Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Opening Monolog for Star Trek: The Next Generation

At the beginning of "Next Generation", Picard gives an "updated" version of Kirk's monolog from the Original Series:
Space... The final frontier...
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its continuing mission:
To explore strange new worlds...
To seek out new life; new civilisations...
To boldly go where no one has gone before!
But of course, they NEVER go where "no one has gone before".  They always find people in the places they go -- often humans, but at least Romulans, Klingons, Cardassians, Ferengi, somebody!

This was not a problem in the original monolog:  "... To boldly go where no man has gone before!"  The problem, of course, was that it was so terribly un-PC to use "man" as it always has been used, to mean all mankind -- err, "humankind".  So in order to avoid saying something a bit un-PC, an obvious falsehood is substituted. 

This is all the uglier in the real world, of course.  A present-day Neil Armstrong would have to say, "That's one small step for a human, one giant leap for humankind."  If you think that's anything like as poetic as what the real Neil Armstrong said, you have no feel for the English language.  Another example would be NASA's discontinuation of the term "manned" for the manned space program, since that sounds sexist to some people.  Now they talk about "crewed" space flight, which inevitably sounds like "crude" space flight.

No comments:

Post a Comment