First man to be fired into space vs. First man fired into space

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hhtt

Senior Member
Turkish
Gagarin, Major Yuri Alexeyevich (b 1934). The first man to be fired into space (at 07.07 B.S.T., 12 April 1961). After 108 minutes, having encircled the earth once, he landed in the Soviet Union.

This "first man to be fired into space" seems strange to me because it refers to a future time, it is said like before Gagarin went to the space but the book was printed
1963, namely, two years later from the event. So shouldn't it write "The first man fired into space" or "the first man who was fired into space" ?

And why isn't there "the" in front of space in the original?

Source:The Teach Yourself Concise Encyclopedia of General Knowledge by S.Graham Brade-Birks.

Thank you.
 
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  • joanvillafane

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    "The first man to be fired into space" is not wrong.
    However, the word "fired" seems very strange to me. That and the phrase with "having encircled the earth" both tell me this sentence may not have been written by a native English speaker.

    When we speak of "outer space" we do not use the article.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    If you add "ever" to the phrase it should become clear: the first man ever to be fired into space.

    Indeed, "fired" suggests a cannon type of mechanism, though it works metaphorically, sort of.
     

    hhtt

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    "The first man to be fired into space" is not wrong.
    However, the word "fired" seems very strange to me. That and the phrase with "having encircled the earth" both tell me this sentence may not have been written by a native English speaker.

    When we speak of "outer space" we do not use the article.
    Would the difference or strangenes be because of book is written in British English and 1960s.

    If you add "ever" to the phrase it should become clear: the first man ever to be fired into space.

    Indeed, "fired" suggests a cannon type of mechanism, though it works metaphorically, sort of.
    But doesn't "the first" give the meaning of "ever" so using ever would be overwritten or unrequired?

    Thank you.
     

    joanvillafane

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Yes, perhaps in the 1960s the idea of being "fired" into space was such a new concept that the word didn't seem strange.
    Adding "ever" adds emphasis. It's not required but it's acceptable.
     

    hhtt

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    But main question for me is still unanswered. "to be fired" refers to a future time but the even had already been happened before the book was written so would you like to explain this please?

    Thank you.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    But doesn't "the first" give the meaning of "ever" so using ever would be overwritten or unrequired?
    This "first man to be fired into space" seems strange to me because it refers to a future time
    I was just pointing out that "to be fired" does not necessarily refer to a future time. It's probably overwritten in that it's not good formal style, though it is colloquial and idiomatic to the best of my knowledge. People use redundancies to emphasize their point.
     
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