University Student Penalized Because He Used The Word "Man" In His Essay

A University of Florida history major was penalized after he used the word "man" in his essay instead of "humankind."

Maritn Poirier was taking a history class and wrote a paper titled, "History of Water."  In the paper, he wrote, "Water is a thing prior to man."

His professor, Jack Davis gave him a B minus while writing at the bottom of the paper, “Thoughtful paper, although the writing-mechanics errors are killing you."

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Davis specifically circled the word "man."  he also referenced his Writing Mechanics Exercise #20.  In that exercise, he makes a distinction between "mankind" and "humankind."

The College Fix reports:

Davis defended the penalization in an email to The College Fix. He explained that the “exercise and inclusion of ‘humankind’ are consistent with the Chicago Manual of Style, the style and the usage guide followed in the discipline of history.”

Davis also said the exercise is “not to enforce political correctness” but is “both a grammar refresher and a style and user guide.”

It was also not for the use “man” alone that Poirier lost points. Rather, Davis explained to The Fix that students lose points when they don’t follow two or more standards.

“I do not lower a student’s grade for only one inconsistence, and I single out no student as an example,” Davis said.

Davis also emailed the paper to Poirier's classmates for discussion and claimed that he maintained "strict anonymity."

As you can see, there are many more problems in the paper beside the one issue of "man."  However, this seems to have been a particular term that was singled out.

For Poirier's part, he chose to defend his use of the word "man" and claims that Dr. Davis is not as bad as his peers with regards to gender neutral words.

“My paper was selected for the hot seat and I felt I had to argue with [Davis] for that specific use of ‘man,’ Poirer wrote to The Daily Nerv.  "I said his reasoning was politically motivated and he responded by saying all official grammar is politically motivated.”

“Dr. Davis requires us to use only gender neutral expressions," he added.  “I have plenty of more examples of bias in other courses, many much more severe.”

“Davis is rather moderate compared to his peers and formulated the gender neutral rule in order to be ‘by the books,’” Poirier told The College Fix.  "It is on those grammarians who, like the rest of the academy, have eagerly stoked the slide towards gender [and] social anarchy,” he told The Fix.

“Political correctness on college campuses goes far deeper than this one excess by this one teacher. By and large, the radical liberationist ideas go unchallenged because no truly oppositional content is presented,” he said.

According to the University language guide, terms like "policeman," "mailman," and other "man" words are frowned upon.

Lest you think this a tempest in a teapot, consider the Socialism gains its footing in a culture by the use of language, or to be more accurate, subverts the language to do so.  Think redefining marriage, use of the term "gay," and using "Democrat" instead of "Socialist" or "Communist."

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