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College Student Penalized For Using Word 'Man' In Paper

| by Michael Allen

University of Florida student Martin Poirier was recently penalized for using the word "man" a paper for his history class.

The College Fix notes that Poirier's paper included this line: "Water is a thing prior to man."

Poirier told The Daily Nerv he was marked down by Professor Jack Davis for using the word "man" instead of "human."

The Daily Nerv published a copy of the essay, which has "man" circled along with a "W.M. #20" notation.

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"W.M. #20" is a reference to Davis' Writing Mechanics Exercise #20, which notes a difference between the words "mankind" and "humankind."

Davis gave Poirier a B minus, and wrote on the student's paper: "Thoughtful paper, although the writing-mechanics errors are killing you."

Davis also sent a copy of Poirier’s paper -- cloaked for anonymity -- to the class to "scrutinize."

Poirier defended his use of "man" during class, and asserted that Davis had political motivations.

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Poirier said Davis told the class "how everything is political," and that gender-neutral pronouns were "pre-baked into the original intent of the independent American nation’s values and founding documents."

Poirier said: "Dr. Davis requires us to use only gender neutral expressions," and added: "I have plenty of more examples of bias in other courses, many much more severe."

Davis told The College Fix via email 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 added that his exercise #20 was "not to enforce political correctness," but is "both a grammar refresher and a style and user guide."

Davis told the news site that Poirier’s loss of points was not just for the word "man," and that point loss is for not following 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 insisted.

Davis said that Poirier’s paper was used for a class discussion, but was emailed to the class "with anonymity strictly maintained."

Poirier said the history class is "certainly biased," and added: "Davis is rather moderate compared to his peers and formulated the gender neutral rule in order to be 'by the books.'"

"It is on those grammarians who, like the rest of the academy, have eagerly stoked the slide towards gender [and] social anarchy," Poirier said. "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."

University of Florida campus spokesperson Janine Sikes told The College Fix: "We do not comment on student matters."

Sources: The College Fix, The Daily Nerv via Campus Reform / Photo credit: DouglasGreen/Wikimedia Commons

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