Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

The "The" In President Kennedy's Moonage Daydream Speech Of May 25, 1961

"But 'the' Earth? Why a definite article? Clearly not to distinguish the Earth from an Earth—from one of those other Earths out there. No, I suspect the purpose of that word was to distance us, however subtly, from our preconceptions."
The Last Word On Nothing's Richard Panek writes an appreciative meditation on president Kennedy's use of a precedent "the" in referencing Earth in the speech he gave 50 years ago today calling for NASA to put a man on the moon. It was pretty important!

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Mr. B (#10,093)

Or … maybe just a speechwriter's mistake? Germans still wince whenever the "Ich bin ein Berliner" ("I am a jelly doughnut") speech comes up in conversation.

Huh? "the Earth" is "the Earth" is the fucking Earth is what we call it – like the moon and the stars and the sun. Hey, that's kind of catchy.

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