Why does the U.S. call itself "America"? - Page 2 - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-08-2005, 02:16 PM   #16
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Originally posted by starsforu2


But if we ever adopt them as member states than we can just be the The United States of North America until our World domination tour continues down through Central America.
yes, and one day, God willing, we shall be known as the United States of the World!!! mwuahaha

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Old 07-08-2005, 02:43 PM   #17
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So there is no historic rationale... it seems. My sense is that foreigners call the U.S., "America" just to follow the U.S. example... I doubt that the term "America" could have been created overseas...

Maybe my issue is with the fact that the world "unitedstate-ian" does not exist in English but it does in other languages...



Or maybe I should print out this thread, give it to Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, so he can ask the U.N. to ban the use of the term "American" in the U.S. context...



What about using "U.S. national"?
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Old 07-08-2005, 02:44 PM   #18
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i always said "i'm from the States."

not for any historical reasons, but because i felt a bit jingoist saying, "i'm an American."

yet, anyone can be an American, but try as i might, i'll never be, say, Japanese.

i think it's all to do with custom, there's no sinister plan.
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Old 07-08-2005, 02:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by starsforu2
Besides maybe the original intent was to incorporate the entire continent into America


I do not follow you... you mean that the original intent was to incorporate the whole continent into the U.S. but the U.S. kept the name?

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Old 07-08-2005, 02:57 PM   #20
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Some interesting stuff on the same topic...

"English-language usage in the United States and some other countries, notably Britain, defines the words "America" and "American" as referring exclusively to citizens of the United States of America. As most school-children know, the name "America" was actually coined by the German geographer Martin Waldseemuller (Hylacomilus), in honor of the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, to refer to the entire "Mundus novus" (New world). Strictly speaking, then, all inhabitants of North and South America and the Caribbean are Americans.

There have been various attempts to coin new terms in English to refer to inhabitants of the USA. For example "USAnian", "USonian" and "United Statesian" have all been proposed as potential equivalents of the geographically-correct Castillian term "estadounidiense" (unitedstatesian). Likewise, there are proponents of "North American", which is the English translation of the commonly used Mexican term "norteamericano". In many parts of Latin America (another odd usage, but that is for another webpage... :-) the term "yanqui" is used to distinguish English-speaking northerners from Spanish, Creole and Portuguese speaking southerners. All of these are problematic. The first look and sound kind of ugly in English. The second confuses Canadians with United Statesians. The third might seem to be a pretty good choice. Everybody knows that "yankee" refers to the United States and not to Canada. The problem with "yankee" is an internal one...

Although outside of the USA "yankee" refers to all citizens of the US, within the USA it is a term that has been marked forever by its divisive usage during the US Civil War (1861-1865), when "yankee" came to mean people from states that supported the Union Army (mainly northerners) and emphatically not those who supported the Confederate Army (southern secessionists). To this day, no inhabitant of one of the southern states in the US would ever consider himself or herself to be a "yankee".

Furthermore, within general cultural usage, "yankee" refers specifically to people from the six New England states (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island) and within New England "yankee" is most closely associated with people from the 3 northern New England states. It is said that within those 3 states (Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire), it is common knowledge that a real Yankee is someone who eats pie for breakfast! (And then there are those who say that, if you eat pie for breakfast, then a yankee is someone who plays baseball in New York City ;-) In other words, there are very few Americans who are happy being called a "yankee".

Some purists even quibble with the term "United States". The argument here is that there are other member-countries of the United Nations -- notably Mexico -- whose official name also includes the term "United States". Therefore, this argument goes, leaving off the "of America" part is insensitive and arrogant."
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Old 07-08-2005, 03:10 PM   #21
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Arrogant; no. Realistic; yes. What the heck else are we supposed to call ourselves? People who complain about this are seriously nitpicking and a bit too worried about sounding P.C.

Yes, I understand that the western hemisphere consists of the "Americas," but it's not like there's any other nation in the Western Hemisphere that has "America" in the official name of the country. I could see now how it would be annoying if other countries official titles were like "American Brazil" or whatever; but this isn't the case. As someone already mentioned, we are the United States of AMERICA. I guess it's hard to break a 300 year habit of people and the rest of the world refer to the present day USA as America.

Also, as others have mentioned, I hear foriegners refer to the U.S. as often as I hear the U.S. do so.
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Old 07-08-2005, 03:19 PM   #22
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The people who come from the country we commonly refer to as Mexico are called Mexicans, yet the full name of their country is the United States of Mexico or Mexican United States. We don't called them Unitedstatians, the same way that people from the US are not. America is the name of the place where the 50 united states belong to, hence the people are referred to as Americans. We also don't usually refer to the people from the Rebublic of Ireland as an Republicans also.

Since there are 2 continents called America, you could say anyone from the countries of these 2 continents are Americans, but you would be more precise to call the people who live from Canada to Panama as North Americans and those from Venezuela to the southern tip of Argentina as South Americans. There is no such thing as a continent of Central America, though the people from the southern part of North America can be referred as as such.
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Old 07-08-2005, 03:29 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by ImOuttaControl
Arrogant; no. Realistic; yes. What the heck else are we supposed to call ourselves? People who complain about this are seriously nitpicking and a bit too worried about sounding P.C.

Yes, I understand that the western hemisphere consists of the "Americas," but it's not like there's any other nation in the Western Hemisphere that has "America" in the official name of the country. I could see now how it would be annoying if other countries official titles were like "American Brazil" or whatever; but this isn't the case. As someone already mentioned, we are the United States of AMERICA. I guess it's hard to break a 300 year habit of people and the rest of the world refer to the present day USA as America.

Also, as others have mentioned, I hear foriegners refer to the U.S. as often as I hear the U.S. do so.
I agree with you -- United States of America is the name of the country! Plus, I also think the worry about it sounding arrogant is just nit-picking and uber-political correctness.
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Old 07-08-2005, 03:32 PM   #24
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Originally posted by Halup
The people who come from the country we commonly refer to as Mexico are called Mexicans, yet the full name of their country is the United States of Mexico or Mexican United States. We don't called them Unitedstatians, the same way that people from the US are not. America is the name of the place where the 50 united states belong to, hence the people are referred to as Americans. We also don't usually refer to the people from the Rebublic of Ireland as an Republicans also.

Since there are 2 continents called America, you could say anyone from the countries of these 2 continents are Americans, but you would be more precise to call the people who live from Canada to Panama as North Americans and those from Venezuela to the southern tip of Argentina as South Americans. There is no such thing as a continent of Central America, though the people from the southern part of North America can be referred as as such.
I agree!
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Old 07-08-2005, 04:01 PM   #25
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I just think we should have picked a cooler name right in the beginning.
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Old 07-08-2005, 04:20 PM   #26
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This is a slight diversion form this topic but one thing I perceive to be a bit of arrogance is what many Asian Americans do. In trying to be politically correct, we no longer really use the term Orientals to decribe the people from Asia.

It's commonly accepted and correct to refer to people from Asia as Asians, but in my experience, I have found that people whose heritage is eastern Asian (Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, etc) refer to themselves as Asian, yet when they use this term, they exclude many Asian nations. They generally do not include Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Iraqis, Afghanis, Banga Deshians, the Russians from Asia, sometimes even South East Asians when they are referring to Asians, as if they do not want to be grouped together with these other people from the continent.

I have many Asian friends and colleagues whose heritage is from the eastern part of Asia and they all seem to do this. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 07-08-2005, 04:29 PM   #27
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I say "America," because I frankly don't give a fuck about being politically correct, and I think everyone knows what I mean without thinking it's offensive. I can understand not using racist or sexist terms, but the only people this offends are people looking for a fight.

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Old 07-08-2005, 04:31 PM   #28
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Originally posted by melon
I say "America," because I frankly don't give a fuck about being politically correct, and I think everyone knows what I mean without thinking it's offensive. I can understand not using racist or sexist terms, but the only people this offends are people looking for a fight.
FUCK YEAH.



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Old 07-08-2005, 04:59 PM   #29
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In Canada, we never say "America", always "United States", for obvious reasons.

Here in Québec, many journalists will use the word états-unien ("unitedstatsian") instead of "américain" because, technically, we're also "américains". I doubt this will ever catch on for one simple reason. We don't want to be called Americans. Not because we don't like the USA, but because it's just not part of our history. So since the word "Americans" clearly means "citizens of the United States of America", it will always be so. There's no ambiguity in there. It's a habit.

But if we want to refer to ourselves from a continental point of view, we'll say nord-américain (north american). No problem here.
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Old 07-08-2005, 05:03 PM   #30
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Similar issue with "Holland" and "The Netherlands". North and South Holland are regions of The Netherlands. Yet we often say Holland, when we mean the whole country. Habit.

The word Dutch is also funny. Comes from "Deutsch", which means "German", in German. But it was twisted with time into Dutch and refers to the people and language of The Netherlands...
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