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America vs. United States

In Spanish class our instructor told us that we should refer to ourselves as estadounidense (united states-ian) rather than americano (American) when talking to foreigners, particularly those from the American continental land mass(es).  Apparently, in Mexico, americano is derragatory, sort of making fun of US citizens for claiming the Americas... It's hard to explain, but conceptually it really makes sense.  Apparently, there is a political song from Mexico called 'yo soy americano tambien' (I'm an American, too) or something like that.  Jeez, just when I feel 'culturally aware' something wakes me up and reminds me of how much I have to work on.  (Like not ending sentences with 'on'.)

From now on, I'm a United States citizen.  I think American should be a term of solidarity among the US, Mexico, Canada, etc.

What does everyone else think?

I think he understands, now!

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I think he understands, now!

Sorry, OK!  I just wince at the implication that this debate board is full of sissies.  It's not true!

To return to the original topic, I still hold my original opinion.  If the rest of the Americas are mocking us for applying the title "America" so egotistically, it behooves us as a nation to broaden our views and think again.  We DO have a tendency to be self-absorbed and place ourselves on a pedestal as a nation.  And I think that tendency is at the root of many of our conflicts with other nations.

We just need a new country name.  United States of America is boring and lamesauce.  :P

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Yup, I LOVE to debate.

True dat.  Our kmk's a debater.  I've actually taken a lot of debate style tips from her and used them on the job (where people debate with me over everything).

I'm glad to hear that!  I'm actually not that argumentative in real life, so I think VW has helped me hone my skillz.

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That's twice I've run across this word, "lamesauce" on the Net. I don't have a Spanish or French equivalent for it, but I know it when I see it. (Actually I think "cutre" would do for Spanish...but only Spain-specific Spanish).

Lamesauce, like whitesauce, sounds flavourless. It probably is. (Nothing against whitesauce, btw. It's just the sound.)

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That's twice I've run across this word, "lamesauce" on the Net. I don't have a Spanish or French equivalent for it, but I know it when I see it. (Actually I think "cutre" would do for Spanish...but only Spain-specific Spanish).

Lamesauce, like whitesauce, sounds flavourless. It probably is. (Nothing against whitesauce, btw. It's just the sound.)

salsa aburrida?  :D

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aaaaand, here we have another instance of a debate which involves differing debate styles AND the unfortunate communication barrier of electronic communication.

I've merely skimmed these responses (I shall go over them more thoroughly in a sec) but I see some instances of misinterpreted TONE. C'mon, VWers, we've all seen this happen before, and when you're on the outside, haven't you ever seen someone's perspective a little more clearly than when it was directed toward YOU?

What I'm saying is that, particularly in the case of Mr. C., things were misinterpreted as personal attack, when it was only intended (I'm pretty sure) as a passionately-driven discussion/debate. And just a bit ago, he gave a very thorough explanation of his stance on debate, having said that he's NOT trying to attack anyone personally, just to disagree/inform with as much backing as he can give on this medium.

So, please....Caroleena, don't feel alienated! you're just as valuable to this site as anyone of us, and you don't have to delete your account just to manage your time better or get away from the boards for a while. I mean, unless it's what you REALLY need to do...I just don't want this to be a result of hurt feelings.

I temporarily got rid of my profile and distanced myself after an unsuccessful attempt at debating that famous "abortion artist" here. I still stand by what I said, but I felt like no one even wanted to hear what I had to say....(not long after, other circumstances led me to a total absence from the boards, but that was unrelated).....but I brought my profile back and reentered the boards after reminding myself that this medium is not always the best for communication, and that certain arguments/difficulties should be taken with a huge grain of salt.
maybe I'm rambling now...but I just want all of us to be able to discuss our differences without letting them tear us apart.

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Yup, I LOVE to debate.

True dat.  Our kmk's a debater.  I've actually taken a lot of debate style tips from her and used them on the job (where people debate with me over everything).

I'm glad to hear that!  I'm actually not that argumentative in real life, so I think VW has helped me hone my skillz.

You should write a book, or at least start a new thread: "How to Debate" by KMK.

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You should write a book, or at least start a new thread: "How to Debate" by KMK.

The OFFICIAL how to debate! (to be updated)

..Oh wait...no updating!  ;)

CW, I completely agree with everything that you just said. Excellent. We all can be a little (or a lot) touchy sometimes..myself VERY included. I think that's just gonna happen b/c we all care about each other so much. Family disputes? Also, Mr. C is fairly new/unknown to some..so he might be "harder to read" for those who do not know him.

I also want to apologize for being a part of your distancing from VW. That was a very difficult/touchy debate. I know how it's hard to be the one who's on the other side. I'm sorry if you felt personally attacked/not understood. I was listening, though.  :-*

:)>>>

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Yup, I LOVE to debate.

True dat.  Our kmk's a debater.  I've actually taken a lot of debate style tips from her and used them on the job (where people debate with me over everything).

I'm glad to hear that!  I'm actually not that argumentative in real life, so I think VW has helped me hone my skillz.

You should write a book, or at least start a new thread: "How to Debate" by KMK.

It's called the "make things up and act like you know what you are talking about" method.  ;D

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It's called the "make things up and act like you know what you are talking about" method.  ;D

:nono: No, it's not. She's just joking.

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It's called the "make things up and act like you know what you are talking about" method.  ;D

I've been doing that for years.  Maybe it's the other way around, maybe you got your debate style from me.  *hh is smug*

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It's called the "make things up and act like you know what you are talking about" method.  ;D

I've been doing that for years.  Maybe it's the other way around, maybe you got your debate style from me.  *hh is smug*

Could be!

I was gonna be a smart ass and debate this, but I can't think of anything right now.

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Hi... this is Caroleena (I swear!) percussion0806 is a name my DH made up to comment on a recipe he realized was plaigiarized (asian broccoli noodles). Caroleena was deleted but I remembered this was here. I'm definitely not leaving because of this!!!! In reading it again I realized that it really was a matter of interpretation, so I apologize for overreacting.

And yes, I really do need to delete, b/c I clearly have no self control (as is evidenced by my pulling out DH's account!). I deleted my MySpace as well, so it really is a procrastination thing and not a VegWeb thing (much less a thread thing). I decided to leave myself one procrastination site, and that's Facebook for now (I'm in the VegWeb group). Well, facebook AND fantasy football, but the second is seasonal... ;) It is definitely not a matter of alienation.

Anyway, carry on, and I'm sorry for contributing to the thread hijacking. I really enjoy the debates on here; even though many of us are of similar political leanings, I appreciate the attention to getting facts really correct and the occasional prompting to hear other views (ledzepfan asking to hear from any mccain fans on the elections 2008 site is a great example of this.)

Caroleena--really.

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I try to say "united states" where possible, but United Statesian just doesn't flow.

I'll go for Blueberrian though.

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Mr.C  has a few more thoughts on this topic (dare I share them?)  ???

I have listened to the BBC World Service (radio) for many, many years. First on a shortwave radio I bought while in high school, then on some smaller, improved shortwave radios, and now listen on the web some, but mostly the overnight feed on my local NPR station, which begins at 11 pm. From my many years of listening, I definitely detect an "anti-American" bias, however subtle or slight. Perhaps they think this will help them with credibility for listeners in the "third world". At any rate, they are certainly not cheerleaders for the USA.

With this background in mind, they did a story last week on Venezuela and Hugo Chavez, his links with Russia and Iran. In talking about Chavez and his agenda, they used the phrase "anti-American" more than once in the report. Chavez and his country are in South America. Clearly, when the BBC was using the phrase "anti-American," it meant anti-USA.

Here is my assessment of the America vs. United States issue. If you are in a country where the English language is the dominant language (i.e. US, UK, Ireland, Australia, etc.) "American" is synonymous with the "United States". The word "America" can be used without any disrespect or hostility to any other peoples or country and can be used without any tone of superiority.

This is my opinion, my perspective. Every other opinion around here is as important as any other opinion.  :)

CW: You said, "I temporarily got rid of my profile and distanced myself after an unsuccessful attempt at debating that famous "abortion artist"..." I was not aware of this, but am pleased to know I have followed in your footsteps (i.e. nuking one's profile and withdrawing). You are a citizen in high standing in the VegWeb community, so there is still hope for me. ::)

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If I understand history correctly (and it's possible I don't), the USA was the first land to be called America and semantically I don't see a problem with calling it America.  :-X

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....I don't see a problem with calling it America.  :-X

It's a problem because of things like this:

Also, my college Spanish teacher is from Mexico City, and would "playfully" poke fun at U.S. citizens for claiming "America" and "Americans" as our own word, excluding all others; it isn't made just for us, and I understand why it's offensive to the MANY, MANY other people who live in Central America, South America, Canada, etc.

It's just something to be aware of.  I'm not sure whether being the first to use it has anything to do with it.  It's just a matter of recognizing that more countries than just ours identify as "America."

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Also, it's false that the United States was the first land to be called America.  The entirety of the new world was referred to as the Americas way before the US emerged.  The Americas were discovered in the 1500's and so named by Vespucci, most likely.  The term United States didn't come about until the country actually formed during the revolution (1777). 

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Also, it's false that the United States was the first land to be called America.  The entirety of the new world was referred to as the Americas way before the US emerged.  The Americas were discovered in the 1500's and so named by Vespucci, most likely.  The term United States didn't come about until the country actually formed during the revolution (1777).

After reading this over I've considered many ideas about America's name origin:

http://www.uhmc.sunysb.edu/surgery/america.html

It's possible that North America was first named by John Cabot (bottom of the page) which I personally believe is substantial. It's also seems likely that Vespucci didn't name it after himself but rather others named it after him. But who am I to say? Really, it's mostly a matter of opinion.

Also, my college Spanish teacher is from Mexico City, and would "playfully" poke fun at U.S. citizens for claiming "America" and "Americans" as our own word, excluding all others; it isn't made just for us, and I understand why it's offensive to the MANY, MANY other people who live in Central America, South America, Canada, etc.

It's just something to be aware of.  I'm not sure whether being the first to use it has anything to do with it.  It's just a matter of recognizing that more countries than just ours identify as "America."

I don't see why it's an issue for other countries at all. I don't identify myself as a "North American" but an American (as in from the USA). Just the same I wouldn't expect a Mexican to say "I'm from Central America or an Argentinan to say "I'm from South America" or a Canadian to say "I'm from North America" when identifying where they come from. It just seems like an excuse to hate on Americans (from the USA) and I don't see any reason to walk on eggshells and support an irreverant claim to an unimportant name.

But that's just how I feel and in the land of the free everyone is entitled to their opinions.

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After reading this over I've considered many ideas about America's name origin:

http://www.uhmc.sunysb.edu/surgery/america.html

It's possible that North America was first named by John Cabot (bottom of the page) which I personally believe is substantial. It's also seems likely that Vespucci didn't name it after himself but rather others named it after him. But who am I to say? Really, it's mostly a matter of opinion.

Either way, it's far before the inception of the United States.

I don't see why it's an issue for other countries at all. I don't identify myself as a "North American" but an American (as in from the USA). Just the same I wouldn't expect a Mexican to say "I'm from Central America or an Argentinan to say "I'm from South America" or a Canadian to say "I'm from North America" when identifying where they come from. It just seems like an excuse to hate on Americans (from the USA) and I don't see any reason to walk on eggshells and support an irreverant claim to an unimportant name.

But if a non-US citizen identified herself as "American", it might imply that she was from the US when she wasn't. 

If you were speaking with Spanish-speaking individuals (and others, I'm sure), and said, "Soy americano," they would be like, "Yeah, more specific?"  The rest of the world refers to America as a CONTINENT.  They really do.  Because it is. 

They might also refer to US citizens as "norteamericano" (North American), or like others said, "estadounidense" (United States-ian).

Our claim to the American name is irreverent to all other American nations.

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