The Words Agency

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One small letter . . .

It may be an incredible 40 years since Neil and Buzz stepped into moondust, but the impact of Armstrong's words through the smudgy black and white pictures of him slipping down the Eagle's leg on to the lunar surface is as clear and memorable as it will always be.

Armstrong exits EagleWhat an opportunity, what an audience, and you feel when you hear the "one small step for man" line that he must have spent all the way to the moon working out exactly what he was going to say. It could hardly have been better.

But the irony is, he fluffed those epochal lines. What he actually intended to say was "one small step for a man" which would have been so much weaker and almost banal. Thank goodness for chance; the split second error that created something greater.

It just goes to show what a difference a single letter can make.