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i have a pet peeve about calling the USA, AMERICA.


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#1 of 89 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted November 30 2003 - 02:56 PM

i just saw the commercial that jokes about hockey being made in america.
it's guys in a factory essembly line "making hockey"

the guy says "most people think hockey was made in canada, but it really wasnt."
or something like that.
then they show a wooden box, that i guess has hockey in it and has a stamp on it that says "made in america"

i have also heard people wonder why a canadian would sing god bless america at sporting events.

there are other times i have heard the US refered to as america, but i can't remember them right now, probably because i need to for this post. :b

anyway i thought that it was the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

AND last times i checked a map isn't canada in AMERICA?

I'M not from canada i grew up in the states, but this just drives me nuts.
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#2 of 89 OFFLINE   JohnPop

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Posted November 30 2003 - 02:58 PM

Mexico is in Americo too, so is Argentina... etc etc

#3 of 89 OFFLINE   Ashley Seymour

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Posted November 30 2003 - 03:04 PM

Quote:
Mexico is in Americo too, so is Argentina... etc etc


I've been to Mexico and they refer to us as North Americans.

What is the problem with "Americans?" We are Americans. So are Canadians, Mexicans, Argentians. How far do we let PC get out of control.

What would we call ourselves? United Statesians?
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#4 of 89 OFFLINE   Francis Collins

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Posted November 30 2003 - 03:05 PM

I wonder why some people call the United States "The States"? Are they referring to the fifty states or the nation?

#5 of 89 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted November 30 2003 - 03:11 PM

it's not about being pc for me, it just bugs me is all.

the thing about calling usa the states is no big deal just a nick name.
smae as maybe someone calling you fran.
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#6 of 89 OFFLINE   Brandon_T

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Posted November 30 2003 - 03:26 PM

So what do you want us to say? When someone says they are Mexican, or Spanish, what do we say? We say we are American. It is just one of those things thru the years that has become a phrase common with those from the USA.

I don't have a problem with it.

#7 of 89 OFFLINE   Christ Reynolds

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Posted November 30 2003 - 03:55 PM

Quote:
What is the problem with "Americans?" We are Americans. So are Canadians, Mexicans, Argentians. How far do we let PC get out of control.
nothing is wrong with it, but generally, you will not hear canadians or mexicans or anyone else in north america outside of the USA being called americans. although technically correct. it is easier to call someone from mexico a mexican, rather than calling them an american and further clarifying they are from mexico. i believe it has much to do with the fact that we have the word 'america' right in the name of our country. it is easy to call ourselves americans, but it really doesnt specify closely enough to which part of america you are referring to. if there were a country in europe called 'the united states of europe', you would hear people from that country being called europeans more often than the other members of europe.

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#8 of 89 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted November 30 2003 - 05:00 PM

The people who live in what is now the United States have been called "Americans" since before they had a country, indeed since long before they claimed to have a country.

A collective name was needed for the people (from many European nations) who were living in the 13 Atlantic coastal colonies that were ruled by England. Canada was a separate collection of colonies, and already had a collective name, which automatically conferred a name (Canadian) on its inhabitents. The 13 Atlantic colonies had no collective name, only individual and collective names (Rhode Island, for instance, or New England.) But it was already recognized on both sides of the Atlantic that the people in those colonies were in some sense a collective polity - that they were different than Englishmen and Canadians, and that while Virginians and New Englanders might be very different from one another, they were more similar to each other than either was to an Englishman or a Frenchman - or even a Canadian.

Benjamin Franklin, indeed, argued that Americans required a new country because they had become a new people. "Colonials" wasn't specific enough to identify them easily. "Americans" worked well enough for the English, who already had a name for Canadians and didn't care a fig for the various Spanish and Portugese colonies to the south (all of whom already had their own names anway, as Mexicans, Argentinians, etc.) "Americans" wasn't being used by anybody else, and it worked well for all those folks in the 13 Atlantic colonies. When those people declared independence they adopted "The United States of America" as their name, with emphasis on "States" and with the usage "The United States are", for they were still seen as a collection of sovereign units. After the Civil War the usage changed to the less grammatical but more politically accurate "The United States is" At that point "America" became the more prominent part of the name.

It also helps to understand the difference between a continent and a country. No one is truly a citizen of a continent - because continents are not political units. It makes no sense to claim to be a "citizen of Africa" or a citizen of Europe. (Even in the age of the EU individuals are citizens or subjects of nation-states, not of geographic units - nor is the EU 100% contiguous with the continent of Europe.)

So while the nations of Canada and Mexico may be located on the North American continent, they are not "part of America" and their citizens are not therefore "Americans" except in the most amorphous metaphorical sense. (See above, "European") The only country on either of the American continents that uses the word "America" in its name is The United States, so it makes perfect sense that it be used as the common name of the country (since the full formal name is too much of a mouthful) and that "American" be used as the word for its citizens.

If a usage that has been around for something like 300 years and is perfectly well understood by everybody "drives you nuts" I suggest that the problem lies with you, and not with the usage. Poverty, crime and terrorism drive me nuts, not manufactured problems about language.

Regards,

Joe

#9 of 89 OFFLINE   Ashley Seymour

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Posted November 30 2003 - 05:15 PM

Quote:
nothing is wrong with it, but generally, you will not hear canadians or mexicans or anyone else in north america outside of the USA being called americans.

Because you are an American speaking or referring to other Americans, not Canadians, or Mexicans.

If I was in Europe and referring to something that was common to Canadians, US Americans, Mexicans, etc. I could easily referer to us as "we Americans."

I think the context of the question above is being missed.
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#10 of 89 OFFLINE   John Thomas

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Posted November 30 2003 - 05:26 PM

Quote:
I'M not from canada i grew up in the states, but this just drives me nuts.


See a therapist.

#11 of 89 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted November 30 2003 - 08:25 PM

Quote:
If I was in Europe and referring to something that was common to Canadians, US Americans, Mexicans, etc. I could easily referer to us as "we Americans."


I would've thought in those circumstances the term "North Americans" would be used, ie per the name of the continent you're from.

In a way, the term "Europe" is increasingly used to refer to the unit known as the European Union, rather than the entire continent. Misleading and wrong, but usage is going there. Of course, if the day arrives that all 50+ countries that form the continent of Europe actually sign up for the European Union, the term used that way would no longer be incorrect. Any chance Ontario or BC want to join the United States? Posted Image

(And before Canadians throw the book at me, I'm kidding.)

#12 of 89 OFFLINE   JamieD

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Posted November 30 2003 - 10:57 PM

Better than 'Murica, the GWB version.
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#13 of 89 OFFLINE   JustinCleveland

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Posted December 01 2003 - 12:09 AM

Quote:
Any chance Ontario or BC want to join the United States?
no, but I bet they'd give us Quebec for a handfull of beads... Posted Image

#14 of 89 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted December 01 2003 - 12:22 AM

There is a problem with much of the above.

[c]Hawaii[/c]



...South America stole our name
Lets drop the big one,
there're be no one left to blame us
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#15 of 89 OFFLINE   Brad Porter

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Posted December 01 2003 - 12:49 AM

There's a guy at work who I think is originally from the Ukraine. I never refer to him as Asian. I don't recall anyone referring to the problems with those "Asians" over in Iraq. And the dozen or so folks that I have known who come from India have never corrected me when I didn't call them Asian. But truth be told, they are all from the continent Asia.

On the opposite side, folks from Europe are commonly referred to as European, but usually only in the generic sense. I rarely hear anyone use this term for Brits, Italians, or folks from Iceland (Icelanders?). And usually individuals are introduced as being from a specific country within Europe.

So you want the Americas to follow the European model where each citizen in either continent can self-apply the term American rather than the Asian model where only a portion of the continent receives the continental name.

Good luck with your mission, Don Quixote. Hey, look at me, I'm a "USAian". Nope. Not gonna happen. Posted Image

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#16 of 89 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted December 01 2003 - 01:29 AM

Quote:
If a usage that has been around for something like 300 years and is perfectly well understood by everybody "drives you nuts" I suggest that the problem lies with you, and not with the usage. Poverty, crime and terrorism drive me nuts, not manufactured problems about language.

Regards,

Joe



well, joe, i appreciate the history lesson. but,"Poverty, crime and terrorism drive me nuts," can be applied to anything, it really isnt useful to any argument.
you could say why do people worry so much about movies there are more important things to worry about.
isnt every problem "manufactured"?
without someone to point out troubles or problems then would there be any troubles or problems?Posted Image

i tried to imply but not well enough i guess that the trouble on this was with me.

braD THats good stuff.

and as i intended this to be a tiny bit tongue in cheek it is very hard sometimes for me to get that accross this way.
so really don't take this trouble i have so seriously.
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#17 of 89 OFFLINE   Leila Dougan

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Posted December 01 2003 - 01:55 AM

Being of middle eastern ethnicity but born and raised in the USA, I think I'd get a lot of strange looks if I were to declare myself African-American. Technically correct, I guess, since Egypt is on the African continent.

#18 of 89 OFFLINE   RolandDeschain

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Posted December 01 2003 - 02:17 AM

Quote:
I think I'd get a lot of strange looks if I were to declare myself African-American. Technically correct, I guess, since Egypt is on the African continent.
Exactly. South Africa as well, all the whites from South Africa that live in the U.S. are technically "African-Americans." And what about all the "people of color" (another silly euphemism) that aren't from Africa? Is someone supposed to determine a person's country of origin before calling them "African-American" simply based on the color of their skin? This is why it's the most ridiculous euphemism ever foisted on people. The people in this country are so afraid of accidentally "offending" someone, that they just wind up talking down to them and condescending anyway, which is more often than not... offensive.

#19 of 89 OFFLINE   Patrick Larkin

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Posted December 01 2003 - 02:19 AM

Two continents:
North America
South America
...there is no continent "America"

Canadians are not "Americans" they are "North Americans." Argentinians are not "Americans" they are "South Americans." Citizens of the United States are Americans.

And I'm not sure Irving Berlin wrote God Bless America in reference to the entire continent of North or South America...

#20 of 89 OFFLINE   Bill Slack

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Posted December 01 2003 - 02:37 AM

What's worse is people who say the United States.

Which one? Of America? Or Mexico!? It's so confusing!

I think each country should be given a number. Say 'I'm from #17', and everyone knows what you mean. And any time a new country forms, all the numbers should be re-factored. That way, we never have to worry about any of this stuff again.

So I say God Bless Country-17.

Or is it God Bless Continent-4?

Oh, I give up.


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