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(Slate)   Hey South Americans, we're Americans and we're not going to stop using "America." Get over it   (slate.com) divider line 287
    More: Obvious, Americans, U.S., H.L. Mencken, Admonition, United States of America, Frank Lloyd Wright, homophobic slurs, Latin America  
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11360 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Aug 2013 at 5:19 PM (49 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-19 02:19:32 PM
I'm sure that when terrorists take over their planes and ask, "Who here's an American?" they all rush to raise their hands.
 
2013-08-19 02:20:36 PM
What a waste of time that was.
 
2013-08-19 02:22:58 PM
We should just all say we're Texan.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-08-19 02:25:14 PM
The whole thing is silly.  It's pretty obvious that the word is a reference to nationality and not geography.  It's sort of like Irish people claiming that people from the UK can't call themselves British because Ireland is in the British Isles.
 
2013-08-19 02:48:02 PM
I got in trouble on a bus tour in Mexico when the driver asked us all where we were from and I answered America. Everyone else on the bus started in on how arrogant I was and my BF (the only other 
American) just sat there trying to pass for Latino. He was Cuban-American so all he had to do was pretend not to know me. The driver lit into them though and explained that's that's just what we call ourselves and our country. They were actually pretty nice after that. The BF slept on the couch of the hotel room that night though. Great tour. There were mummies. 

Also, everyone kept thinking I was from Spain which I thought was awesome. After that experience, I corrected them by saying I was from Los Estados Unidos. NOT America.
 
2013-08-19 02:59:44 PM
Technically Latinos are right about this. The whole continent is called America... but then they try to fix it by either calling gringos norte americanos (which negates the fact that Mexico and Canada are also in North America) or they call them estado unidenses (which would mean people of the United States) but technically, Mexico is also called Estados Unidos de Mexico... so that term is also imprecise because it doesn't specify which United States. So a lot of Latinos are guilty of using poor terminology here.


Also we are all wrong for calling the continent America. Some German cartographer coined the term for a map he made and named the continent after one of the first explorers to document that the continent wasn't really Asia and it stuck. But it really would have made more sense to name the continent after Columbus.
 
2013-08-19 03:01:15 PM
The problem is that the country doesn't have a name.  It's a political and geographical descriptor, not a name.

Around here (Canada), while the people are referred to as Americans, it's pretty unusual to actually hear the country referred to as America.  'Down South' 'The US' or 'The States' is pretty common.  Although, come to think of it, we're more likely to just refer to the actual state or states that we're travelling to.  It's not like there's going to be much confusion, even if you are going to Georgia.

I don't know any Canadian that's offended by the term American, other than perhaps for purely pedantic reasons.  It's not like there are many reasonable options.
 
2013-08-19 03:23:26 PM
satwcomic.com

/oblig
//hot like the volcanoes of iceland
 
2013-08-19 03:25:02 PM
Now that I've read the article, I conclude that we are now France?
 
2013-08-19 03:58:16 PM

unyon: I don't know any Canadian that's offended by the term American, other than perhaps for purely pedantic reasons. It's not like there are many reasonable options.


I'm not offended but I correct people right away if I'm referred to as American, to me it's synonymous with being from the USA. As for reasonable options they can always refer to me as Canadian.
 
2013-08-19 04:25:41 PM
images2.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-08-19 04:42:35 PM
Russians should demand to be called Asian.
 
2013-08-19 05:11:22 PM

Triumph: Russians should demand to be called Asian.


Christians follow an Asian religion.
 
2013-08-19 05:21:12 PM
Um, ok.
 
2013-08-19 05:21:42 PM
Today, in the news: Superpowers are assholes.
 
2013-08-19 05:23:55 PM
Dumb kid screws up having drinks with Columbian girl.  Got it.
 
2013-08-19 05:23:59 PM
America was a country first. Don't blame us you idiots named an entire continent after it.
 
2013-08-19 05:24:04 PM
South America stole our name, let's drop the big one there be no one left to blame us.
 
2013-08-19 05:24:30 PM


In a Washington, D.C., bar not long ago, I was ambushed by a very nice young woman drinking a Long Island. We were exchanging the standard get-to-know-you questions: What's your name, where are you from, what are your thoughts on the weather. While politely parroting these questions back at my conversation partner, I walked into a well-planned sneak attack:

Me: Where are you from?
Her: I'm American.
Me: What state?
Her: Columbia.
Me: So, South Carolina?
Her: No. Colombia, South America.


I would wager a thousand dollars that this event did not happen. The writer came up with an idea -- "hey, I wonder if South Americans have a beef with the USA using 'America' as a name?' -- and made up this fake and utterly implausible anecdote to have an entry point for a story discussing his dumbass "idea."
 
2013-08-19 05:24:58 PM
Let's just call ourselves New Numenor, since we're going that way anyway.
 
2013-08-19 05:26:03 PM
What, words can mean more than one thing?
 
2013-08-19 05:26:09 PM
Whereas, somehow, vehicles built in Canada are "American Cars" to US autoworkers, and somehow the Honda from the Georgia factory isn't.
 
2013-08-19 05:26:22 PM
People in the U.S. can call themselves Americans.
People south of the Rio Grande can call themselves Americanos.
People in Quebec can call themselves Américains.

And we can discuss the issue with English-speaking Canadians.
 
2013-08-19 05:26:25 PM
Today, in the news: irrelevant countries are mad jealous of America.
 
2013-08-19 05:26:34 PM
Psssst!   People - Amerigo Vespucci - remember him from grade school history class?

No?  Carry on then.
 
2013-08-19 05:27:04 PM
The Colombian lady in the article who was insisting that she was "American" because the country of Colombia is in South America is being asinine. Demonyms are nation-specific, not continent-specific (unless you're Australian).

Within a country, there may be more-specific demonyms (e.g. "Floridian", "Californian"), but those become essentially meaningless outside the borders of that country. If I go to France, I'm an "American," not a "Floridian".
 
2013-08-19 05:27:15 PM
Would it be appropriate now to get all butt-hurt about how foreigners call me a Yankee, when I'm from the southeastern U.S. and thus consider that a mortal insult? Ah, who cares, I kinda outgrew that one. I think it's kinda cute when they call me Yank (because Yank=boss o' the world).
 
2013-08-19 05:27:17 PM
A long time ago someone corrected me on that, I told her was that was stupid, and apparently nothing has changed.  It's kinda like silly sayings like 'it's as american as apple pie.'  Do South Americans have sayings like that?  Maybe.  Does it bother me if they do?  No.
 
2013-08-19 05:27:28 PM

GentlemanJ: Let's just call ourselves New Numenor, since we're going that way anyway.


If we keep heading into the West, we'll just end up in Africa again.
 
2013-08-19 05:27:40 PM
Done in one.
 
2013-08-19 05:28:44 PM
as long as we have "of America" in our name, we're going to use "American"

we're not United Statesians

i suppose we could go around saying "i'm californian" or "i'm montanian" or "i'm washingtonian of the united states" or some such nonesense, but that's about as good a compromise as mixing imperial and metric
 
2013-08-19 05:29:18 PM

LeroyBourne: A long time ago someone corrected me on that, I told her was that was stupid, and apparently nothing has changed.  It's kinda like silly sayings like 'it's as american as apple pie.'  Do South Americans have sayings like that?  Maybe.  Does it bother me if they do?  No.


As American as a banana daiquiri

/I could go for a banana daiquiri about now.
 
2013-08-19 05:29:38 PM
Holy shiat! Get a load of this:The boring truth is that Americans using "America" is not imperialist and jingoistic. It's just intuitive and convenient,

Who thinks "United States" is intuitively equal in meaning to "of America?"  The one is a subset of the other. Lots of poeple are from South and North America, but only a few lucky bastards are from The United States.
 
2013-08-19 05:29:49 PM
This is stupid.

We use "American" because it is a shorthand form that sounds right.  I say "I am from the US", or "from the United States", but there is no good way to say, "I am United Statesian" without it coming out like you are having a stroke.  So you just end up saying "I am American" because that is what sounds right in English and there is no way around it.  Besides, everyone understands you mean, even on this side of the ocean.  If you were from either of the "Americas" but not from the united states you would just use the name of your country or use the full name of the continent.
 
2013-08-19 05:30:37 PM
United Statsian is so not catchy.
 
2013-08-19 05:30:48 PM
Geez, those Mexicans are so touchy.
 
2013-08-19 05:31:24 PM

GentlemanJ: Let's just call ourselves New Numenor, since we're going that way anyway.


Then you have Black Númenóreans move into the neighborhood and it all goes to sh*t.
 
2013-08-19 05:32:14 PM
The United States of America is the only country that has "America" in its name.

If Mexico wants to call itself "The United States of the North American Country Commonly Referred to as "Mexico," then we can have a serious discussion.

Or not.
 
2013-08-19 05:33:11 PM
I'll acquiesce when they start calling them "American bikini waxes."
 
2013-08-19 05:33:45 PM
So we should say we're from the United States?  "Los Estados Unidos"?  So what do Mexicans do then?  The official name of their country is "The United States of Mexico" ... Well, United Mexican States, but it's still Estados Unidos Mexicanos.
 
2013-08-19 05:34:08 PM

Molavian: GentlemanJ: Let's just call ourselves New Numenor, since we're going that way anyway.

Then you have Black Númenóreans move into the neighborhood and it all goes to sh*t.


It is best to avoid Tolkien analogies altogether, because you very quickly realize how well they parallel the popular eugenics and "race" theories of the 1920s. There's a reason orcs have dark skin.

/There was no Golden Age, and we have not been declining from it ever since.
 
2013-08-19 05:34:48 PM
I remember when I first moved to MS, from NC, I was confused when people referred to the U of SC as Carolina, since Carolina was always of the UNC variety growing up.

Also, this would be relevant if any south american countries actually had "America" in their names.  You say you're Columbian, or Brazilian, no one says they're American. That's just someone being obtuse on purpose.
 
2013-08-19 05:36:00 PM

mbillips: LeroyBourne: A long time ago someone corrected me on that, I told her was that was stupid, and apparently nothing has changed.  It's kinda like silly sayings like 'it's as american as apple pie.'  Do South Americans have sayings like that?  Maybe.  Does it bother me if they do?  No.

As American as a banana daiquiri

/I could go for a banana daiquiri about now.


I could go for a mango lassi, it's not American, I don't care, they're damn good.
/wonders what vodka in my lassi would taste like?
 
2013-08-19 05:36:22 PM
In my experience, this is an issue with some (not all) Latinos and that's about it. Abroad (though I note that I've never visited South America), it seems to be more common than not to use "America[n]" as shorthand for "USA". If there's a different word that's preferred somewhere, I'll use it. Otherwise, not a big deal.

Some fastidious online folks like to use "USian", but that sounds smug and dissonant to me.
 
2013-08-19 05:36:29 PM

CruJones: I remember when I first moved to MS, from NC, I was confused when people referred to the U of SC as Carolina, since Carolina was always of the UNC variety growing up.

Also, this would be relevant if any south american countries actually had "America" in their names.  You say you're Columbian, or Brazilian, no one says they're American. That's just someone being obtuse on purpose.


Mississippians call U of SC "Carolina" because to them (well, us really) no teams exist outside of the SEC.

/Hotty Toddy!
 
2013-08-19 05:36:46 PM

AdamK: as long as we have "of America" in our name, we're going to use "American"

we're not United Statesians

i suppose we could go around saying "i'm californian" or "i'm montanian" or "i'm washingtonian of the united states" or some such nonesense, but that's about as good a compromise as mixing imperial and metric


Pretty much word for word what I think and would respond.  Estados Unidos de América is the accepted name in the primarilySpanish speaking Sudamerica, and those who have a problem with it can take the issue up with those damn Latin speakers of 2500 years ago. I have yet to meet someone who actually has a problem with it to the point of calling us something else (other than "puntas").
 
2013-08-19 05:37:43 PM
You know, it's not even a matter of what we call ourselves. It's what the rest of the world calls us, too
 
I've traveled a bit throughout Europe, and when local friends are introducing me to their friends, they introduce me as "This is my American friend..." or if it's a friend or relative of milady, "This is my friend and her husband, from America..."
 
When someone asks me where I'm from, I generally reply, "California".
 
2013-08-19 05:37:45 PM

Triumph: Russians should demand to be called Asian.


Russia is also in Europe. So Eurasian.
 
2013-08-19 05:38:01 PM

dj_spanmaster: AdamK: as long as we have "of America" in our name, we're going to use "American"

we're not United Statesians

i suppose we could go around saying "i'm californian" or "i'm montanian" or "i'm washingtonian of the united states" or some such nonesense, but that's about as good a compromise as mixing imperial and metric

Pretty much word for word what I think and would respond.  Estados Unidos de América is the accepted name in the primarilySpanish speaking Sudamerica, and those who have a problem with it can take the issue up with those damn Latin speakers of 2500 years ago. I have yet to meet someone who actually has a problem with it to the point of calling us something else (other than "puntas").


...or pendejo...
 
2013-08-19 05:39:01 PM

kg2095: Triumph: Russians should demand to be called Asian.

Russia is also in Europe. So Eurasian.


Or, since we've always been at war with Eurasia, "enemy."
 
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