Speaking of Americans

Now that we are on the subject of July 4th (OK we aren’t/weren’t but isn’t this a nice segue) there is an article I read this morning regarding the term ‘American’ which was enlightening, especially in the definition of the term. I always thought that a citizen of the United States referring to him or herself as ‘American’ was really pretentious, since I believed that ‘Americas = continents’ theory, but I am almost ready to let it go.

From the article I read this morning:

How to tell whether or not you believe the term “American” really applies to you.

If you were to go to India and speak to someone who said she had family in America, would you truly respond “Oh really?  Where exactly.. in Chile?..  Guatemala?? … Peru perhaps?”

If a forklift driver in Moscow with nothing more than a high school education reads that “only in America can a dockworker with nothing more than a high school education earn 50 grand a year and if he works hard enough start and run his own business…” , do you seriously believe he’s just as likely to pack his bags for Venezuela or Mexico as he is for the U.S.?

Read the rest here.

9 thoughts on “Speaking of Americans

  1. Oh Yea! Wonderful blog and post! I so totally agree. All that whiny complaining about what we are called in English just irritates me and wants me to swat the person like a fly. I will add their great examples to my own usual responses. I have quite a few already. Mainly though, I get this idiotic complaint from other English speakers. How hard is it to realize that in English a citizen of the USA is called an American, there is no other word for them. In Spanish, feel free to use estadounidense assuming you are able to pronounce it and feel that strongly about it. Me, I don’t much care what the complaint is and while I CAN pronounce estadounidense I don’t need to throw it into an English sentence. Argh! Save us from the PC police.

    I have to say that my favorite quote from that blog follows, isn’t it funny that the same people that object to the use of the word American for citizens of the USA also object to calling the game played there ‘football’. Heh!

    Americans settle back in their easy chairs each fall to watch Monday Night Football. Note that no one there refers to it as Monday Night American Football. Who then uses the term “American football”? It sure as hell isn’t the gringos. Just for the misguided pleasure of watching it dribble out of your mouth, explain to me why you call it “American” football.

  2. OK, you’ve convinced me, I’m won over, I concede, I agree, I give…
    It’s America for crying out loud.
    Thanks, great post, and sound logic!

    Now I just need to work harder at saying , estadodouniaze/estatodonieze/estaddodounaise ok I give American!

  3. I loved it! I wish I had said it, but the drama that would ensue from me doing such a uncharacteristic post would cause me so much trauma, I’d have to go to bed with a sick headache for a week!
    Thanks…hee hee American Football…..

  4. The writer has a point, are we supposed to use the whole name every time? United States of America Citizen? None of the other countries in the Americas (that I know of) use the word America in their name, so we just defaulted!

    United States doesn’t work since it is the United States of Mexico too.

    (Though I’m sure that many “Americans” don’t know there actually ARE other countries in the Americas.)

    As a wise person once said, “get a REAL problem.”

  5. Well, you have NOT convinced me. I was so irritated that I must admit I quit reading.

    Sure, there is no easy way to say “USA-ian” in English. But one can say, “from the USA, or from the United States of America.”

    The real name of the USA is the “United States of America.” The term “America” is an alias for the legal name of the country.

    This question is not much different from others regarding the use of names for minority groups. If we want to get along with others, we should at least have the courtesy to understand where they are coming from! America IS the name of a continent. If others in Latin America are offended, we should listen. We do have the power to improve things just be some introspection.


  6. Well I thought it was a well-presented viewpoint and coming from what sounds like a Mexican, made it all the more valid, IMHO. Usually it’s the Mexicans or Latin Americans in general that take offense at the term ‘American’ and so this was a little different.

    Thanks to all for chiming in. Such a cute word, that. Chiming.

  7. Sometimes people just want to fight about something. If it isn’t Americano, it’s McDonalds or Coca Cola. ‘ Whatever it is, I’m against it.’

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