Grammar on the Moon

All the media attention for the 40th anniversary of the first walk on the moon has stirred up some memories for me.  This momentous event happened the summer after I was in 8th grade, and I remember staying up late to watch it live on TV.  It was a big deal for me then, and it still is.

However, I must confess that I’ve always been bothered by those first words spoken by Neil Armstrong:  “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  I’m afraid that those words have never made sense to me. It seemed like something was missing.

Because I was so young when I first heard them, I assumed that those words made sense to adults.   Back in 1969, I assumed that my sense of proper grammar was still undeveloped.  Over the years, however, those words have continued to puzzle me.  As a result, my confidence in my “inner grammarian” has always been slightly damaged.

Now, at last, the mystery has been explained.  As discussed in this AP article and this earlier blog post, Armstrong intended to and probably actually said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for Mankind.”

I feel much better now.  My inner grammarian is finally at peace.

God’s in his Heaven –
All’s right with the world!

— Robert Browning, “Pippa Passes”

Published in: on July 23, 2009 at 10:27 am  Comments (1)  
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“The Daddy Shift” by Jeremy Adam Smith

In a two-part series in last week’s “Motherlode” blog, New York Times blogger Lisa Belkin interviews Jeremy Adam Smith, author of a new book titled The Daddy Shift.  The two blog posts are titled  “The Daddy Identity Crisis” and  “More About the Daddy Shift.”

I highly recommend these posts to anyone who wants to learn more about the male perspective on parenting roles in the 21st-century United States. I was particularly intrigued to see the listing of the numerous blog sites that are popping up to present the Dad perspective.

Perhaps I’ve mellowed in my old age, but I detect a different tone to the perspectives of involved Dads who are just beginning their parenting roles now in 2009 (as compared to those of us who began our parenting roles in the early 1990s).  Today’s Dads are a bit less defensive and a bit more confident.  And that’s good.

Is this the same shift and evolution that we saw in the various waves of feminism–a shift from militantism to moderation?

Published in: on June 2, 2009 at 6:02 am  Comments (1)  
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Welcome to my new blog.    I’ve been writing about science and parenting for a number of years–always in the print world.  Now I’m joining the online world with this blog.  I’ll be building this site over the coming days and weeks.

In the meantime, if you want to check out some of my previously published print articles on this topic, please visit my website at

Published in: on December 20, 2008 at 2:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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