Interested in Language
Man is the most general of these words: it can be used to refer to people when compared with animals: the relationship between man and nature ; to describe the development of people through history: early/Stone Age/modern man ; or to talk about all the people, societies and cultures of the world: all diseases known to man . This last use is becoming old-fashioned, used mostly now in literary contexts. Humanity, mankind and humankind are used especially to talk about all people as part of human society and culture: humanity is often used when talking about general moral and ethical principles: crimes against humanity . Mankind or humankind is often used when talking about society and its development, as in the famous quotation of Neil Armstrong as he stepped onto the moon: ‘That's one small step for a man , one giant leap for mankind.’ The human race is used especially to refer to people as a species when compared with animals or considered through history. Man and mankind have traditionally been used to mean ‘all men and women’, but some people now prefer gender neutral words which do not include the word ‘man’, such as humanity and humankind.