At the University of Florida, a student was recently penalized for writing “man” instead of “humankind” in a class paper.
History major Martin Poirier wrote “Water is a thing prior to man” on a paper for a history class called “History of Water.”
“Thoughtful paper, although the writing-mechanics errors are killing you,” Professor Jack Davis wrote at the bottom of the paper. He gave the student a B minus, according to a copy of the essay published in the student news outlet the Daily Nerv.
Davis circled “man” and referenced his Writing Mechanics Exercise #20, which draws a distinction between “mankind” and “humankind.”