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United States of America = America?

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Why does everyone like to call the United States “America” (as opposed to “North America”)? Is the rest of the continent not America? How is the U.S. the “real” America, while the other areas are just parts of it (“South America”, “Latin America”, etc)? I've been wondering about this for a while. Maybe it's just an abbreviation of "United States OF America", but still.

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We are the only country in the world with "America" in the name... the rest is pretty generic sounding ("United States" could mean anywhere, America is at least a place) so people focused on the distinctive word.

Historically, we were the "united States of America" (note the lower case U) so there was even more emphasis on the word "America".

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I've been saying for years that Canada and Mexico are make belief. Finally, someone who agrees.

I think the best place to live on any continent should be referred to with the name of that continent, just so it's clear who's boss.

I'm going to start calling Hong Kong "Asia".

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As has been noted because "America" is part of the country's name.

BTW According to Turtledove's semi-historical alternate history fiction, prior to the Civil War people often spoke of the USA in the plural, ie "The United States are a large nation." Indeed prior to the 1860s states ahd a greater degree of autonomy. During the conflict Kentucky declared itself neutral, for example. It would be inconceivable for a state to do something like that now.

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Btw, North America = Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

Actually North America = Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, and USA.

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Actually North America = Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, UK, and USA.

No, actually, North America = Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

Central America = Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Greater Antilles = Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico.

Denmark, France, Netherlands, UK are in North America?? Are you serious???

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No, actually, North America = Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

Central America = Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Greater Antilles = Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico.

Denmark, France, Netherlands, UK are in North America?? Are you serious???

If you want to divide the continent into geopolitical subregions based on whatever criteria you want, go ahead, but I'm speaking about the actual continent. Those are a list of countries in the North American continent. Central America and the Greater Antilles are not continents but are a part of North America.

France, Netherlands, Denmark, and the UK are countries in the North American continent. Their territories include Anguilla (UK), Aruba (Netherlands), Bermuda (UK), British Virgin Islands (UK), Cayman Islands (UK), Clipperton Island (France), Greenland (Denmark), Guadeloupe (France), Martinique (France), Montserrat (UK), Saint Barthélemy (France), Saint Martin (France), Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France), Turks and Caicos Islands (UK).

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We are the only country in the world with "America" in the name... the rest is pretty generic sounding ("United States" could mean anywhere, America is at least a place) so people focused on the distinctive word.

Historically, we were the "united States of America" (note the lower case U) so there was even more emphasis on the word "America".

When people were speaking of it not as an improper name, it was "united states of America" since "united states" acted as a modified noun, but so long as it's been a proper name it has always been "United States of America", which I believe is ever after the ratification of the Constitution if not before.

Personally, I find the question so full of blatant jealousy it's not worth responding to. Do something significant with your country and we'll consider giving you a special name.

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Personally, I find the question so full of blatant jealousy it's not worth responding to. Do something significant with your country and we'll consider giving you a special name.

Really? Then why did you respond anyway? Personally, I find this little “deduction” of yours so spurious, and just plain silly, it’s “not worth responding to”, but I’m curious, so I'll go on. First, I’m dying to know how exactly you were able to determine my question was full of “blatant jealousy”. Would you please explain to us all in detail what your magic method was? This is just ridiculous, I said what I said, I'm the one who said it, and I’m the one who knows what motivations are. What if I tell you I’m from the U.S.? Grow up. I’m simply asking a basic elemental question, and the question is perfectly clear: America is first a continent, the U.S. citizens call themselves “Americans” and their country “America” (as if the rest of the continent was some strange unidentified piece of land, and their population were “non-Americans”), why? Well, apparently there’s no need to support this idea, or provide any rational explanation, because somehow this question is not “worth your response”, and it will always be a “envious act of blatant jealousy” to ask it. Give me a break. BTW, It makes no difference if it’s the U.S., Canada, Mexico or whatever who calls themselves “America”, in case you were planning say I’m all “anti-American” now, the question stands firm, just as if some European country started to call itself “Europe” with no apparent reason, it would still catch my attention in the same way. Oh, and who is this “we” that is going to "grant" my country with a “special name”? You? You and your friends? You and the forum? the U.S.? Why don't you do "something significant" yourself and answer the question?

Edited by 0096 2251 2110 8105
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It's the name of the country. United States of America. America for short. When we say someone from Canada isn't an American, we mean he isn't from the United States of America, but he is a North American. Why does this vex you so? If anything, you should be asking people who say "I'm not an American! I'm from Canada!" why don't they consider the fact that they are North American, instead of asuming people who use "American" for United States citizens are somehow treating everyone as if they are from "some strange, unidentified piece of land" when you know full well it means United States of America and not a reference to North America.

As far as Europe is concerned, if there were some place called The United States of Europe, they might colloquially become known as Europeans and someone from non USE would be called Estonian or whatever to avoid confusion. Notice how people from the United Kindom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are simply called British or Britons. You wouldn't call them United Kingdomians and you wouldn't call Americans United Statesians. Honestly, why does this confuse you? You do seem a bit annoyed that non-US North Americans are somehow getting the shaft because they don't have the word "America" in their name.

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It doesn’t really bother me. I was curious, and wanted to find out if there was a good reason. I had the suspicion that it was merely an abbreviation, as I said from the start, and it happens to be, great. I just wanted a full clarification. As for your examples, like the United States of Europe, etc., well, it is certainly a problem, to me at least, that the English language doesn’t have a demonym for U.S. Americans that includes “United States” in it, like, say, in Spanish, which is "estadounidense." The problem here lies on how the gentilics are formed. I wouldn't call someone "United Kindomian" because it's not the standard thing to do, that would merely create confusion and it wouldn't sound normal or "good" because of that reason, but I wouldn't have a problem with it, not at all. It's just a matter of how the name was developed. Let me clarify that I’m not proposing to call the rest of the countries “America” as well, that would be ridiculous, and I don't see the point.

Edited by 0096 2251 2110 8105
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I actually didn't answer the question, which in part of your message you seem to recognize, though with the first two sentences you don't seem to. How I determined that your question is full of blatant jealousy: The jealousy is blatant (meaning apparent for all to see), and the question is full of it. Pretty simple.

America is not a continent. True story. Look it up. There's North America (a continent), South America (a continent), the Americas (composed of two continents), and America (a colloquial name for the United States of America). The non-American Americas are not unidentified, for the most part. They're just stupid.

The "we" is the English-speaking community. We've agreed to this. Also a true story.

Answering the question would not be significant. I spend my time answering worth-while questions, for the most part.

If we want to be particularly formal in our English, we could refer to Americans as "United States citizens" or "citizens of the United States of America". But hell, we're Americans.

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Uh, yes, I know you didn’t answer the question, that’s why I asked you to do so. True story. I “seemed” to recognize that you replied to the question. See? Now, I don’t want to waste much time on these false and groundless accusations of yours. Seriously, it is absurd and childish to keep insisting on this point. I asked the question, I know why I asked it, not you. This should be more than enough. In any case, I don’t need your approval or your meaningless evaluation, which you confirmed to be highly irrational and anti-intellectual, with this non-explanation of yours to "somehow" determine my motivation, which amounts to “Why? Because!” That is a terrible argument, you know? And that is “apparent for all to see.” I stressed this even more by raising the question of me being U.S. American. Seriously, stop it. Also, I don’t think that “American” is a concept exclusively for the disposition and use of this "English-speaking community", and I don’t think this group has the authority to brand countries neither. Would you please elaborate? Now, you answered the main question. That is fantastic, and I’m fine with it, as I said in my previous comment. Was it so hard? Oh, I forgot, you only deal with “worthwhile” "real" questions. But, wait a minute, you replied again? Wasn’t my question “unworthy of your time"? How many of these “unworthy” questions you like to answer? Do you also determine the worthiness or not of a question by emotion or its apparent "obviousness"? Anyway, I will only respond to direct honest answers to my main question, which I think is pretty much solved by now, so don't bother.

Edited by 0096 2251 2110 8105
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Many a year ago, when I was doing a CAD/CAM class, the instructor on the first day said we could feel free to say what we liked about Americans because "I'm Canadian, not American."

As to the topic at hand, definitely, it is just that America is the name of the country, where every other country likewise has its own name. Additionally, people here at least know the difference between "America" (the USA) and "The Americas" (the two continents and the Caribbean).

D'Kian: It's not just alternate-history. From what I can understand the Civil War was actually about that premise - a single nation versus a coalition of nations - and that it was Lincoln who personally began the switch from saying "these united States are" to "the United States is." Actual Americans can correct me, though.

As to Canada and Mexico, perhaps Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are right and that these alleged nations, like England, are just products of a conspiracy of cartographers.

JJM

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I think the best place to live on any continent should be referred to with the name of that continent, just so it's clear who's boss.

I'm going to start calling Hong Kong "Asia".

At least he didn't want to call all of this "Texas"!! :lol:

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Since most of Canada is boreal forest that you can't live off of, or mosquito breeding tundra, I'd say we suckered you into taking most of the truly nasty land in North America.

:lol:

I suppose you can always play hockey on those lakes in the tundra when they are frozen over, eh?

Edited by Steve D'Ippolito
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