OT - Referring to the U.S. as "America"

Submitted by Laveranues on June 23rd, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Does anyone else find it slightly arrogant and distasteful when Americans refer to the US as America?  (I'm looking at you, Mike Tirico and Bob Ley).

This bothered me during the olympics and even more during the World Cup.  If someone asks where you are from, it makes sense to say "I'm an American."  But if you were to phrase it like "I'm from...," I think the appropriate response is "the US" or "the USA" or "the States."

To refer to the US as America is doing a disservice to South Americans, Central Americans, Mexicans, and Canadians.

Comments

BiSB

June 23rd, 2010 at 11:09 AM ^

Most countries whose name contains a leading descriptor don't use that leading descriptor in refering to its citizens.  Our opponent today, the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, just calls its people "Algerians."  And no one seems to complain when people callPeople's Republic of China calls its citizens "Chinese."

Hell, the formal name of Mexico is the United Mexican States.  Wouldn't calling ourselves "the States" be offensive to them?  Or to the cItizens of the Federated States of Micronesia?  The only word in our nation's name that is unique to us is the word "America."  The only reason people find it 'arrogant' to call ourselves Americans is because our name happens to also be the name of part of the continent on which we reside.

GunnersApe

June 23rd, 2010 at 11:32 AM ^

Being overseas I remember being called "Yanks" more than "American" (Britain/Australian), also in Canada they would call me "American". In Asia I was an "American". Mexico/San Diego/Miami it was "Gringo". But after foreigners get to know me I hear the term "Ugly American" thrown around.

Baldbill

June 23rd, 2010 at 11:50 AM ^

Since we declared our independance from Great Britain, we have always refered to ourselfs as Americans.  Canada was not a country yet. No reason we should stop. Dumb Thread, super dumb.

PurpleStuff

June 23rd, 2010 at 12:19 PM ^

...but really I'm not.  I just think America is the best country and all the other countries aren't as good.  That used to be called patriotism."-Kenny Powers

This thread has AIDS.

Sgt. Wolverine

June 23rd, 2010 at 12:25 PM ^

would ever say America?  Until South or Central America merge into one country with one name prominently featuring America -- or until Canada becomes the United States of America, North Branch Office -- this is the non-est non-issue in the history of non.  People who are offended by US residents declaring themselves as Americans are people who are looking for reasons to be offended.

mgowin

June 23rd, 2010 at 12:42 PM ^

When I'm abroad, I don't tell people I'm an American or from the US. I say to them I'm a Tennessean, which is much more precise.

jlvanals

June 23rd, 2010 at 12:50 PM ^

Mostly because the rest of the world thinks we're arrogant, inebriated jackasses hell-bent on bombing anyone and everyone we can.  Thus, switching to "United States" might not address that slightly larger image problem which is at the root of them not liking the whole "America" thing. 

We stand for strippers, booze, medical marijuana, fried donut bacon cheesburgers, religious fundamentalism, don't tread on me flags with badass snakes, the sincere belief that our ideas are better and more important than anyone elses' and, most importantly, the even more sincere belief that disagreeing with our ideas is more than enough justification for a Cruise missle to be sent straight up your ass by a 20 year old kid who kicks the shit out of you in Modern Warfare 3 while plastered on Evan Williams green label and listening to Corrosion of Conformity.   

In this context, it is pointless to pretend to worry about whether other people are OK with our nomenclature when we are toppling their democratically elected leaders or anally penetrating them with explosive ordnance on a somewhat regular basis.  

Njia

June 23rd, 2010 at 1:14 PM ^

Said "inebriated jackasses" have spilled untold volumes of their own, "bacon cheeseburger" infused blood in the defense and liberation of said countries, asking not a thing in return, except for a small plot of land on which to bury our Honored Dead. It would do well if those "other" democratically elected leaders remembered that from time to time.

jlvanals

June 25th, 2010 at 1:40 PM ^

The post was purposefully bombastic (apparently that didn't come across) and I'm not saying we have a monopoly on any of those things whether you consider them good or bad, just that those things, combined, are what makes America unique.  Where else do you have white religious fundamentalists (and we do seem to have a higher proportion of them than Europe) living side by side with people who go to their local adult establishment to see old whores dancing to white zombie's "american made music to strip by" while jacked up on meth? Or where you can walk down bourbon st. in new orleans plastered next to people who are carrying around gigantic crosses and telling you that youre going to hell?  You certainly don't see that kind of stuff anywhere else in the world (i.e. the sometimes flammable mixture of secular and religious, literally at each others necks but somehow not killing each other very often).  These disparte elements somehow coexist here and it amazes me that this crazy experiment works even for a short period of time.  Far from degrading America, the contradictions in our society are what make us so damn interesting and my point is that we should embrace it, not worry about why it is that someone doesn't like the word America.   The contradictions, all living in harmony is what's cool about America. 

PS: negbang all you want, but I don't think its crazy to point out the hypocrisy in bombing people and then asking that they like you afterwards. 

WolvinLA2

June 23rd, 2010 at 12:59 PM ^

Because of this thread, I will now go out of my way to say "America" whenever appropriate.  "USA" or "The Unites States" are no longer a part of my vocabulary.

Go America!

jmblue

June 23rd, 2010 at 1:34 PM ^

If you really want to get into political correctness, there are other countries in the world named "United States," so isn't it equally arrogant to refer to us as "the U.S." or "the States"? 

And as someone who has several Canadian relatives and friends I can tell you that I've met literally no one in Canada who has a problem with calling us "Americans."  Maybe in Spanish or Portuguese there is some ambiguity when you use the word "America," but in the English language - and nearly every other language - there is virtually none. 

psychomatt

June 24th, 2010 at 12:52 AM ^

How can it be perfectly ok to say you are an American and at the same time be arrogant and inappropriate to say you are from America? Make up your mind. Better yet, think before you post. You just wasted internet space and that is a nearly impossible thing to do.