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> United States of America, A name for us
mmbcross
post Jun 2 2009, 01:29 PM
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It has always frustrated me finding an appropriate name for citizens of the United States of America. We have the United States of Brazil (Brazilian) and the United States of Mexico (Mexicans) and we have the United States of America (Americans). Wikipedia calls us Americans, but that doesn't seem quite right, as Brazilians and Mexicans are also Americans.

You can hone it down to North Americans, but you still have a little problem with the Mexicans and Canadians, who are also North Americans. Not to count the French who live on St. Pierre and Miquelon.

So what are we to do? It's too much of a mouthful to call ourselves United Statesians, and even then we have the problem as Brazilians and Mexicans are also United Statesians.

So what's the solution? United States of Americans? USAians? Unitarians?

Help!


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starlagurl
post Jun 2 2009, 01:39 PM
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Oh my gosh, Martin. What do we do? Relax and stop worrying about what you call yourself!

I'm happy to report though, that I AM a Canadian.


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semi-backpacker
post Jun 2 2009, 02:17 PM
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I think American still fits. Most people when they hear the term "American" assume it's somebody from the USA :-)


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jeremystravels
post Jun 2 2009, 02:23 PM
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Considering we have the word America in our countries name rather than just being associated to the continent/region we belong to, I believe American is the only logical choice. I do not like it when I get glared at or scorned for pointing out that fact either. Nor will I try and come up with something to call myself other than American.

I don't think many people from other countries refer to themselves as American [continent based] anywhere near as much as they do from their country of origin [Mexican, Brazilian, etc]. At least, I can't say I've ever talked to anyone who has introduced themselves as such.


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stereobread
post Jun 2 2009, 06:35 PM
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Actually the official name of Brazil is the Federative Republic of Brazil and while the US and Mexico's official names in Spanish may sound similar (Estados Unidos de America and Estados Unidos Mexicanos) they translate into English a bit differently (United States of America and United Mexican States) so in English the USA is actually the only country who's name follows the pattern of "United States of _________."

That being said it seems like in the case of most countries when a geographical term is used in the official long form name (for example the Republic of Ireland, the Kingdom of Spain, the Federative Republic of Brazil, etc.) then the nationality of that countries people is derived from that geographic term, whether or not there is any ambiguity to the phrase. To make an analogy, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and Botswana are all in the south of Africa yet we have no problem referring to citizens of the Republic of South Africa as South Africans, even if the term could feasibly refer to people from other southern African countries. By virtue of that analogy I'd say that it's fair to refer to citizens of the United States of America as Americans, even if the term could feasibly refer to people from other countries in the Americas.

That being said I think it's good to avoid conflict over silly things like names when possible so when speaking Spanish I have no problem referring to myself as "estadounidense" or, better yet, telling people I'm from Gringolandia.
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aopaq
post Jun 2 2009, 07:10 PM
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QUOTE(mmbcross @ Jun 2 2009, 02:29 PM) *

So what's the solution? United States of Americans? USAians? Unitarians?


QUOTE(stereobread @ Jun 2 2009, 07:35 PM) *

That being said I think it's good to avoid conflict over silly things like names when possible so when speaking Spanish I have no problem referring to myself as "estadounidense" or, better yet, telling people I'm from Gringolandia.


Not being from the United States, it is a little difficult for me to relate directly to this issue. However, if there is one thing I have learned from my travels it is that in the "bigger picture," names and countries are really insignificant. Are we not all just members of the Human Race? So I am quite happy to forego my "Canadian" designation in exchange for "Human." smile.gif

Now if I could only get a passport saying this and that would not require me to get any visas..... unsure.gif
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sianeth
post Jun 3 2009, 11:26 AM
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Yanks? tongue.gif
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semi-backpacker
post Jun 3 2009, 02:39 PM
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QUOTE
just members of the Human Race? So I am quite happy to forego my "Canadian" designation in exchange for "Human." smile.gif

Now if I could only get a passport saying this and that would not require me to get any visas..... unsure.gif


Well said, Brian...members of the human race sounds like a good designation. And if you get any details on that universal passport that eliminates the need for visas - let me know! :-)


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mmbcross
post Jun 3 2009, 02:57 PM
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Goodness...what interesting replies. I guess the consensus is that we are American, not that Mexicans or Brazilians are any less American than we are.


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mmbcross
post Jun 3 2009, 03:08 PM
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Yanks...yes that wont confuse anyone.

How about people living in the United Kingdom? It seems few will say they are British. I think most say English, Welsh, Scottish or Irish. Most foreigners are totally confused about Great Britain. Here's a great web site that explains the conundrum:
http://qntm.org/?uk


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