IN CASE YOU DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW THIS LITTLE TIDBIT OF WONDERFUL TRIVIA..............
ON JULY 20, 1969, AS COMMANDER OF THE APOLLO 11 LUNAR MODULE, NEIL ARMSTRONG WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO SET FOOT ON THE MOON.
HIS FIRST WORDS AFTER STEPPING ON THE MOON,
"THAT'S ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND," WERE TELEVISED TO EARTH AND HEARD BY MILLIONS.
BUT, JUST BEFORE HE RE-ENTERED THE LANDER, HE MADE THE ENIGMATIC REMARK "GOOD LUCK, MR. GORSKY."
MANY PEOPLE AT NASA THOUGHT IT WAS A CASUAL REMARK CONCERNING SOME RIVAL SOVIET COSMONAUT.
HOWEVER, UPON CHECKING, THERE WAS NO GORSKY IN EITHER THE RUSSIAN OR AMERICAN SPACE PROGRAMS ..
OVER THE YEARS, MANY PEOPLE QUESTIONED ARMSTRONG AS TO WHAT THE 'GOOD LUCK, MR. GORSKY' STATEMENT MEANT, BUT ARMSTRONG ALWAYS JUST SMILED.
ON JULY 5, 1995, IN TAMPA BAY , FLORIDA , WHILE ANSWERING QUESTIONS FOLLOWING A SPEECH, A REPORTER BROUGHT UP THE 26-YEAR-OLD QUESTION ABOUT Mr.   Gorsky   TO ARMSTRONG.
THIS TIME HE FINALLY RESPONDED BECAUSE HIS MR. GORSKY HAD JUST DIED,SO NEIL ARMSTRONG FELT HE COULD NOW ANSWER THE QUESTION. HERE IS THE ANSWER TO
"WHO WAS MR. GORSKY":
IN 1938, WHEN HE WAS A KID IN A SMALL MID-WESTERN TOWN , HE WAS PLAYING BASEBALL WITH A FRIEND IN THE BACKYARD.
HIS FRIEND HIT THE BALL, WHICH LANDED IN HIS NEIGHBOR'S YARD BY THEIR BEDROOM WINDOW.  HIS NEIGHBORS WERE MR. AND MRS. GORSKY.
AS HE LEANED DOWN TO PICK UP THE BALL, YOUNG ARMSTRONG HEARD MRS. GORSKY SHOUTING AT MR. GORSKY,
"SEX! YOU WANT SEX?! YOU'LL GET SEX WHEN THE KID NEXT DOOR WALKS ON THE MOON!"
It broke the place up.     NEIL ARMSTRONG'S FAMILY CONFIRMED THAT THIS IS A TRUE STORY.

2 comments:

  1. I'm not sure that this really matters that much, but it seems that this story isn't actually true.

    At the top of a NASA transcript of conversations between Apollo 11 and mission control, there's a note about this: "[During November 1995, a clever (and slightly risqué) story was widely circulated on the Internet concerning a statement Neil is supposed to have made during the Apollo 11 EVA. At the suggestion of several readers, let me state that Neil never said "Good luck, Mr. Gorsky" at any time during the mission. Indeed, on November 28, 1995, Neil wrote for the ALSJ, "I understand that the joke is a year old. I first heard it in California delivered by (comedian) Buddy Hackett".]"

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