AA7295
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What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:51 am

I've discovered that people from continental Europe and South America tend to refer to Americans as US-Americans?

What's up with that? History, popular culture and the media has defined the word "American" and "Americans" to be those individuals who come from the United States of America, and/or live in the United States of America.

Never does it refer to someone from South America. I mean, if a Columbian said to me, "I'm American", but they didn't possess a US passport or reside in America, I would really question their intelligence.

What is your take on the word?

[Edited 2012-08-21 19:35:09]
 
lewis
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:56 am

Based on the word itself, every person from the Americas is an American. You are right that the word has become synonymous with US citizens but that is just due to its everyday use. Grammatically, the Colombian you mentioned would be right.

I noticed the same thing with the word "Asian" and how it is perceived in different regions of the world. In the UK, "Asian" could mean Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Japanese etc. "Asian" in the US strictly means a person from the Far East.
 
BMI727
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:03 am

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
What is your take on the word?

American pertains to the USA. Canadians are North Americans, but not American. Colombians are South Americans, but not Americans.

Quoting lewis (Reply 1):
In the UK, "Asian" could mean Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Japanese etc. "Asian" in the US strictly means a person from the Far East.

Sometimes I'll notice an Indian referred to as Asian, but for the most part people from Asia seem to be grouped into Arabs or Middle Easterners, Indians, and Asians.
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scrubbsywg
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:08 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
American pertains to the USA. Canadians are North Americans, but not American. Colombians are South Americans, but not Americans.

According to dictionaries, American does not only specifically refer to the USA.
 
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Mortyman
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:14 am

There is something that is referred to as Americas, wich consist of North America ( including USA and Canada ), Central America and South America.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americas#America_or_Americas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_america

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_America

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_America

I would say that " US Americans" are from the USA in North America, while Brazilians, Colombians etc. are from South America and Mexicans, Costa Ricans etc are from Central America.

Personally I would refer to someone coming from the USA as coming from the USA but also American living in North America, but those who come from Brazil for instance as Brasilians coming from Brazil in South America.

The Colombian that you refer to is a Colombian but also a South American


Might aswell throw in a link for the Latin Americans and Indigenous Americans:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_americans

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_peoples_of_the_Americas

[Edited 2012-08-21 19:33:16]

[Edited 2012-08-21 19:34:53]
 
Aeri28
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:55 am

I'm on a few UK and French website/forums. Never ever heard that term. US Americans. LOL

I would not doubt some may refer to that as a sort of defiance and I think there are some who would "like" that to be so, sort of taking back that word, but it aint gonna happen. For the most part, when you hear the word "America' and "American", I bet you know exactly who is the topic, regardless if the term 'can' include chileans, argentines, boliivians etc.

United States of America = America and Americans. Not US America or US Americans or even USians. I've heard that one thrown around.

Just my (and millions of others) opinion.
 
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:08 am

It's merely the way language is used. Technically, the Colombian would be right--but no one would use it in that sense. It's quite interesting: in Spain, many people refer to Americans as 'norteamericanos' which means 'North American". We would use 'North American' to refer to an American, a Canadian, or a Mexican. However, they add an unneeded 'north' to the word when talking about someone from the US. I've always found it interesting.
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vikkyvik
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:30 am

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
History, popular culture and the media has defined the word "American" and "Americans" to be those individuals who come from the United States of America, and/or live in the United States of America.

Um, clearly not, if:

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
people from continental Europe and South America tend to refer to Americans as US-Americans


...
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DocLightning
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:44 am

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):

I've discovered that people from continental Europe and South America tend to refer to Americans as US-Americans?

There's North America, South America, and the United States of America. For some reason, while I agree that "American" without a qualifier ("North, South, Latin, etc.) would suggest USA, some people feel a need to add a preface.

HOWEVER, in Spanish, "Americano" is more commonly shorthand for SOUTH Americans (more linguistic and cultural commonality). But Americans are called "Norteamericano" (North-American) or "Estadounidiense" (essentially: "United Statesian"). When I speak about myself in Spanish, I call myself "Estadounidiense." It also helps clarify because when speaking Spanish, my accent places me as a Spaniard (I was raised speaking it), which can confuse Spanish-speakers.

Quoting lewis (Reply 1):
Based on the word itself, every person from the Americas is an American.

I agree. Except there is only one country in the world with the name "America" in its common name. No other country in the world has the name "America" in its common name. Every non-American from the Americas can call himself "Canadian" or "Ecuadorian" or whatever. As an American, I find it inconvenient to have to refer to myself as anything other than "American" when speaking English.

Furthermore, when speaking English, it's very obvious that I'm either American or Canadian. No Canadian would ever call himself "American." So when I say "American," I expect that it's understood what I mean.
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:02 am

Now that we've thoroughly fleshed out what an American is, let's have a discussion around what a "US Person" is. Should be entertaining once a little data has been unearthed.
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Mortyman
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:06 am

Canadians can also be referred to as to be Americans, in the sence that Canada is part of North America.

I also beleave that in a US passport it says that the bearer is not from America, but from United States of America and that the bearer is not an american citizen, but a US citizen or a citizen of United States of America

[Edited 2012-08-21 22:09:41]
 
BMI727
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:12 am

Quoting Arrow (Reply 9):
Now that we've thoroughly fleshed out what an American is, let's have a discussion around what a "US Person" is. Should be entertaining once a little data has been unearthed.

I have no idea other than that I am one and that seems to be all anyone cares about.
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Mortyman
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:13 am

Quoting Arrow (Reply 9):
Now that we've thoroughly fleshed out what an American is, let's have a discussion around what a "US Person" is. Should be entertaining once a little data has been unearthed.

US person is someone that is a citizen of United States of America and not for instance Colombia.
 
fr8mech
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:16 am

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 10):
Canadians can also be referred to as to be Americans, in the sence that Canada is part of North America.


They can be...but are they?

I'm thinking that's the point.

I have a cousin in Greece that used to refer to me as his US-American cousin. As in: "This is my cousin, Fr8Mech, he is US-American". To which I would say, "no, I'm Greek-American".

For whatever reason, when someone is referred to as an American, he is understood to be from (or living in) the United States.

And, to open a slightly different can of worms, I really don't consider myself Greek-American...I'm an American of Greek descent...even though I was born in Greece. Spent the vast majority of my life here.
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DocLightning
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:31 am

Quoting Arrow (Reply 9):
Now that we've thoroughly fleshed out what an American is, let's have a discussion around what a "US Person" is. Should be entertaining once a little data has been unearthed.

Someone from the U.S., typically either a legal resident alien or citizen.
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BMI727
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:51 am

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 13):
I really don't consider myself Greek-American...I'm an American of Greek descent...even though I was born in Greece. Spent the vast majority of my life here.

What's funny is when just any black person is referred to as "African American." LeBron James is African American. Usain Bolt is not African American.
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Quokkas
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:26 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
What's funny is when just any black person is referred to as "African American."

Yet there are those who insist that a certain person is a Kenyan Muslim.      
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JJJ
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:42 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
HOWEVER, in Spanish, "Americano" is more commonly shorthand for SOUTH Americans (more linguistic and cultural commonality). But Americans are called "Norteamericano" (North-American) or "Estadounidiense" (essentially: "United Statesian"). When I speak about myself in Spanish, I call myself "Estadounidiense."

That's pretty much it.

To us, America is the whole continent, which in turn is composed of North, Central and South America as their subcontinents. The IOC seems to agree with us, as America has a single ring as it seems the "America" and "American" to refer exclusively to the US is a post-WW2 phenomenon.

An Argentinian, Brazilian, Jamaican or Canadian are equally American to us, and considering they outnumber "Americans" in your continent I'd say they have a good point.
 
AA7295
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:31 am

Quoting JJJ (Reply 17):

An Argentinian, Brazilian, Jamaican or Canadian are equally American to us, and considering they outnumber "Americans" in your continent I'd say they have a good point.

Yeah but I'm sure most of Asia, India, Australia, New Zealand refer to US Citzens/residents as Americans, Spanish-speaking countries are outnumbered.

Plain and simple... American or Americans refer to citizens of the United States of America.
 
Aeri28
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:48 am

I think they were talking about being Chileans here.. (not that there's anything wrong with being from Chile!)

"Tu vuò fà l'Americano"
by Renato Carosone and Nicola Salerno

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDS-eeZfxn0


Seriously, I have heard that the word "Americano" (in south america etc) can also refer also to themselves (it was also in the Spanish language film "Motorcycle Diaries),, and that the Spanish may refer to us as Norteamericanos or however it was expressed, but I would bet if the average person was in a country and said either "I am American" , "Je suis Americain" "Yo soy Americano", "Ich bin Amerikaner" or 'America" "Amerique" Amerika", more than likely, unless being pedantic, you would know pretty much where the person was coming from. Irregardless of Dictionary meaning or historical text. I mean, would an Ecuadorian go to London and say "I'm an American from America. Take me to the American Embassy" where Assange is located.?

I think, much to somes chagrin, the US has taken this as their own, or it has, for a large part, become synonymous with the US, and yes, technically the other explanations ring true, but if I walked into a bar in Algiers , chances are I'd be asked if I was American.

This defination gives both choices lol.

amerikan c
1. inhabitant of the Americas
2.. A person born in, or a citizen or inhabitant of United States of America
 
JJJ
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:01 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 18):
Yeah but I'm sure most of Asia, India, Australia, New Zealand refer to US Citzens/residents as Americans, Spanish-speaking countries are outnumbered.

Not for Asians, they're mostly in the 5+1 continent camp (5 inhabited continents plus Antarctica), so do Greeks and other European countries.

For the Anglosphere, sure.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:03 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 18):
Plain and simple... American or Americans refer to citizens of the United States of America.

Again, clearly it doesn't, given this:

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
people from continental Europe and South America tend to refer to Americans as US-Americans

Not sure why you have an issue with a different usage of the term. The continent is called North America. Referring to its residents as Americans makes perfect sense, even if you or I don't use the term that way.
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JJJ
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:34 am

Quoting Aeri28 (Reply 19):
"Yo soy Americano"

If you said that (unless the accent was obviously Anglo) the reply would be, "Sure, we knew that already from your accent, but which country in America?"
 
dc9northwest
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:44 am

In Romania, "american" is used to refer to someone from the USA or as an adjective referring to something made in the US. For example, we refer to people from South America as a whole as "sud-american".
 
Rara
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:27 am

In German "amerikanisch" most often refers to the United States, but technically it could refer to anything of the American continent, so we like to add the qualifier "US-amerikanisch" just to make clear what we're talking about. If we're talking about people, it seems a bit redundant, but in other cases it makes sense. "American west coast" for instance could refer to the whole Western stretch of the continent, while "US-American west coast" makes it clearer, at least in German.

Interestingly, if I were to speak of a "Nordamerikaner", i.e. north American, it would be implicit that I want to include Canadians and Mexicans as well, not only US citizens.
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ozglobal
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:34 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
I've discovered that people from continental Europe and South America tend to refer to Americans as US-Americans?

What's up with that? History, popular culture and the media has defined the word "American" and "Americans" to be those individuals who come from the United States of America, and/or live in the United States of America.

Never does it refer to someone from South America. I mean, if a Columbian said to me, "I'm American", but they didn't possess a US passport or reside in America, I would really question their intelligence.

What is your take on the word?

You're post just shows how completely you inhabit the angloshpere. This is, I hope you recognize, a minority of the planet. Even if most English speakers use American to refer to the US, US-Americans are outnumbered by Spanish and Portugese speakers on the same super continent, who may see it differently. You are just telling us how committed you are to the conventions of English usage. OK, duly noted...  

Indians, Chinese and other Asians when speaking their first language are usually not speaking English anyway, so no pont invoking their numbers for you argument.

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 18):
Plain and simple... American or Americans refer to citizens of the United States of America.

Really, what a fuss. A little pluralist nuance may be good for the sole...

US-American is a perfectly understandable term by all and it is also perfectly understandable that Latin Americans may choose to use it when they speak English. There should be nothing offensive in it.
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Asturias
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:50 pm

Quoting JJJ (Reply 17):
To us, America is the whole continent, which in turn is composed of North, Central and South America as their subcontinents. The IOC seems to agree with us, as America has a single ring as it seems the "America" and "American" to refer exclusively to the US is a post-WW2 phenomenon.

Eh you're about as spanish as spotted dick. Clearly you need to change your flag.

To us spanish, «americanos» usually means people from the US, on the other hand if we speak of a person from being from america (es de América) it can be more ambiguous, but again usually just referring to a person from the USA.

On the other hand we would almost always refer to the USA as EE UU, not 'America'.
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AM744
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:55 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
HOWEVER, in Spanish, "Americano" is more commonly shorthand for SOUTH Americans (more linguistic and cultural commonality). But Americans are called "Norteamericano" (North-American) or "Estadounidiense" (essentially: "United Statesian"). When I speak about myself in Spanish, I call myself "Estadounidiense." It also helps clarify because when speaking Spanish, my accent places me as a Spaniard (I was raised speaking it), which can confuse Spanish-speakers.

This is the way to go.   

I'm fine with the use of 'American' in the Anglosphere. In Spanish it can get confusing and most importantly it sort of questions the 'Americanism' (as in Americas) of Latin Americans, leading to pointless arguments and hurt feelings.
 
Ken777
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:03 pm

Look at our alternatives.

United Statesers?   

Oddly enough a lot of people use a tag related to the state they live in, like Texan.

So we are down to being called Americans. Canadians might have a right to join in on that title, but seem to prefer to call themselves Canadians. Same in Mexico.

I guess it is simply an acknowledgement that United Statesers is too awkward.
 
bogota
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:25 pm

I also understand that for a large part of the world American means from the United States of America, but in Latin America and especially when speaking Spanish, American is from the Americas. Historically America existed long before the pilgrims launched for Boston so for Spanish, French and Portuguese America, America is the whole continent and Americans are all of its inhabitants.

For the purpose of not hurting feelings I fully accept to refer to Americans when speaking English in the Anglo world, I refer to US-Americans when speaking English outside the Anglo world and I refer to people from the USA as "estadounidense" but mostly "gringo" (which is NOT a derogatory term in Colombia) when speaking Spanish.

This is an eternal discussion that will never reach an agreement, so compromises must be made.
 
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Aesma
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:32 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 28):
I guess it is simply an acknowledgement that United Statesers is too awkward.

Yep, you need to come up with a real name for your country !

In French États-Uniens is occasionally used, often when you're about to say something bad about the US. It's common for communist/trotskyst politicians for example (and we have a number of those). Apparently it's also used in a similar manner in Québec. Incidentally when I visited Canada the Quebecois that housed me talked about West Canadians as "les anglais" meaning the English !

There is actually a fully fledged French Wikipedia article on the question : http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9...m%C3%A9rique_et_de_leurs_habitants

I couldn't find an equivalent on English Wikipedia. It deals with usages in French but also Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Esperanto, Italian. Another suggested English name for Americans is Usanian.
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Asturias
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:45 pm

I think it's fine to call people from the US 'American' in english, and in other languages can be different (as the case may be)

Different languages, different names.. Usanian or Unitedstatsian just doesn't work for me :P
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WrenchBender
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:51 pm

Up here we just call them "Yanks" or "Y'alls" depending on which side of the Mason-Dixie line they come from..... 

WrenchBender
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dc9northwest
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:19 pm

Statesman could work but it already has a different meaning. 
 
Longhornmaniac
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:22 pm

US Americans   

"Americans" refer to people from the USA. I don't care how it's defined in the dictionary, I have thoughts. You wouldn't ever hear a born and raised Mexican refer to themselves as a "Mexican American." It just doesn't work that way. As said, history has defined Americans as "Americans." I had this argument with a French guy in a Madrid hostel. It's a stupid argument.

If someone asks you where you're from and you say "America," never will the follow up be "which country?"

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bogota
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:48 am

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 34):
I don't care how it's defined in the dictionary,

If that works for you is fine, just don´t ask others who do not agree to call you as such. Around this side of the world you are either a US American, estadounidense or gringo like it or not.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 34):
As said, history has defined Americans as "Americans."

For some parts of the world, for other parts of the world history goes further back my fellow American.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 34):
I had this argument with a French guy in a Madrid hostel. It's a stupid argument.

If you are still having this type of arguments then it was not a stupid argument, it was simply a different perspective on the real world.
 
Ken777
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:48 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 30):
Yep, you need to come up with a real name for your country !

We're OK on the name of the country, it's us folks who live here that are the problem.

Quoting WrenchBender (Reply 32):

Up here we just call them "Yanks" or "Y'alls" depending on which side of the Mason-Dixie line they come from..... 

That probably works as well as anything we can come up with.

And far better than what some would use.  Wow!
 
Maverick623
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:03 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 28):
Look at our alternatives.

United Statesers?

Bingo. "American" has become the default adjective when describing a US national, as no other suitable word in English was used.

It's cool to discuss, but I hate it when people get offended because of it.
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sccutler
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:14 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
Except there is only one country in the world with the name "America" in its common name. No other country in the world has the name "America" in its common name. Every non-American from the Americas can call himself "Canadian" or "Ecuadorian" or whatever. As an American, I find it inconvenient to have to refer to myself as anything other than "American" when speaking English.

Common sense, thy name is Lightning.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
Furthermore, when speaking English, it's very obvious that I'm either American or Canadian. No Canadian would ever call himself "American." So when I say "American," I expect that it's understood what I mean.

My best friend calls himself an "American" (or, equally frequently, a "Texan," which we all know is the highest and best form of American   ), but he was born and raised in Canada. He is a naturalized (excuse me, "naturalised") citizen, now.

It is from knowing this fellow that I have come to understand that no one appreciates what we have more than someone who is here by choice.

---

Back on-topic: I believe that it is sound communication practice to refer to US Citizens as "Americans," but I am not comfortable with the presumption that "America" is automatically synonymous with "United States of America."
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Longhornmaniac
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:35 am

Quoting bogota (Reply 35):
US American, estadounidense or gringo

I've been to 5 South American countries and have never heard the term "US American" (nor anywhere else). Of course I've heard "estadounidense" because it's the demonym for USA in Spanish. Just like "American" is the demonym for USA in English.

Quoting bogota (Reply 35):
For some parts of the world, for other parts of the world history goes further back my fellow American.

All I'm saying is that if you, as a Colombian, referred to yourself as American, people in every country I've ever been to would be initially confused (that is, if they knew you were from Colombia). The name America is derived from Amerigo Vespucci, the explorer who discovered the "Americas," so of course it has different roots. But all the same, language evolves, and in all of the 6 continents and 45 countries I've been to, not a single person has ever expressed any confusion when I say I'm American. No one has ever asked me if I was from Canada, or anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere which has been come to be known as the Americas. It was understood that I was from the United States.

Quoting bogota (Reply 35):
If you are still having this type of arguments then it was not a stupid argument, it was simply a different perspective on the real world.

You had to be there. He was being intentionally obtuse.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 38):
which we all know is the highest and best form of American

  

Quoting sccutler (Reply 38):
Common sense, thy name is Lightning.

Yessir.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 38):
Back on-topic: I believe that it is sound communication practice to refer to US Citizens as "Americans," but I am not comfortable with the presumption that "America" is automatically synonymous with "United States of America."

Absolutely spot on.   

Cheers,
Cameron
Cheers,
Cameron
 
JJJ
Posts: 2245
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm

RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:01 am

Quoting Asturias (Reply 26):
Eh you're about as spanish as spotted dick. Clearly you need to change your flag.

That's where I was born, always lived and can trace as far back. Which one would you suggest I use?

Now working in a company (in ol'Castile) which is partly owned by a Mexican conglomerate and at any given time there's 6-8 of them working with the home team at the lab (mostly Mexicans, USaians and Chileans) guess what they're all called around here: "americanos" none of them are more american than the other
 
JJJ
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:16 am

Quoting JJJ (Reply 40):
"americanos" none of them are more american than the other

Btw: here's what the RAE has to say about the subject:

americano, na.

1. adj. Natural de América. U. t. c. s.

2. adj. Perteneciente o relativo a esta parte del mundo.

3. adj. indiano (‖ que vuelve rico de América).

4. adj. estadounidense. Apl. a pers., u. t. c. s.

5. f. Chaqueta de tela, con solapas y botones, que llega por debajo de la cadera.
 
David L
Posts: 8547
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:31 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 28):
Look at our alternatives.

United Statesers?  

   That's the root of it. We would have the same problem if we didn't also call our country (inaccurately) Great Britain or Britain -> British.

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
I've discovered that people from continental Europe and South America tend to refer to Americans as US-Americans?

I can't speak for the rest of continental Europe or for South America but in the UK "American" tends to pertain to the USA.

However, it seems we're not alone...

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 23):
In Romania, "american" is used to refer to someone from the USA or as an adjective referring to something made in the US.
Quoting Rara (Reply 24):
In German "amerikanisch" most often refers to the United States
Quoting Asturias (Reply 26):
To us spanish, «americanos» usually means people from the US

That said...

Quoting ozglobal (Reply 25):
US-American is a perfectly understandable term by all and it is also perfectly understandable that Latin Americans may choose to use it when they speak English. There should be nothing offensive in it.

  
 
smittyone
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:29 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
What's funny is when just any black person is referred to as "African American." LeBron James is African American. Usain Bolt is not African American.

Charlize Theron is an African American...LOL. I really dislike that term, for being so damned imprecise. The only one of those "PC" labels that makes any sense to me is "Native American".

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 28):
I guess it is simply an acknowledgement that United Statesers is too awkward.

Exactly. The simple truth is that using "American" as shorthand for a "person from the United States" is the best linguistic option for everyday use (in English anyway), even if there is a larger geographical region also called "the Americas".

Though I suppose some would try to poke us in the eye that this is some sort of evidence of US arrogance...granted we are arrogant but this ain't it.  
 
bogota
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:55 pm

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 39):
All I'm saying is that if you, as a Colombian, referred to yourself as American, people in every country I've ever been to would be initially confused (that is, if they knew you were from Colombia). The name America is derived from Amerigo Vespucci, the explorer who discovered the "Americas," so of course it has different roots. But all the same, language evolves, and in all of the 6 continents and 45 countries I've been to, not a single person has ever expressed any confusion when I say I'm American. No one has ever asked me if I was from Canada, or anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere which has been come to be known as the Americas. It was understood that I was from the United States.

I don´t refer to myself as American because my nation is Colombian, but that does not mean either that I am not American. Just like people from France are French but also European. If in the future some nations become the United Nations of Europe then they might decide to call themselves Europeans, does that mean those belonging to those nations not part of the United Nations of Europe are not considered Europeans? Obviously not.

So as I said earlier for me and most other of the 500 million non Anglo Americans, people from the USA are in general US-Americans, Estadounidenses or Gringos. In other parts of the world then Americans are from the USA. especially in the Anglo World. No hard feelings my fellow American.
 
Asturias
Posts: 1953
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:59 pm

Quoting JJJ (Reply 40):
That's where I was born, always lived and can trace as far back. Which one would you suggest I use?

Sure, of course you are..

Quoting JJJ (Reply 41):
Btw: here's what the RAE has to say about the subject:

Thanks, we can actually look up the dictionary, but in Castilla y León, where I am from, americanos is usually for people from the USA.

Quoting JJJ (Reply 40):
Now working in a company (in ol'Castile)

as spanish as spotted dick jjj
Tonight we fly
 
smittyone
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:18 pm

Quoting bogota (Reply 44):
I don´t refer to myself as American because my nation is Colombian, but that does not mean either that I am not American. Just like people from France are French but also European. If in the future some nations become the United Nations of Europe then they might decide to call themselves Europeans, does that mean those belonging to those nations not part of the United Nations of Europe are not considered Europeans? Obviously not.

So as I said earlier for me and most other of the 500 million non Anglo Americans, people from the USA are in general US-Americans, Estadounidenses or Gringos. In other parts of the world then Americans are from the USA. especially in the Anglo World. No hard feelings my fellow American.

Well said! Pretty simple really.

Quoting Asturias (Reply 45):
as spanish as spotted dick

LOL this is just wrong.
 
JJJ
Posts: 2245
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm

RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:32 pm

Quoting Asturias (Reply 45):
as spanish as spotted dick jjj

Thankfully you're not the one handing passports.
 
Ken777
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:06 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 43):
I really dislike that term,

I do too - too many syllables.

I have a friend Down Under who could be called African Australian. What color do you think he is?

In terms of calling us Americans, it would be too hard to change. Worse than going metric, which is a massively expensive effort that some idiots would probably push us into some day.
 
PPVRA
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RE: What's Up With Your Defintion Of "American"?

Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:39 pm

I have no problem calling US citizens Americans while also knowing I am an American - South American. Calling US citizens "North Americans" is weird, unnecessary and still commits the supposed "error" in question because Canadians and Mexicans are also North Americans.

"US-Americans" is just dumb.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat

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