"Where No Man Has Gone Before"

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by darkshadow0001, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. darkshadow0001

    darkshadow0001 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've been wondering what this statement means this day and age. During the time of the Next Generation, "Where No One Has Gone Before" has been used, and even at the end of Star Trek VI Kirk changes "Man" to "One." The 24th century version of this statement I believe means anyone can boldly go out into space and gender has no boundaries. But now with these prequels (Enterprise and Abrams' Star Trek (I Presume) ) is using "Where No Man Has Gone Before" again. Does this phrase have the same meaning as it did back in the 60's ? Or does it still mean "Where No One Has Gone Before" still just for being prequels they are not saying it anymore.

    I guess I'm a bit confused on this :-)
     
  2. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Man= Mankind= All of humanity


    [If this is a joke thread- I didn't get it.]
     
  3. darkshadow0001

    darkshadow0001 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, it wasn't a joke-thread. I didn't know if this phrase had the same meaning now as it did back when TOS originally aired. Did TNG just change it to "One" to make it sound more universal?
     
  4. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Yeah, TNG felt that Man sounded like they were talking about just men, instead of all of mankind (it was an attempt to be more egalitarian and sound less sexist). Going back to "No Man" is just to bring back the traditional phrase since it's the one that originally became famous.

    FWIW, Enterprise's last episode had a montage where they had Archer say "No Man" to keep up the tradition (I think they had Zephram Cochrane say the same thing as well in Broken Bow). For a video that Scott Bakula made for startrek.com, interestingly enough, he said "Where no human has gone before" which was at least different (although it kills the flow to some degree).
     
  5. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was 1980's political correctness.
     
  6. SiorX

    SiorX Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I didn't know they'd gone back to 'man' in Ent and XI. That's really interesting.

    Cause I presume the original reason for the change for TNG is that social sensibilities in the real world had evolved far enough to recognise the preferability of inclusive language.

    But if they're reverting to 'man', that means that the artistic decision is to make the switch from 'man' to 'one' an in-universe change which takes place sometime in the hundred years between TOS and TNG.

    I guess it might be about a certain nostalgia factor, signalling Trek going back to its roots, but it does set up a slighty depressing in-universe idea that inclusive official language didn't make it off the ground in the Trekverse until at least the late 23rd century.
     
  7. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Or it could mean that social sensibilities had evolved beyond the need for pandering "inclusive language."



    "In our century, we've learned not to fear words"
     
  8. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Well, the in-universe explanation is that there was originally a speech by Zephram Cochrane that used the phrase "To boldly go where no man has gone before." He wasn't exactly the most feminist of people, so it would make sense for him to say it this way.

    The only other time, to my knowledge, that the phrase was used was in Star Trek VI when Kirk said "To boldly go where no man - no one - has gone before." You could make the argument that Kirk changed it. But, if Picard never said it outside of the opening credits, it doesn't really make a difference, since it's not really a change (just an out of universe artistic decision, like you said).
     
  9. SiorX

    SiorX Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    One of Trek's more facile truisms, I always thought. The way we construct language creates the underpinnings for how we think about our experiences. There are few things with such insidious power as words.

    I think I can guess before we get into it that our views on the importance of inclusive language are likely to set us at loggerheads.
     
  10. miraclefan

    miraclefan Commodore Commodore

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    Funny, things have never been more ''Politicaly Correct'' then they are ''NOW'' :vulcan:
     
  11. Delta1

    Delta1 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    <soapbox>As a dictionary-toting prescriptivist, I find "man" perfectly inclusive. We have wer and wif to specify male and female humans, respectively. (It's a very, very old dictionary ;) ) However, the usage of words does change, and even my dictionary cannot stop that. Professional and academic style guides generally require "non-discriminatory language" when discrimination is not intended, so "man" is used to denote an adult male human. Even fairly unsophisticated listeners and readers now view the word "man" as discriminatory; the debates surrounding recent Bible translations are instructive.</soapbox>

    In Star Trek, of course, the use of "man" makes the Federation sound like nothing more than a homo sapiens-only club.
     
  12. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As a sister-in-prescriptivism to Delta1, I also find "man" inclusive, and I did back in the 1960s, too. However, Lord knows it isn't always used that way, SiorX is absolutely right that words have power, and there are people who use "man" to mean...well, "man" - adult human male, and they do so at times when you can't really figure out what they really mean. I'd rather not have to interpret a speaker's context and intentions when all I'm trying to do is figure out the meaning of a common noun or pronoun.

    So I use inclusive language wherever I can where it doesn't sound forced and fake. (E.g., "firefighter" is fine; "person-hole cover" is just ridiculous.) So I think "where no one has gone before" is a fine change - easy to say, and it doesn't even hurt the cadence. If "where no man had gone before" wasn't reverberating through all of our cortexes (cortices?), I venture to guess that nobody would ever have suspected that it originally read "man."

    Delta1 makes a good point about whether "man" means all species or just humans - I've sometimes wondered about that myself.
     
  13. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It ought to be "one." It was a good change, and there's no reason to change it back.

    I guess the humpback whales can't come along for the ride.
     
  14. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, in Cochrane's speech, he uses the correct grammar "To go boldly where no man has gone before."

    TOS began with the split infinitive. I like the in universe explanation for the change from "no man" to "no one" coming off the Khitomer peace treaty with the Klingons in Star Trek VI. It was a sign of inclusiveness and rapprochement, that the Federation was no longer a "Homo Sapiens Only Club", and that the spirit of exploration was to be found in people of all species.

    Real world it was political correctness, but who cares about that?
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't believe for a second that Kirk was being politically correct when changing "man" to "one". At least not gender-politically.

    What possible reason would Kirk have for suddenly including women in something he previously thought was a man's job? The only women of influence in his latest adventure had been a bloody traitor and an enemy national leader who both wanted him dead. Hardly inspiration for suddenly going gender-soft.

    Instead, going from "man" to "one" would make eminent sense if it meant expanding the scope of Kirk's or the starship's future journeys. Human men and human women had gone to all the same places - but there were many places where no man of either gender had gone, yet other species had. It would certainly be bolder than before if the ship were to go where no species known to the Federation had gone before, rather than merely where no human had!

    And ST6 would be a good time to change the scope. Until then, Kirk's Starfleet had dedicated much time and resources to keeping the Klingons at bay. If that were finally over, Starfleet could start to do more interesting stuff, such as reconnoiter deeper into space.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Ward Fowler

    Ward Fowler Commodore Commodore

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    Wow. I find people like you frightening. Maybe one day the thought police can create a utopia of right-thinking and speaking individuals.
     
  17. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    I was going to bring up the split infinitive, which, I have read or heard, caused NBC's switchboards to light up, since so many people knew proper grammar at the time.

    The split infinitive is based on the fact that in Latin one cannot split an infinitive since it is one word.

    Anybody else heard of the switchboard response? I am pretty sure I didn't make that up.
     
  18. darkshadow0001

    darkshadow0001 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought so, too. But after watching season one of TOS I found blacks and women to have pretty much the same rights in the 23rd century as they did in the 24th, (I figured this much already with Uhura being the main character, but I also found out there were more blacks in TOS than I had originally thought) so I assume 'man' was changed to 'one' because maybe it didn't sound to racy or sexist. I also brought this up because I remember at the end of Star Trek VI Kirk even changes 'Man' to 'One' at the end of the film, so my curiousity got the best of me.
     
  19. darkshadow0001

    darkshadow0001 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the only reason it changed back was because Enterprise and Trek XI are prequels. If a show was made after Voyager and continued on in the 24th century and beyond, I'm sure they would of stayed with "one."
     
  20. SiorX

    SiorX Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You find me frightening based on what? A philosophy you infer from the three lines quoted above? What am I saying there that's so very scary? All I said is that words have power and shape the way we view the world.

    You leap from that to 'thought police' which is a hell of a standing jump. To save you effort in the further construction of a straw effigy, I'll state this and stand by it:
    I do believe that, little by little, if we take the time to think about how we use language, and to examine the biases we inherit from the idioms we use, we can make steps forward towards eroding discrimination.

    I'm a stickler for clarity in meaning of language (and thus something of a grammar nazi), and agree completely with most of what JustKate said.

    There are times when the use of 'man' as the universal is actually less clear than 'one', because the ambiguity between 'man' meaning 'male' and man meaning 'human' has grown with the increased public presence and recognition of women in the last century.

    As was pointed out above, for a universe where humankind itself accounts for a only a portion of the known species allegedly represented, 'man' would seem to make even less sense. Does every non-human aboard do that little mental reshuffle of clarification when they read it? "Where no man has gone before - man here used as a universal denoting all persons including [Bajorans] and not humans alone". Do the human crew members do the same thing?

    I can see the appeal of it in the frisson one gets when one hears it and thinks "ooh - old skool Trek". It raises interesting questions about linguistics in the Trekverse, though.