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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 it's an issue of cultural sensitivity.  Things have different contexts in different countries.  For example, "bloody" in England is a pretty serious swear word, but in the USA it means something literally has blood on it.  So if you went to England, you'd probably try to avoid saying it because it's offensive to them, even if it seems totally innocent to you.

Calling yourself "American" in a Central or South American country may be offensive to them.  And trying to justify your use of the word isn't going to make them feel any better about it.

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Calling yourself "American" in a Central or South American country may be offensive to them.  And trying to justify your use of the word isn't going to make them feel any better about it.

I can't disagree - again goes to context - time, place, etc.

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=/ Mexico isn't in Central America.

Hey... If we're really going to be hegemonic here, the U.S. should call itself "Central America."  ;D

Though to do that, we'd first have to admit that other Americas exist.

I never usually say "from America," and I guess I usually say "from the United States" instead of "American," and that's because I think America has a sort of mythical, idealistic connotation to it. America is where some people dream of living; the United States is where they wind up. "America" is usually used in that super-patriotic/idealistic way, like talking about "the land of the free" and "amber waves of grain." I'm not from America just like I'm not from Krypton.

Though if I were, I could fly...

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=/ Mexico isn't in Central America.

Good point! I don't know where my mind has been...  :D

Of course it's one thing to be respectful within a context of people who have traditionally viewed a United States citizen as rude if they call themselves "American" and I'm not saying I wouldn't respect their wishes. However, I do personally think it's a silly thing to hold on to and be angry and disrespected about. Perhaps we should come up with an entirely new name for our country so as to not step on any toes...  :uhoh:

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I don't think it's arrogance on the part of most people.  I think it stems from just taking the last part of United States of America, so it's more of a short cut. 

I also don't think I call myself by my country identification often.  Mostly, it's by state.  So, I'm tons more likely to say that I'm Californian, even to someone from a different continent.  I don't know if that's true for most people.  California is pretty recognizable for people around the world because of the entertainment industry, so maybe it works easier for me.

Okay, so would that mean I am a "missourian" or a "New Yorker"?  I am from Missouri but currenly live in New York but I actually think of myself as a "Missourian" because that is my true home. 

Besides, "New Yorker" implies somebody from NYC which irritates me to no end as NYC is this tiny S%^& hole part of the state when the state itself is huge and beautiful full of vasts wilderness, mountains, lakes, waterfalls, etc.  So to me New York is beautiful, but NYC is ugly.  So if you want to call me a New Yorker NOT including NYC then I don' t mind, but I hate NYC!  Okay, time for lunch.

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Good Lord! Is it really that complicated? If you live in the USA (legally), and  by choice, that makes you an American ... period. It's that simple.

If someone living in THIS country finds that "offensive", tell them to kiss your ass and go back to where ever the hell they came from. then they will no longer have to be "offended".

YB

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