Author Topic: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread  (Read 53969 times)

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paintpots

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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #60 on: April 10, 2013, 10:48:16 AM »
I don't think anyone would use the term USians in speech. That would be bizarre. However, online, where we can't see the nationality of everybody reading, I can see that it makes sense as an unambiguous clarification to anyone outside (or indeed inside) the US.

This is of course a generalisation, but in the UK we frequently use 'America' to refer to the whole of North America. In the same way that people might hazily refer to 'in Europe they do x', we might say 'in America they do x'. We might actually be referring to something that is typically Canadian, but because we're not necessarily intimately acquainted with both cultures and they are very similar in their outward appearances, we refer to 'America'.

Particularly with respect to etiquette where there are regional differences, explicitly separating the US from Canada makes sense, as they clearly do have a separate culture, although I couldn't necessarily tell you what those differences are.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #61 on: April 10, 2013, 10:51:07 AM »
Fair enough. My experiences differ, but as this is all anecdata anyway it's worth exactly as much as you paid for it  :) This thread is the first time I've heard that some Canadians didn't identify as Americans.

I'm Canadian; I've never met a Canadian that does identify as American, unless they are US citizens, living here.

And I would be very quick to correct anyone who called me American.  Especially when travelling overseas, which I may get a chance to do next year.

Friends of mine have lived in California for almost 15 years.  They still identify as Canadian.
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Dindrane

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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #62 on: April 10, 2013, 10:51:46 AM »
No other country, other than Australia, uses the name of the whole continent as the name for it's denizens so it is understandable that this may be controversial and create some discussion. There is no other precedent for it, so I don't see any way to compare it to other country's national designations as you have tried to do above.

I'd like to address just this point if I may.  We Americans *don't* refer to ourselves by continent name.  We don't call ourselves North Americans.  We call ourselves Americans because America is the accepted international shorthand for United States of America.

Not really "international". In Danish, "America" is shorthand for either the USA or North + South America - depending on context.

There's also an accuracy problem--if someone SAYS "Americans" meaning "citizens of the US, Canada, Mexico," nobody else is going to know what they mean. Anywhere else in the world.
See above, so the bolded isn't true across the board.

MariaE, I'm confused. If the Danish use "America" to refer to either the USA or North and South America depending upon context, then it doesn't sound like "American" would mean "people who live in the US, Canada, and Mexico." Because that's just North America (and technically, not even all of North America, since Central America isn't a continent and is part of the North American land mass).

Thipu1, I don't think that Brazil uses the name "United States of Brazil" anymore (though Wikipedia says they used to). However, the official name of Mexico is Los Estados Unidos del Mexico. That seems to be commonly translated as the United Mexican States, but a more literal translation would be the United States of Mexico.

Personally, I'm inclined to give serious consideration to the opinions of the other people who live in North or South American, as far as my use of the term "American" to refer to my nationality goes. But I wouldn't expect anyone else to have a dog in the fight, so to speak.


BarensMom

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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #63 on: April 10, 2013, 11:05:50 AM »
Weighing in late here...

I've never heard or seen the term "USian" before I saw it here.  I always thought of residents of North/South America as Canadian, American, Mexican, Brazilian, etc.  It seems like a very awkward term.

I'm Californian, from a mixed Yankee-Southerner marriage.  Pop was referred to as a not just a "Yankee" but a "Demyankee" by Mom's family for many years.  She was the first to marry outside the region, so poor Pop got the brunt of the teasing.

MariaE

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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #64 on: April 10, 2013, 11:10:23 AM »
MariaE, I'm confused. If the Danish use "America" to refer to either the USA or North and South America depending upon context, then it doesn't sound like "American" would mean "people who live in the US, Canada, and Mexico." Because that's just North America (and technically, not even all of North America, since Central America isn't a continent and is part of the North American land mass).

I managed to read a "..." into that list - i.e. "People who live in the US, Canada, Mexico..." - so not a complete list, but examples :)
 
 
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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #65 on: April 10, 2013, 11:25:08 AM »
I don't see anything wrong with "USian", but I doubt it's going to catch on. Could be wrong, though, and we'll all be saying it in ten years.
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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #66 on: April 10, 2013, 11:26:45 AM »
I've never referred to myself as an "American", I'm a New Yorker - everywhere I've ever traveled to (England, the Netherlands, Japan, Ireland, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, other states in the USA, etc, everyone knew what I meant when I said "New York". And if someone called me "American" I would clarify (not correct necessarily, but definitely clarify) "actually a New Yorker" because honestly while me and a person from California, or Oregon, or Iowa might all be from the same official country, we are from vastly different places and cultures.

CharlieBraun

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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2013, 11:30:53 AM »
I ran the "Usian" thing past my group on our practice call yesterday, which is about ten people (NY, Chicago, San Fran, Miami, DC, LA).  Not a single person had ever heard of it, and the overall rating was "pretentious with a side order of twee."

Yesterday was "everyone cut in line" day, evidently, and I was not informed.  I did, however, leave my basket at the counter where cut-in-ski was unloading her cart, and waved farewell to the clerk (who I like.)
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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #68 on: April 10, 2013, 11:36:58 AM »
I've never referred to myself as an "American", I'm a New Yorker - everywhere I've ever traveled to (England, the Netherlands, Japan, Ireland, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, other states in the USA, etc, everyone knew what I meant when I said "New York". And if someone called me "American" I would clarify (not correct necessarily, but definitely clarify) "actually a New Yorker" because honestly while me and a person from California, or Oregon, or Iowa might all be from the same official country, we are from vastly different places and cultures.

However, it should be noted that very few states or cities have the kind of fervor that New York does.  I think you can just about wrap up that list with Texas and California.  I would never introduce myself as "a Pennsylvanian" because, honestly, living in Pennsylvania isn't that different from living in Florida.  I know, as I lived there for three months.  Other than climate and food/drinks, there's not much different.
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MariaE

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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #69 on: April 10, 2013, 11:43:25 AM »
I've never referred to myself as an "American", I'm a New Yorker - everywhere I've ever traveled to (England, the Netherlands, Japan, Ireland, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, other states in the USA, etc, everyone knew what I meant when I said "New York". And if someone called me "American" I would clarify (not correct necessarily, but definitely clarify) "actually a New Yorker" because honestly while me and a person from California, or Oregon, or Iowa might all be from the same official country, we are from vastly different places and cultures.

However, it should be noted that very few states or cities have the kind of fervor that New York does.  I think you can just about wrap up that list with Texas and California.  I would never introduce myself as "a Pennsylvanian" because, honestly, living in Pennsylvania isn't that different from living in Florida.  I know, as I lived there for three months.  Other than climate and food/drinks, there's not much different.

Hawaii too, I think. Possibly New England as a whole? Or that might just be the stereotypes that makes it across the pond :)
 
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zyrs

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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #70 on: April 10, 2013, 11:46:59 AM »
This thread is already at 5 pages!

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #71 on: April 10, 2013, 11:48:44 AM »
This thread is already at 5 pages!

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AylaM

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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #72 on: April 10, 2013, 12:15:52 PM »
I'm ok with the term USian as a nickname or something.  I'll never use it seriously though.  And if anyone seriously tried to correct American with USian I'd not be ok with that. 

I'm ok with Yank or Yankee as long as the person using it is not from the US.   Within the US, I've never heard it used as anything other than an insult.  Or a baseball team.

LadyDyani

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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #73 on: April 10, 2013, 12:24:15 PM »
Within the US, I've never heard it used as anything other than an insult.  Or a baseball team.

Or both.

I don't think that anyone is advocating for the world to replace the word American with USian.  I think the argument here was whether or not USian was common use, or uncommon.  Some are saying they've never seen it, others are saying they've seen it frequently.

I think everyone here who says they have seen it agrees that it's usually forum shorthand, something they've only seen, not heard.  More like an abbreviation of American than a replacement.
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AylaM

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Re: File under Miscellaneous: Topics That Don't Deserve A Whole Thread
« Reply #74 on: April 10, 2013, 12:38:03 PM »
Within the US, I've never heard it used as anything other than an insult.  Or a baseball team.

Or both.

I don't think that anyone is advocating for the world to replace the word American with USian.  I think the argument here was whether or not USian was common use, or uncommon.  Some are saying they've never seen it, others are saying they've seen it frequently.

I think everyone here who says they have seen it agrees that it's usually forum shorthand, something they've only seen, not heard.  More like an abbreviation of American than a replacement.

I didn't expect that people would use it officially.  What I meant was that if I use it, I was probably doing so because I thought it was amusing/funny, not because I really thought I should use it to name my location.  I could easily say "I'm from the USA".

I would expect that anyone who corrected American with USian would be trying to make a statement about the use of American.  And that would annoy me.  Asking "American?  From the US?"  Would not annoy me.