Mon 14 Sep, 2015 03:58 am
In American English can I use man? (not men)
-It was an oversimplification of human conflicts, as if all __ confronted dilemmas of the same type.
MAN means human beings, so I think it is correct, but somehow my friend does not agree, saying that only men is correct. What do you think?
The answer used to be yes. Statements like "Man has always searched for truth" have long been standard English. This has changed because of our very recent fixation on removing gender from language. There are countless examples of published works using phrases like "Man's quest for meaning" (as discussed by Victor Frankl) or "The ascent of man" (as discussed by Charles Darwin) . The English language was deliberately changed in the 1970's due to political pressure.
In my opinion you are still correct... especially in colloquial usage. Political correctness doesn't have the right, or the ability, to change popular usage of a language.
If you're going to use "man" remove "all."
"It was an oversimplification of human conflicts, as if man confronted dilemmas of the same type."
You could fill in the blank in your sentence with "men."
Thank you. I would appreciate it also if you could answer my other question about 'originate'.
As some of the examples above show, "Man" can be used for "Mankind", but in the specific example you posted, I think "men" would work better.
Either one can be used, and either usage would be idiomatic.
Thank you, but I presume you're not replying to the 'originate' question?