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Every day I have students work on their editing skills by finding and correcting mistakes in a paragraph. Today one of the sentences was:

In September 1846, a german astronomer Johann Galle became the first to observe the planet Neptune.

One of my students wanted to make this change:

In September 1846, a german astronomer Johann Galle became the first person to observe the planet Neptune.

I told him that wasn’t necessary. He disagreed by arguing that it is important to make sure that the reader understood that while Galle may have been the first “person” to observe Neptune, aliens probably noticed Neptune before he did.