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

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Old 07-08-2005, 12:52 PM   #1
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Why does the U.S. call itself "America"?

Doesn't it seem too pretentious to you to have a country that actually uses name of the whole continent to call just their own country?

Yes, some people may argue that it is more practical to call U.S. citizens like that (the word "unitedstatian" does not exist) and that the full name of the country is "United States of America" and so on... but I can't get over the fact that it may sound like an act of disrespect towards the rest of the people living in the same continent (which are also "Americans").

With the same argument, if Italy was called "Italian Republic of Europe", then Italians would be "Europeans", following the same line of thought.

I might be overreacting and perhaps missing some historical fact that gives the U.S. the right to use the name of the continent, but I am curious about how you feel about this...

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Old 07-08-2005, 01:06 PM   #2
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Re: Why does the U.S. call itself "America"?

Well, we're the biggest superpower in the West, so we can really call ourselves anything we please.

Seriously though, I have no idea how it got to be like that, except for the fact that "unitedstatians" doesn't roll off the tongue well.

Quote:
Originally posted by U2@NYC
With the same argument, if Italy was called "Italian Republic of Europe", then Italians would be "Europeans", following the same line of thought.
Actually, they would probably still be Italians. "Italian" is a nationality in itself, while "United" isn't. A more accurate comparison would be something like the "United States of America" as opposed to the "Democratic Republic of Europe." In that case, the citizens of the latter would probably be called Europeans.
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:07 PM   #3
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Its better than vespuchians
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:09 PM   #4
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Re: Re: Why does the U.S. call itself "America"?

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Originally posted by XHendrix24
Well, we're the biggest superpower in the West, so we can really call ourselves anything we please.

Seriously though, I have no idea how it got to be like that, except for the fact that "unitedstatians" doesn't roll off the tongue well.



Actually, they would probably still be Italians. "Italian" is a nationality in itself, while "United" isn't. A more accurate comparison would be something like the "United States of America" as opposed to the "Democratic Republic of Europe." In that case, the latter would probably be called Europeans.
I agree with your second argument.

Actually, other languages have the word equivalent to "unitedstatian" in order to to call U.S. citizens, Americans. For instance, in Spanish, the word is 'estadounidense', which seems to be better than 'americano'.
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:14 PM   #5
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Re: Why does the U.S. call itself "America"?

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Originally posted by U2@NYC
Doesn't it seem too pretentious
You pretty much answered it right there. The country as a whole suffers from a lack of humility.
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:17 PM   #6
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In your humble opinion?
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:20 PM   #7
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Re: Re: Why does the U.S. call itself "America"?

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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


You pretty much answered it right there. The country as a whole suffers from a lack of humility.
You forgot the part about our being self-righteous American pigdogs.


Yes, American pigdogs.
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:20 PM   #8
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Please stop looking at History through the year 2005. It's been called America for a lot longer than we've been a Nation. We haven't always been called arrogant, and we haven't always been a Super Power.

Besides maybe the original intent was to incorporate the entire continent into America

Perhaps you'd like the name "The United States of North America except Canada and Mexico"

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.
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by starsforu2
Please stop looking at History through the year 2005. It's been called America for a lot longer than we've been a Nation. We haven't always been called arrogant, and we haven't always been a Super Power.

Not always a super power, I'll give you that. But I think history will prove you wrong about most everything else.
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:51 PM   #10
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I make it a habit to say "U.S" or "United States" or "North America" because I've heard it is offensive to other countries that make up the Americas to refer to the U.S. as "America". However, whenever I have traveled abroad people refer to me as "American" and I watch BBC news every night and the reporters constantly refer to the U.S. as "America."


So I don't think it's a matter of arrogance. Most of the world and most of the people living here think of "America" and the U.S. as the same thing.
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Old 07-08-2005, 02:07 PM   #11
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Well, it wouldn't make sense to call us unitedstates-ians or anything. "United States" simply describes the way "America" is laid out (United States of America). So I guess you could find fault with whoever named our country the United States of America way back whenever, but I don't think it has anything to do with people today being arrogant. American has just become a commonly used term to described people from the USA, I guess. (and I've noticed that foreigners tend to call the country America more than people who actually live here, who usually say US/United States.)
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Old 07-08-2005, 02:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Not always a super power, I'll give you that. But I think history will prove you wrong about most everything else.
Fair enough. It's possible that we've only been known as America since the founding. But we are officially known as "The United States of America". That we are now called America, or Americans may not be our fault. That would take more research than I would be willing to do.
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Old 07-08-2005, 02:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
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.
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Old 07-08-2005, 02:11 PM   #14
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COZ WE'RE AMERICA.......FUCK YEAH!!!



Lol I'm just kidding. Perhaps we just do it because we were the first established country in the Americas I really don't know
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Old 07-08-2005, 02:15 PM   #15
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I use "United States" when it's possible at all. Yes, it's arrogant for us to call ourselves Americans when "America" applies to a whole hemisphere, for goodness' sakes. When I use "American" to describe my nationality it's pure force of habit.
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