A Conversation for United States of America (USA)

America is a continent, not a country!

Post 1

Dudemeister

I have been reading the forums here, some with amusement and some with fascination.

I am an American, but I do not own a gun, or pay tax to the IRS. My wife is an American, and her first language is Spanish as is normal in her family's part of America. That is because I am a Canadian citizen, and my wife Mexican.

America is a continent that stretches from Argentina/Chile up to the Arctic. North America is made up of countries including Canada, USA and Mexico (North to South). South America is the big chunk below containing Brazil, Argentina,... The thin bit in the middle is sometimes referred to as Central America, often for convenience.

In Canada we call our friends in the USA "Americans". In the rest of America (mostly Latin America), this is not so simple.

Take for example in Mexico (it is similar in other Latin American countries). They refer to themselves as Americans - as do Argentinians or Peruvians. What do they call their neighbours to the North then? The colloquial and a little bit rude term - is "gringo" - but technically, this could apply to most foreigners. Newspapers for example use the terms "norteamericanos" - North Americans or "estadounidenses" - United States (ians?). However Mexicans are also North Americans, as are Canadians, They also belong to a union of states - The Mexican United States (official name of the country) - Which also happens to be in America.

A great many minds have pondered over this problem (at least in Latin America). What would be an accurate term that satisfies all Americans?. The UK - United Kingdom, is the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland - To distinguish it from other United Kingdoms that may decide to form. Would it be then: The United American States of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Conneticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Noth Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming - which would be rather cumbersome.


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 2

Researcher 94121

dudemeister...
I like your post, but you forgot new mexico...


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 3

Dudemeister

Ooops, no hidden intentions - I just missed it reading through the other "New"s in the index of my Rand McNally index.

Hmmm. this post did not create a flurry of activity creating internationally "correct" names.

I believe originally most old-world countries' names evolved from words meaning "us", as opposed to them. The Germans have a variety of other names that people called them (apart from the preferred Deutsch), probably due to their geographic location. For example the Franks, Angles, Britons had a lot to do with geogaphical names. German, Tedesco, Alleman, etc. do not probably mean the same as Deutsch exactly - anyway thats another topic (I find this interesting!).

This "global village" stuff means we all have to be more aware of other cultures.


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 4

Anonymouse

Technically the country in question is called "The United States of America, since before the country was actually formed it was just a bunch of random states formed by the colonists.

Canada has Provinces. I don't think Mexico is divided as such, but I could be wrong. Perhaps what we need is a cover name... Hmm.. Perhaps "The United English Colonized States of America" ? Would that be suitable to everyone? (Erm.. Except the citizens, perhaps. smiley - winkeye)
Oh.. even better...
"The United Rebellious States of America"
(That oughta even satisfy DixieLand. smiley - bigeyes)


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 5

Dudemeister

Mexico is also a republic formed out of states formed by colonists - hence the name of the country - United Mexican States - or Mexico for short. Mexico was also rebellious - they had to fight for independence from Spain and even had a revolution this century to mix things up. So your suggestion won't be better unfortunately. Canada is just called Canada.

The English Colony bit would not differentiate the USA from Canada or Belize for example. Except Canada has Provinces perhaps. The current territory of the USA has been colonised by the English, French, Dutch and Spanish.


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 6

Anonymouse

That's why it used to be called the Melting Pot, but I don't think "The United Melting Pot of America" would go over well with the politically correctness of todays world. smiley - winkeye


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 7

Dudemeister

People there are still calling it the melting pot - ie. all these folks come from around the world and get integrated into society - drop the dim sum for McDonald's, tango for the achey-breaky, etc. (Just joking!). Anyway the predominant culture is based on what became of the English-speaking colonists mixed with a bunch of others in different parts of the country.

In Canada for the perpetual national pastime of trying to point out why we are different from the USA (or whatever) we have "multiculturalism" - This means people come from all around the world, and the official line is they are allowed and expected to stay that way - hopefully enriching the experience for everyone else. We have a new territory in the North that is predominantly inhabited and governed by the Inuit and other folks who have been there for longer than the French and English - Quebec is French speaking, and Cantonese is coming close to being a major second or third "official" language - Kind of interesting really. Then there are us English folks (I am one who came here) - I am very happy to have friends from all over the world - makes "pot-luck" dinners very interesting, and spicy - may even have to try to learn another language to not feel left out when your friends can speak more than 5 - Discussing the culinary aspects of chile peppers etc. in a mix of Punjabi/English/French/Hindi for example.


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 8

Anonymouse

*nods*

The sad part about 'The Melting Pot' is that it's just a term now... There are far too many people complaining about "all those immigrants stealing our jobs" and forgetting that the only -true- "American" are the natives... from whom the land was stolen. smiley - sadface


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 9

Dudemeister

Even they were immigrants at one time. But there was no one there when they first arrived.

People in Canada often refer to themselves as French, English, Italian etc. even though they were born here and even if their parents were born here. This is in cities like Montreal where there are many immigrants and recent families of immigants from all over the world - So someone may talk about their Greek friend who has never been within 1000s miles of Athens and only knows a word or two of Greek. The folks who's ancestors got here first refer to themselves as Inuit, Cree, Mohawk etc. which is correct.


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 10

ringWraith917

How about "That Middle Bit of Land in North America Between Canada and The United States of Mexico (and the land owned and accepted by that bit of land's govenment)"?


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 11

Dudemeister

Doesn't sound very grand does it?


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 12

Anonymouse

How about Urisoac?

(United rebels in search of a cause) smiley - winkeye


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 13

beeline

Man, does this article on the USA ever need subediting (read 'completely re-writing')! smiley - winkeye


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 14

Dudemeister

Why not pick a N. American native name - Like Canada comes from a word meaning "village". Perhaps we could use a plains indian term for "town"? (sorry I don't know what that is)


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 15

Is mise Duncan

Indeed - the irony of the US Army preventing the ethnic cleansing of Albania with a weapon named after a race ethnically cleansed by the US Army was totally lost in the "Balkan conflict".

In case you're wondering - the Apache gunship.


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 16

Anonymouse

We have lots of towns named with or with names derived from native names. I do think you're onto something here, though.. Does anyone know what the Souix name for 'nation' was? (Remember, there were -many- tribes in the Souix Nation.) Hmm.. For that matter, the Appache, Cherokee, whatever name? (And not the term coined after the Spaniards' influence in native tongue, either... I'm looking for the original language here.)


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 17

Dudemeister

Perhaps we should start a poll for a politically and geographically acceptable name. Then all 3 countries in N. America may have names derived from the native languages and peoples.


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 18

Anonymouse

Preferably from the tribes/nations of which the major faction resided within their borders?


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 19

Dudemeister

If I am not mistaken (I should know - but ey, this no one pays me for his!) Canada derives from an Algonquin name "Kanata", which is also the name of a suburban settlement near Ottawa. As the Algonquin were one of the main peoples in the area that is now Ontario, who traded with the English and French I guess it is appropriate.

The Mexica were the people who lived in the area that is the Mexico City conurbation, hence Mexico.

I'm not sure what the word means - but it probably means "us folks" in the language at the time.

Maybe the US could be based on a word for "big land" or "many peoples" or something ("us"?).

We were fortunate this Summer to have a Pow-wow outside our appartment building in Ottawa. People came from all over mostly Canada but some from the US as well, quite interesting.


America is a continent, not a country!

Post 20

Marc, RoD, Muse of BAATPTADOUBRA. NAVO,ASPATB,SGLGAHOMQ.

You realize that you're talking about the USA, right? We're the ones who wouldn't even accept changing to metric even though the rest of the free world has, and it's a heckuva lot easier than the crazy system we use now. There's no way in hell anybody could convince the USA to change its name.

P.S. You also forgot Alabama....


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