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Words

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Racino Coyale:

“What about the new racino at Southland?” an editor asked. Better at asking questions than answering them, I countered with one of my own: “Did you make up racino?”

No, he said; it’s a word now used in the gambling business to refer to a race track that’s been authorized to install slot machines, like Southland in West Memphis and Oaklawn in Hot Springs.

Nearly 40 years after they were uttered, the first words on the moon have become controversial, evidently.

In 1969, the world watched as Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon, and listened as he said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” As I recall, there were people even at the time who pointed out that what Armstrong had said didn’t make much sense, because man and mankind in this context mean the same thing — people, human beings — and thus what the commander had said, in essence, was “That’s one small step for humans, one giant leap for humans.” I don’t doubt that some of those troubled by the quote were feminists who disapproved of the use of man to mean everybody. Anyway, at some point, maybe a few years later, Armstrong himself said that what he’d meant to say on the historic occasion was “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

According to the Arkansas Conservative Action Network, “Headlines from the mainstream media around the world” just recently proclaimed that Armstrong actually said “a man”; an Australian sound technician has “discovered” the missing “a” on tape (supposedly spoken too quickly to be audible), and NASA has said that official versions of the quote henceforth will include “a” in brackets, signifying uncertainty as to whether it was actually said.

I’m opposed to rewriting history, so if something like this is happening, I say stop it. We need to know what was actually said, not what somebody thinks should have been said. But if the “liberal media” is the threat here, there’s no cause for alarm. The liberal media is as real and as dangerous as the Loch Ness Monster.

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