Using the Word "American"

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 NEXT
 

Griffolion:

StarCecil:

Griffolion:

I personally have never gotten upset, and neither have I ever met anyone who has. I'm a little confused as to the context of what you're saying.

StarCecil:

I was watching movie trailers on Youtube (what else is it for?) and while watching two documentary trailers for movies having to do with the Iraq/Afghan wars I see the usual political debate in the comments coupled with someone bitching about how the USA takes the word "American" when there are two continents and multiple countries in the Americas.

I've also seen, on this site and elsewhere, people insist on using the phrase "USican" or "USian" and even "USAers".

Oh I see. So it's to do with the South American peoples not liking the people of the US taking the blanket term "American". Can't say I've ever given it much thought, but who was it that "discovered" the south America's and named them such?

Well, I know that the Americas are named after Amerigo Vespucci but I can't tell you much else. I can also tell you the first use of the word "American" was in 1648's "The English-American: A New Survey of the West Indies" by Thomas Gage. Does that help?

I've never seen someone get upset over that.

Lono Shrugged:
Stop calling us all Europeans and we'll stop calling you all American

Well, where do you live?

CannibalCorpses:
I wish more people would use 'american' when referring to the language rather than 'english' but other than that i have no problem with it. If i lived in south America and someone called me American i would certainly get hostile though...

Why would the language be referred to as american. Portuguese isn't called Brazilian, Spanish isn't called Mexican or Argentine or whatever.

StarCecil:

Griffolion:

StarCecil:

Oh I see. So it's to do with the South American peoples not liking the people of the US taking the blanket term "American". Can't say I've ever given it much thought, but who was it that "discovered" the south America's and named them such?

Well, I know that the Americas are named after Amerigo Vespucci but I can't tell you much else. I can also tell you the first use of the word "American" was in 1648's "The English-American: A New Survey of the West Indies" by Thomas Gage. Does that help?

Yeah, thanks. I don't know what to say, really. All I can say is, "it's just one of those things".

I love those people who flip out over it's usage not including the historical category of "The Americas". Contrary to their beliefs, it DOES mean "The United States". We're the powerhouse. Therefore it becomes synonymous.

The rest should merely be called "The Americas" if we want to go with the historical, broadening category.

Ectoplasmicz:
Iv'e never seen or heard anyone get upset over someone using the term american :/

I get insulted by it, but only because whenever i hear it over here (UK), people use it as an insult to call americans stupid, fat or whine about some bullshit that the americans did in WW2 that never happened (i'm not talking hiroshima, i'm talking about really stupid stuff that people wish were true)

However if someone just says something along the lines of 'that accent, you're american i assume?' then i have no problem with it, it's just a bother when you see people whine about racism and sexism while they have the idea engraved into their brain that the entire population of the USA is either an anorexic super model or a morbidly obese KFC fanatic while also thinking that all of them have an IQ of -11 (the people i talk to on a daily basis do actually think this.. most of my friends have never traveled further than france, some have never left the country at all)

The way I see it, American and North American and South American are all completely different terms. Yeah, it can be confusing and the USA is notoriously self-centered, but our country's name is extremely clumsy language-wise, so we really have no choice but to shorten it to America when no other word is appropriate. What else can we call ourselves? It's not our fault our founders were terrible at coming up with original names. Our states' names are mostly taken from other places, too. We're a Frankenstein's monster of a country.

So, yeah, we jacked the name like total jerks. We're like that annoying younger sibling that hogs all of the candy that you were supposed to share. But, you gotta ask yourself, do you honestly want that candy back now that it's got all of our gross slobber all over it?

StarCecil:
Why do so many people on the internet get upset at that word? "American" has referred to the people living in the US since its formation. In fact, the word referred to those people for over a century before the country was founded. Why do people get so worked up over it?

Because it is the Internet and People get pissy over everything on the internet.

The word American refers to natives of the United States of America first and foremost. In other cultures it is commonly used as an identity marker or a duragtory slur. But the same can be said of almost every single countries name as it is used to describe a rather broadly held sterotype.

People have been trying to Detach the US from its American connotation because 'the Americas' is effectively all major land mass in the western hemisphere, and those that live there are technically 'American', synonomous to European, Asian, or African being used as broad terms to describe the general location on the world an individual hails from.

However, even in this, the correct usage of the term would be 'North American' or 'South American' which would automatically clear up any conflict between talking about the USA American and the 'Americas' American...

In short.
People are trying to find new ways to insult/identify people...

Yankies, Doughboys, Brits, Limeys, Krauts, Gerrie, Charlie, Reds.
we have done it for centuries... what would stop us now?

Kaleion:
Hey!, I decided to ask some friends here are the answers they gave me:
"It's because we are more American than they are and they insist on calling themselves like that because they are fucking retarded"
And
"By calling themselves America they are implying that we are less of America than they are, like saying we are a lesser nation"
My friends are Mexican too BTW, make of that what you will.

Being native to southern California and been to far flung areas such as Pennsylvania, Washington, Montana, Kentucky and having a a friend from Texas

I can say nobody(I've met) uses the word "America" with that subcontext unless they're from the DEEP South. In which case, even us [people] here in the states think they're pricks

Which is why I'm confused over all this raging

Lono Shrugged:
Stop calling us all Europeans and we'll stop calling you all American

I never understood that, could you explain why? What would you expect me to call you, expecting me to be able to guess your country is like me expecting you to guess what state I'm from (Europe may be more diverse but I'm terrible at telling races apart so I was trying to give a comparison from my point of view). I guess to me getting mad someone called you European is like getting mad someone called you western.

Or is it some sort of national pride thing?

Because people each have their own definitions of words and ideas of how they should be interpreted and no two persons' are the same. Humans tend to address difference in opinion through yelling and hostility rather then tolerance and understanding.

Well, this devolved into a "Fuck you, Mexico/America is better than America/Mexico!" argument pretty darn quick. More on topic, never knew people got pissed about that. I assume it's the same as people thinking Britain and England are the same thing?

Lono Shrugged:
Stop calling us all Europeans and we'll stop calling you all American

Also, I find myself in total agreement with this comment.

Yes, Spain and Germany are totally fucking identical. Obviously. BY THE WAY THAT WAS SARCASM.

There is no other alternative to American for people from the United States. Hence, American.

South American is for South America, North American is for North America. American ends up being used not for both but for the country that has America in the name. Makes sense as far as logical progression of language goes, and by no means implies superiority or elitism on the part of Americans.

Well, 'cause there are two whole continents full of "Americans". Unfortunately, we don't have a catchy name for the U.S.A., like Mexico, Canada, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, etc. etc. etc. You can say, "U.S. Citizen", but that doesn't flow quite as nicely as "American". Mexicans, Canadians, Ecuadorians, Brazilians, Peruvians, etc. etc. etc. all have nice little names for their nationality. The US doesn't, so we shorten the only relevant part of our name.

Woodsey:
I've never seen someone get upset over that.

Lono Shrugged:
Stop calling us all Europeans and we'll stop calling you all American

Well, where do you live?

TehCookie:

Lono Shrugged:
Stop calling us all Europeans and we'll stop calling you all American

I never understood that, could you explain why? What would you expect me to call you, expecting me to be able to guess your country is like me expecting you to guess what state I'm from (Europe may be more diverse but I'm terrible at telling races apart so I was trying to give a comparison from my point of view). I guess to me getting mad someone called you European is like getting mad someone called you western.

Or is it some sort of national pride thing?

I explained in an earlier post about how silly I found the whole thing. But my point is that it's pretty easy to equate the "raar! I'm from Canada stop calling me American thing" with that. I can't tell the difference between a Canadian or a USican on first glance. It's more the idea that Europe is not diverse that bothers me. Uneducated people use the word "American" in that broad sweeping way as they would "European" on the other side of the pond. My point is, it's not because in the world's eyes "U.S." is no longer an Acronym it's because people are stupid and don't bother learning about cultures outside their own. Makes no difference where you are from. And for the love of Mike if you don't know where someone is from ask them! it's not a personal question.

I'm Irish if it makes any difference. Maybe that gives me a unique perspective on how stupid it is getting wound up over nationality. Maybe not, who cares it's the internet.

Sparrow:
Well, this devolved into a "Fuck you, Mexico/America is better than America/Mexico!" argument pretty darn quick. More on topic, never knew people got pissed about that. I assume it's the same as people thinking Britain and England are the same thing?

Lono Shrugged:
Stop calling us all Europeans and we'll stop calling you all American

Also, I find myself in total agreement with this comment.

Yes, Spain and Germany are totally fucking identical. Obviously. BY THE WAY THAT WAS SARCASM.

Here's the funny thing.

They are. Imagine that. Some folks hail from a big chunk of land with a variety of folks who all look just slightly different enough from one another that I can't ever distinguish their nationality. Better nail me down and call me a racist.

Oh wait. That's right. This isn't about race. It's about, of all stupid things, Nationality.

Because that makes one iota of a difference.

Do you want to know what's wrong here? Humans.

I don't give a damn WHAT you people call one another. Humans are the problem. Rage about names, kill each other off with nuclear weapons, do whatever the hell you want as far as I'm concerned.

But for the love of all that is good and sensible, please... have some dignity.

Watching two feeble idiots calling each other names from across an imaginary line is about as entertaining as watching two greased-up deaf people wrestle for the last hearing aid on Earth. Sure, it sounds slightly funny at first... but then it just gets depressingly tragic.

Much like this species. May our reign be short, and swiftly forgotten.

Kaleion:
Because when you say Americans it sounds like you are referring to the people of the entire continent and the people in at least México don't like to get associated with the gringos as we call them, we'll refute North American too since that includes Canada and México[1], it's for a lot of historical reasons, here in México the USA is very resented[2] for the fact that about half of that country used to be México and there is still a lot of hatred because in the USA Pancho Villa is recorded in history as a terrorist even though he is a hero here, doesn't help that the name of that country doesn't allow for a unique way of calling the people living in it since it's called United States of America, though the formal way that we call the inhabitants of that country is "Estadounidenses" which translates to Unitedstateians which sounds just weird, anyway it's mostly to do with the fact that people don't like to get associated with that country, I think, for what I've seen anyway.

Argentine, here. And here it pisses us off because they took over our CONTINENT'S name for them, and we see it as a way of saying "Yes, there's the rest of the continent, but we're the important thing, that why you can refer to the continent as just our country"
The entire continent is Americo Vespucio's eponym, not just the USA.
Knock it off and get another word already. Michael Moore expressed my very same concern about it and suggested the word should be "Usamericans"
And start calling your country by IT'S name, not that of a friggin continent. The petulance of it is obnoxious. Problem is, me saying this will only make them go "Oh, noes! They wants tak or freedm and patrtsm, those annoing latin fags, minutemen kill them nao plzkthnxlol let's call ourselves that ever more often to piss dose fukks off"

Also,

Do you want to know what's wrong here? Humans.

I don't give a damn WHAT you people call one another. Humans are the problem. Rage about names, kill each other off with nuclear weapons, do whatever the hell you want as far as I'm concerned.

But for the love of all that is good and sensible, please... have some dignity.

Watching two feeble idiots calling each other names from across an imaginary line is about as entertaining as watching two greased-up deaf people wrestle for the last hearing aid on Earth. Sure, it sounds slightly funny at first... but then it just gets depressingly tragic.

Much like this species. May our reign be short, and swiftly forgotten.

This.

[1] Don't believe me? Look it up México is part of the North American region of the continent.
[2] By the people not the politicians and merchants they love the USA.

They do teach about this in schools in the US. Atleast in the North. Frankly as an "American" I see no reason when used that loosely why it shouldnt apply to mexicon and canidain citizens (Sorry if I spelled those wrong :P). I also dont understand why the US doesnt help with the drug war in mexico. But no one around were I live thinks mexicos claims that a large part of the US was onces theirs is a conspiracy. Not sure what US people you have met that think that but they are nuts. But several wars basicaly broke up how it is now to my understanding. Haven't had history in a few years so might be one war or for all I know 30 can't remember.

Dunno. I'm Canadian. We consider the United States the "Americans" because a) they are called the "United States of America" (key point, "America") and b) America can easily be considered the poster boy/girl for North America due to their culture and influence on the world abroad. Canada and Mexico find it hard to compete with that, and while I can't speak for Mexico, I find the people of the United States more than a little backward. But, they probably see Canada the same way, so we're even.

People probably get upset because they dislike the idea that the U.S.A. has taken on the main role of representing North America, and in the wake of the financial crisis, war on terrorism, etc., I know a lot of Canadians (and a few Europeans) who find that the U.S. has made some, well, questionable decisions. As for people in the U.S., they probably don't like the name because they have heard how the rest of the world considers their stereotype (look it up, I`m not stating it) and do not wish to be lumped into the same group.

That`s just my guess, anyway.

TehCookie:

Lono Shrugged:
Stop calling us all Europeans and we'll stop calling you all American

I never understood that, could you explain why? What would you expect me to call you, expecting me to be able to guess your country is like me expecting you to guess what state I'm from (Europe may be more diverse but I'm terrible at telling races apart so I was trying to give a comparison from my point of view). I guess to me getting mad someone called you European is like getting mad someone called you western.

Or is it some sort of national pride thing?

I can't speak for him, but for me Europe is far more diverse than the USA. I'm not saying the people in the US are all the same, but you have far more in common with one another than the European countries. Try being surrounded from all sides by people that don't share your currency, language, beliefs or even religion. And beyond those people, there are more that share neither of those characteristics with you or your neighbours. Well, the EU at least smoothed out the currency thing. Somewhat. The countries have different strengths, different issues, different lifestyles. Not entirely different to how the USA is but you can see a big difference between Greece and France, for example. A lot, if not most, of the Europeans cannot understand fully or at all countries from the same continent as themselves. Sometimes their very neighbours. Something that, I hope, is not the case in the US - people from another state would not appear totally alien to you.

For me it's not really a matter of national pride. I don't have much of it anyway. "European" would imply that there is no real difference between me, the Norwegians and the Italians. And there is. I don't speak Norwegian or Italian, for one.

You want to know what to call them, ask people where they are from. I have no problem with that. I will not feel offended at all.

fedefrasis:

Argentine, here. And here it pisses us off because they took over our CONTINENT'S name for them, and we see it as a way of saying "Yes, there's the rest of the continent, but we're the important thing, that why you can refer to the continent as just our country"
The entire continent is Americo Vespucio's eponym, not just the USA.
Knock it off and get another word already. Michael Moore expressed my very same concern about it and suggested the word should be "Usamericans"
And start calling your country by IT'S name, not that of a friggin continent. The petulance of it is obnoxious. Problem is, me saying this will only make them go "Oh, noes! They wants tak or freedm and patrtsm, those annoing latin fags, minutemen kill them nao plzkthnxlol let's call ourselves that ever more often to piss dose fukks off"

Nobody....talks...like that here...And Usamericans makes no sense and it still includes "Americans" so it's hardly anything solved

And aha! I found the REAL problem(link) here guys

...Unfortunately I forgot how to embed videos

StarCecil:
Why do so many people on the internet get upset at that word? "American" has referred to the people living in the US since its formation. In fact, the word referred to those people for over a century before the country was founded. Why do people get so worked up over it?

In my opinion, every argument on the internet over the use of the word is overrated, and possibly also the ones OFF the internet. You KNOW what people mean. Enough nit-picking.

Mortai Gravesend:

Ieyke:

Kaleion:
here in México the USA is very resented

Coming from a Texan, pfffffffttt.
I'm not sure if I should laugh or facepalm.

Why don't you build a wall to keep all the Americans out?

*massive eyeroll*

Oh a Texan.

You do know that illegal immigrants don't come to America because they love it so much more than home? I mean, maybe you think money == love, but you can resent what you have to do to get money to survive.

Pfffft
I know soooo many Mexicans who don't want anything more to do with Mexico than eating Mexican food.

Americans are the best, no wonder you want to be called that /troll.

It may be different in your native tongue, but there is North America and South America which are different continents. If you are referring to everyone who lives on one you use North American or South American.

Now if you want to say you are American without using north or south you are shortening the full name which is exactly what people of the United States of America do! In case you didn't realize America is part of the country's name and we are lazy and don't feel like saying the entire thing. I think being lazy Americans we should shorten our name further to merikkan and change the flag to a beer can and a gun and the subtitle "FUCK YEAH!". That should clear up all confusion and show our national pride. I never understood why people are so hung up on names, as long as there isn't a previous negative connotation you can call me whatever you want.

Please don't tell me some one is going to take the latter half seriously instead of a parody.

Ieyke:

Mortai Gravesend:

Ieyke:

Coming from a Texan, pfffffffttt.
I'm not sure if I should laugh or facepalm.

Why don't you build a wall to keep all the Americans out?

*massive eyeroll*

Oh a Texan.

You do know that illegal immigrants don't come to America because they love it so much more than home? I mean, maybe you think money == love, but you can resent what you have to do to get money to survive.

Pfffft
I know soooo many Mexicans who don't want anything more to do with Mexico than eating Mexican food.

Is that how you do things in Texas? You know so many Mexicans over there that you're going to ignore the experience of someone who actually LIVES in Mexico? Worse still you think not wanting to go back to Mexico somehow removes the possibility of resenting America? Is logic not a Texan thing?

Lono Shrugged:
Stop calling us all Europeans and we'll stop calling you all American

Hail to that lol
I also like seeing on US media how people claim that Europe is a country.

Ontopic,I was joking about that with an Argentinian friend on chat,technically he's American,because he's in South America.
I haven't seen nor understand well people that are offended by this.I guess this is just the aftermath of the influence of the US nation in internet and nerd culture.

It's kind-of annoying, and can be confusing, but I wouldn't say upsetting.

If "American" exclusively means a person from the United States, then shouldn't "South American" mean a person from anywhere between California and Florida?

The problem is, of course, that the U.S. chose to use the same name as the continent that it occupies without the good sense to occupy the entire continent first, like Australia.

There isn't really a name for a person from the U.S. that would distinguish them well, so we have to default to the continent level.

We can't call residents of USA anything but Americans. Saying Residents of the united states works, bu it's far too long, besides, everyone know what nationality we mean when we say American. There's Canadians to the north (then Americans in Alaska way north) then there's Mexicans to the south.

Now if you happen to be a resident of The United States who get upset by someone using the term American, I have seen the term European thrown around a lot here. That means you toss a lot of countries that don't even have the constitution in common unlike USA which got one valid constitution. Yeah, that's right, you get upset by us generalizing using a broad term, yet you do the same except you go even broader! Stop being hypocrites.

PhantomEcho:
Here's the funny thing. They are. Imagine that. Some folks hail from a big chunk of land with a variety of folks who all look just slightly different enough from one another that I can't ever distinguish their nationality. Better nail me down and call me a racist.

No, they are not. Having visited Spain recently and Germany when I was 9 or 10, I can most definitely say they are not the same. Sure, humans are all the same and all that bullshit, but you've decided to ignore one crucial thing.

Oh wait. That's right. This isn't about race. It's about, of all stupid things, Nationality.

Nope. Close, but no cigar. The word I'm looking for is culture. Architecture, history, art, food... when it comes down to it, culture goes some way to defining a person. As a result, culture is going to influence a person's life and how they live it. Not only does culture distinguish one country from another, but it can also alter it's residents lives in small or huge ways.

Do you want to know what's wrong here? Humans. I don't give a damn WHAT you people call one another.

You seem to be implying you're not human. If you truly are not, I commend you on your ability to grasp English and use a keyboard.

But for the love of all that is good and sensible, please... have some dignity.

Again, you seem to be trying to say you're not a human. You're not above your regular fellow man, don't preach as if you're the only one able to grasp the concept of dignity.

Watching two feeble idiots calling each other names from across an imaginary line is about as entertaining as watching two greased-up deaf people wrestle for the last hearing aid on Earth. Sure, it sounds slightly funny at first... but then it just gets depressingly tragic.

Because you're totally above arguing of any kind, I take it? Please, almighty messiah, teach us of your ways.

I admit, I'm not a fan of watching people argue over trivial things but at least they're driven in some way. Driven to defend their nationality, driven to make their point... whatever. It's better than the aimless apathy you seem so willing to spread.

Much like this species. May our reign be short, and swiftly forgotten.

I bet you'd be a hoot in philosophy classes. Look, I don't know how old you are but I'll give you this piece of advice anyway: apathy is neither attractive nor useful in any way. You don't want all of humanity to die, I know that and you know that.

TL;DR - Don't be so bloody ridiculous.

There is a difference between "Oh yea those, Americans" and something like "Oh yea that guy is an American," you can make anything derogatory if you say it a certain way

DoPo:
I can't speak for him, but for me Europe is far more diverse than the USA. I'm not saying the people in the US are all the same, but you have far more in common with one another than the European countries. Try being surrounded from all sides by people that don't share your currency, language, beliefs or even religion. And beyond those people, there are more that share neither of those characteristics with you or your neighbours. Well, the EU at least smoothed out the currency thing. Somewhat. The countries have different strengths, different issues, different lifestyles. Not entirely different to how the USA is but you can see a big difference between Greece and France, for example. A lot, if not most, of the Europeans cannot understand fully or at all countries from the same continent as themselves. Sometimes their very neighbours. Something that, I hope, is not the case in the US - people from another state would not appear totally alien to you.

For me it's not really a matter of national pride. I don't have much of it anyway. "European" would imply that there is no real difference between me, the Norwegians and the Italians. And there is. I don't speak Norwegian or Italian, for one.

You want to know what to call them, ask people where they are from. I have no problem with that. I will not feel offended at all.

So the reason you hate it is because you are interpreting it a different way. Instead of seeing it as a person who lives in Europe who's country I cannot identify you see it as they're all the same.

However what should I use when I'm saying something like "I was jealous when the Europeans got Xenoblade Chronicles, but I'm happy it's finally coming to America."?

TehCookie:

DoPo:
I can't speak for him, but for me Europe is far more diverse than the USA. I'm not saying the people in the US are all the same, but you have far more in common with one another than the European countries. Try being surrounded from all sides by people that don't share your currency, language, beliefs or even religion. And beyond those people, there are more that share neither of those characteristics with you or your neighbours. Well, the EU at least smoothed out the currency thing. Somewhat. The countries have different strengths, different issues, different lifestyles. Not entirely different to how the USA is but you can see a big difference between Greece and France, for example. A lot, if not most, of the Europeans cannot understand fully or at all countries from the same continent as themselves. Sometimes their very neighbours. Something that, I hope, is not the case in the US - people from another state would not appear totally alien to you.

For me it's not really a matter of national pride. I don't have much of it anyway. "European" would imply that there is no real difference between me, the Norwegians and the Italians. And there is. I don't speak Norwegian or Italian, for one.

You want to know what to call them, ask people where they are from. I have no problem with that. I will not feel offended at all.

So the reason you hate it is because you are interpreting it a different way. Instead of seeing it as a person who lives in Europe who's country I cannot identify you see it as they're all the same.

However what should I use when I'm saying something like "I was jealous when the Europeans got Xenoblade Chronicles, but I'm happy it's finally coming to America."?

Try using 'Europe.'

'Cause it's where we live, but not who we are.

If the former colonies of New Spain are angry that the former British colonies rebelled from their mother country first and took the term "Americans", maybe the former colonies of New Spain should have rebelled first or put the term "America" in their country name. No other country has the word "America" in its title, therefore citizens of the United States of America get to call themselves "Americans".

Nuke_em_05:
It's kind-of annoying, and can be confusing, but I wouldn't say upsetting.

If "American" exclusively means a person from the United States, then shouldn't "South American" mean a person from anywhere between California and Florida?

The problem is, of course, that the U.S. chose to use the same name as the continent that it occupies without the good sense to occupy the entire continent first, like Australia.

There isn't really a name for a person from the U.S. that would distinguish them well, so we have to default to the continent level.

No, worse than that. Our Founding Fathers chose the most general name possible. The United States [on the continent/of] America(Also because everywhere else was de jure part of 4 other nations: Spain, Portugal, Britain, France). United States of America didn't describe a nation, it describes a GROUP of nations.

Though the Constitutional convention of 1787 later put the boot to that...

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked