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Man vs Human Being- correct usage in the context of evolution
Thread poster: Bhavna Bajaj

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 09:59
German to Serbian
+ ...
... May 6, 2009

inkweaver wrote:


I find the term "man" in this context very annoying, but of course that is just my personal opinion.


Why? It is just very informal but that may have been the intention of the original author. " Man" is a term the readers can easier relate with.

Good idea Jenny, " humankind"


 

sylvie malich
Germany
Local time: 09:59
German to English
Are you capitalizing "man", then? May 6, 2009

Bhavna Bajaj wrote:

Thanks everyone for your comments! I really appreciate it. Since majority of you thought it apt to use "Man", I went with that answer...And thanks Christine for pointing out that its not "The Man" but just "Man". Loved your examples


 

Bhavna Bajaj  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 13:29
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
yes, capitalized Man May 8, 2009

Sylvie- yes i did capitalize Man...was i not supposed to...

 

Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:59
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
context May 8, 2009

I think it depends on the context. If the "text on evolution" is actually a non-technical discussion for a general audience, then "man" or "mankind" might be acceptable. I am finishing up a philosophy textbook translation that is full of phrases like "man's search for meaning," and I have left many of these in the gender-specific form (with the publisher's blessing) simply because they are still talked about in those terms today in the field of philosophy.

However, "humans" (rather
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I think it depends on the context. If the "text on evolution" is actually a non-technical discussion for a general audience, then "man" or "mankind" might be acceptable. I am finishing up a philosophy textbook translation that is full of phrases like "man's search for meaning," and I have left many of these in the gender-specific form (with the publisher's blessing) simply because they are still talked about in those terms today in the field of philosophy.

However, "humans" (rather than "human beings"--which suggests individual members of the species rather than the species as a whole) is a gender-neutral alternative that is appropriate in any context, and which I would favor in something like a grade-school textbook on science:
"Are humans descended from monkeys?"
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Rod Walters  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 16:59
Japanese to English
'Humans' is an appropriate pair with 'monkeys' May 9, 2009

I'm surprised that our resident Darwinist hasn't stepped in with the right answer yet.

As Kathryn says, 'humans' is the right word. It forms an appropriate pair with the plural, non-gender-specific 'monkeys'.

Incidentally, there would probably be fewer egregious errors in philosophy and religion if the word 'humans' were used in that context too.


 

chica nueva
Local time: 19:59
Chinese to English
Why not post in KudoZ? May 10, 2009

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

In Kudoz someone might get points for this.
IMO "human being" is wrong in this context. It is "man" or "homo sapiens = modern man" when speaking about evolution.
Regards
Heinrich


Hello Bhavna

Tend to agree with Heinrich, though IMO 'humans' is OK too.

This text uses 'humans'
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/faq/cat02.html
This one uses 'man', 'modern man'
http://www-biol.paisley.ac.uk/courses/tatner/biomedia/units/monk2.htm

Lesley

[Edited at 2009-05-10 06:19 GMT]


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 13:29
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
Man lurks even within human Oct 26, 2017

Man is very much there in human (huMAN), too, so nothing is gained by using human here.

Just to provoke the better half of the world!


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Man Oct 30, 2017

"Did man/humans really descend/evolve from (the) apes?

https://www.quora.com/If-man-evolved-from-apes-what-did-apes-evolve-from

Try googling the phrase "man evolved from" and see how many times it appears with or without a capital M in different contexts.

NB: Also, "monkeys" is a very informal term. In evolution, we usually t
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"Did man/humans really descend/evolve from (the) apes?

https://www.quora.com/If-man-evolved-from-apes-what-did-apes-evolve-from

Try googling the phrase "man evolved from" and see how many times it appears with or without a capital M in different contexts.

NB: Also, "monkeys" is a very informal term. In evolution, we usually talk about "primates or "apes".



[Edited at 2017-10-30 11:25 GMT]
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Irene McClure
Local time: 09:59
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
The meaning of "man" Oct 30, 2017

I think the offence felt by some posters of the use of the term 'man' arises from a confusion between two different meanings of the word.

Collins online provides three distinct definitions of 'man' (i) an adult male and (ii) a member of the Homo sapiens species, collectively without regard to sex and (iii) the human being as representing the species without reference to sex. Oxford provides similar definitions.

If you want to go into it in more detail, the word appears
... See more
I think the offence felt by some posters of the use of the term 'man' arises from a confusion between two different meanings of the word.

Collins online provides three distinct definitions of 'man' (i) an adult male and (ii) a member of the Homo sapiens species, collectively without regard to sex and (iii) the human being as representing the species without reference to sex. Oxford provides similar definitions.

If you want to go into it in more detail, the word appears to have come from the Proto Germanic term 'mannaz' meaning 'person', was imported into Old English as 'man' and only later split into the two separate meanings we now use. See e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_(word)

Clearly, the use of 'man' in your context is referring to either of the generic definitions and is, therefore entirely correct. I believe that most English natives would read it in this sense and fully understand the term as being inclusive of men and women.
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