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Old June 6th, 2014, 08:40 AM   #11
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I can understand why people of other countries in the Americas are a bit peevish about it; I think this is because they are proud of their own countries.

When I've been in foreign countries in Europe and Africa and someone asks me where I'm from, I say the United States, not so much to be politically correct but to be specific. The response I've often gotten was "Oh, you're an American!"

I don't think its just those of us in the U.S. that are mixed up.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 08:47 AM   #12

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Also,isn't this more appropriate for The Lounge? What does it have to do with history?
Here's an historical angle. I recall that when Dan Quayle visited South America as his first official overseas duty, he remarked that he wished that he had learnt Latin at school so he could have "talked to those folks down there".
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Old June 6th, 2014, 08:50 AM   #13
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Saying we are Americans without including Canada, central and south America is bad manners, because it is offensive.
You can also say that saying "Yo Yo Ma" is bad manners, because it is offensive. To who? To a reasonable person?

Americans began calling themselves Americans because they came to believe they were different than the English, French, and Spanish people around them. No one else on this territory though of themselves as Americans, including the tribal peoples who didn't know what "the Americas" were. So you'd think the term "Americans" would have been up for grabs then.

There's an absolutely perfect analogy to this situation: "English." In America, you occasionally hear someone say, "I don't talk English, I talk American!" It's not a position that taken by educated people, though.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 08:56 AM   #14

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I can understand why people of other countries in the Americas are a bit peevish about it; I think this is because they are proud of their own countries.
That's the thing though, I've never actually come across anyone of Canada, Mexico or South/Central America to be peeved by this or identify themselves as American. I've met Brazilians, Argentinians, Canadians, Mexicans - and not a single one considered themselves "American" or had a problem with me calling myself such. They are indeed proud of their own countries but that's why they identify with their country, not their continent. I'm not saying everyone is the same but it seems to me that either people from other countries in the American continents who have a problem with it are in the minority or these stories about them having a problem with it are mostly anti-American propaganda.

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When I've been in foreign countries in Europe and Africa and someone asks me where I'm from, I say the United States, not so much to be politically correct but to be specific. The response I've often gotten was "Oh, you're an American!"
Yep, I had the same experience when living in England for 8 years. At first, I would say "the states" because for some reason I was under the impression that's what the British called the USA. But after a while I noticed that people in the UK used the term America to refer to the USA much more than than they used "the states" so I comfortably returned to using "America" and no one had a problem with it or got confused.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 08:59 AM   #15

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Here's an historical angle. I recall that when Dan Quayle visited South America as his first official overseas duty, he remarked that he wished that he had learnt Latin at school so he could have "talked to those folks down there".
That has nothing to do with the original topic though...

Also, it's not even a true story and therefore not a historical angle: http://www.snopes.com/quotes/quayle.asp

Not saying the original topic isn't worth discussing, just that it's not a historical topic and should probably go in The Lounge instead.

Last edited by History Chick; June 6th, 2014 at 09:02 AM.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 08:59 AM   #16
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Funny thing is, those same people that criticize the US don't mind calling it "America" and "American" in their rants (ex. American Imperialism, American food, American culture, etc.).

I never heard anyone complain who doesn't have a political ax to grind.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 09:03 AM   #17

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I'm a Texan.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 09:19 AM   #18
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I'm a Texan.
That's an interesting nationality. Why don't you give it a try next April 15th when the U.S. government says you need to pay your federal income taxes. I'll be interested to hear how you make out.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 09:20 AM   #19

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I'm too lazy to say "Unitedstatesian", and "Usonian" sounds like a medical procedure or something.

I'm firmly of the opinion that people groups should be able to name themselves, and that name should be respected by those speaking in reference to them. It would seem that "American" has worked for the majority of 'us' for the past two+ centuries.
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Old June 6th, 2014, 09:25 AM   #20

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Canadians call us "Americans" a lot.

I read an item from 1813 that said "the United States" was a descriptive term, and "America" said which union of states a person was referring too.

However, that guy was English.
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