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Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the Ang... - 11/13/2011 7:48:24 AM   
Zonie63


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While I was reading the thread entitled "Biases on collarme," I was thinking about the internet in general and some of the other forums I've lurked or participated in over the years. There seemed to be a bit of a tiff in that thread, but it reminded me of forums where it's mostly Americans and British arguing with each other about historical subjects, usually starting with the American Revolution and going all the way up the present day.

To be honest, I find it somewhat fascinating yet mystifying at the same time. I first encountered this phenomenon over a decade ago with Usenet groups like "alt.flame.the.usa" and the like. I've found it to be similar on the Internet Movie Database message boards for movies like The Patriot (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0187393/board), Braveheart (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0187393/board), and other films that seem to portray the English negatively. It's similar on the Saving Private Ryan board and movies which seem far too pro-American for their taste. I've also found similar phenomena in history discussion forums and especially in forums where World War II is the primary subject of discussion.

To be honest, I've always admired Britain from afar, but as I've encountered more and more Brits online, I realize just how little I understand it. I've also come to realize that my upbringing has been very insular and strongly pro-American, but I also try to step outside of that and try to see things from other nations' point of view if at all possible. I don't mean any offense here. This is just an attempt to gain understanding from other sources based on what I've observed in other forums, and since I know a lot of people from the UK and elsewhere in the Anglosphere post here on collarme, I wanted to get some opinions and clarifications. (If anyone has any questions about America or Arizona, where I live, I'll be happy to answer.)

Anyway, on to the questions...

1. Is it really that big a deal if Americans mistakenly call the country "England" as opposed to the UK or Britain? We already know that the United Kingdom encompasses England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. A lot of Americans just say "England" out of habit, not out of ignorance of Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. I see this correction being made constantly, and I was just wondering if there was something deeper to the issue besides just a simple geopolitical distinction.

2. Are there still lingering resentments over the American Revolution? How do the British people today truly feel about that event?

3. In relation to question 2, do British people feel that Monarchism is superior to Republicanism?

4. Do English, Irish, and Scottish people really hate each other that much? Or is it more akin to a friendly rivalry nowadays (just like Red Sox and Yankees fans razzing each other)?

5. What is the common British view about America, as a nation? Are we still a colony in British eyes, some kind of estranged, prodigal son? In America, we sometimes refer to England as our Mother Country, but I was just wondering if that view is shared in the United Kingdom.

6. In relation to question 5, do the British still view nations like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as still "British," even though they are independent now? In other words, do they feel a closer relationship because they parted amicably and peacefully, whereas America's independence was not peaceful.

7. In some of the forums I referred to above, I've encountered Australians who seem to be against both Britain and America. For historical reasons, such as the Revolution, the War of 1812, 54-40 or fight, etc., I can see why Canada and the UK might still be mad at us, but what on Earth did we do to the Australians to earn their wrath? That's what I understand the least.

8. How do the British feel about America's role in the World Wars? (I'm thinking of what they said as U.S. troops started arriving in Britain, "They're oversexed, overpaid, and over here," while they said the British were "undersexed, underpaid, and under Eisenhower.")

Anyway, I might have more questions as they come up. Thanks for your patience.




< Message edited by Zonie63 -- 11/13/2011 7:49:21 AM >
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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 8:37:26 AM   
GreedyTop


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wow.. yay, Zonie!! great questions!

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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 9:04:28 AM   
TheFireWithinMe


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Actually my big pet peeve is the use of "America" instead of US. There's a whole lot more to America than the US.

I know it's off topic but wanted to get it out there.

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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 9:07:01 AM   
bighappygoth39


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I agree. Some great questions.
I would only be able to answer them from my own personal view, and could only go on my own personal observations of the Americans I've seen post on here.
In my lifetime, I've only ever actually known and met three Americans, and it would probably be a bit unfair of me to generalise them without causing any offence, based on those people.
Going from a lot of the Americans who post on here, you don't really give the best impression, but I also know that here is not the best place to get a general idea of your country.
I have only observed how your country works from afar, and the news stories probably don't give the best impression, either.
As for the portrayal of WWII on some 'American' films, that also doesn't do you any favours in our eyes over here, but that's another generalisation.
Your choices of Presidents you actually seem to favour have been a little bit strange, to say the least. (Not that our choices of Prime Ministers have been that much better, to be fair).
I'm no historian, I don't know enough about politics to post often in the P&R thread, so I probably can't answer your questions on that scale well enough.
I can say that it never bothers me personally if we get called England, but I know a lot of people do get annoyed by it, and their argument is that we're either Great Britain or the UK.
As for the question about the rivalry with Wales and Scotland; personally, whenever I've been to Wales, I've come away feeling that they are the most ignorant people in the world. But on the other hand, I have met a few Welsh people who have moved from there and they are just lovely, so it can go both ways. I really don't think there's as much rivalry with the Scots as people on the outside think. From my observations, we tend to be able to get on with the Scots much better than the Welsh, for some reason, which is a shame because Wales is such a beautiful place, but when you visit you get the impression they want to keep it all for themselves, and don't like visitors, which I've been told is the opposite in Scotland.

Anyway, all of the above is my own personal opinions and observations, and what I've been told by others more in the know than I am.
I hope I've given you some insight, even if I haven't been able to give you the answers you seek, anyway. I'm sure others on here will give you a much better idea of how we see things.

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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 9:43:34 AM   
Zonie63


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheFireWithinMe

Actually my big pet peeve is the use of "America" instead of US. There's a whole lot more to America than the US.

I know it's off topic but wanted to get it out there.


Yes, that's true. That's another question I've discussed frequently, most often with those from Latin America. It seemed like a good idea at the time we first started calling ourselves "Americans," but I can see how other inhabitants of North and South America might be put off by it.

But the whole problem is, we don't know what else to call ourselves. "United Statesian" just doesn't quite sound right. I'm not too wild about "Gringo" or "Yankee" either.

In one forum, someone came up with the idea of calling our nation "Spaghetti Sauce" and its inhabitants "Spaghetti Saucians."

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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 9:47:29 AM   
Iamsemisweet


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My fellow Spaghetti Saucians .  . .

Nope, that just doesn't work for me.


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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 9:47:36 AM   
GreedyTop


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quote:

I have only observed how your country works from afar, and the news stories probably don't give the best impression, either.
to this, I can only say that while it probably has a bias there, I doubt the bias is hardly as much as it is here.

quote:

As for the portrayal of WWII on some 'American' films, that also doesn't do you any favours in our eyes over here, but that's another generalisation.


I agree, butthe filmakers of most countries are going to put their own country in the best light possible (or impossible. PROPOGANDA!!)

not compos mentis enough to speak to the rest.

(ignore my faux pas.. for some reason, I was thinking it ws SoulAlloy that posted the things I responded to.. my apologies)

< Message edited by GreedyTop -- 11/13/2011 9:50:18 AM >


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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 9:51:45 AM   
MadAxeman


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Well Zonie, phew each of your questions could be a history degree course on their own.
I'll try and answer with a mixture of the facts, my opinion and what I consider to be the more general British viewpoint.

1. This is more important to the Welsh, Scottish and Irish than the English. An English person will eventually correct you, pointing out that there is no such thing as a British accent for example and that they are in fact English. They will see you as uninformed. The others have been subordinate to England throughout our history (sometimes with much bloodshed and exploitation) and are more sensitive to this issue, feeling that their culture gets subsumed and disregarded. When it comes to National identity, none of us uses the term 'U.K' very much. Maybe because we're not always that united. We will stand up and call ourselves British, then qualify by stating our home nation.

2. No. Most people don't care. Wasting tea is an affront to any self respecting Brit.
The War of Independence was about resources. Britain wasn't willing to spend more to 'win' it.
Foreign occupation is expensive, unpopular at home and rarely successful in the long run. Sound familiar?

3. No. Our monarchy is titular. The Queen is a figurehead. In her limited role, she is very good.
The following generations look like a troop of monkeys by comparison.

4. Your sporting analogy is sound, but it's more intense for us. We are harsher, funnier and we all understand it.
For example whenever England play football, BBC Scotland will find a bar somewhere that is full of sweaties (Sweaty socks = jocks) wearing replica shirts of the opposition. If these shirts can't be bought, they will make them using felt tip pens to colour them in.
We also die alongside each other in battle and will continue insulting one another while under fire.

5. FFS. Tread carefully Axeman. We don't see you as a colony, although it's one of my favourite terms.
You're no prodigal son. More like a fat cousin. Loud, aggressive, greedy and affectionate. The one that ends up with all the candies and toys. Quick to anger, lashing out and sudden tears when you don't get your own way or discover you're not as popular as you believed.

6. Like I say, cousins. We don't regard them as still British.
We will snark each other during sporting contests but are there for each other. More of this in Q. 8

7. Aussies are similar to Americans in some respects. proud and braggadocio, with terrible beer and dress sense.
I always enjoy the Olympics, with the swimming being interesting mainly for the Aus-U.S rivalry. The Aussies are more skilled snarkers, having had long years of practice against Britain and NZ. The U.S has a vast population to find good athletes. Australia is the most sport obsessed nation in the world.
The culture of the underdog isn't widely appreciated in America. Winning is all that matters.
Strines love sticking it up larger countries. Kudos to them for that.

8. The rest of the world has had 60 years of movies about how America won the war. Without America finally joining in (after being attacked) the Allies would have won, but at much greater cost in both lives and resources. Ever since America won the war for us, we have been asked to absorb a twisted view of history and politics. The U.S lost just over 500,000 troops in WW2. That's tragic and their sacrifice is acknowledged and appreciated. The Russians lost over 20m, many during a brutal and heroic winter resistance that stretched Hitler's resources too thin and effectively won the war. Since WW2, which incidentally anyone in Canada, Australia, NZ and Britain can tell you began in 1939, not after Pearl Harbor, the Russians have been portrayed as cold war villains, plotting the west's downfall. Childlike. This juvenile clumsy propaganda doesn't play and has made America look dumb.

Well that's it, in brief.
I'll now be torn to pieces.

Proceed.


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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 9:53:08 AM   
TheFireWithinMe


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It isn't that, geez what else is there. It's the use of America rather than USA or US, that bothers me. It's as if the rest of NA doesn't exist or is... I don't know...another continent? Honestly I don't know WHAT they think the rest of NA or for that matter SA is, it just irritates me when America is used to refer to the US.

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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 9:53:28 AM   
Lucylastic


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zonie63

<snip>

Anyway, on to the questions...

1. Is it really that big a deal if Americans mistakenly call the country "England" as opposed to the UK or Britain? We already know that the United Kingdom encompasses England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. A lot of Americans just say "England" out of habit, not out of ignorance of Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. I see this correction being made constantly, and I was just wondering if there was something deeper to the issue besides just a simple geopolitical distinction.
(ALL answers are my own personal view)You will probably find that a Scot, or a Welsh, Irish person will object to being called English, but as with everything, it depends on the person.

2. Are there still lingering resentments over the American Revolution? How do the British people today truly feel about that event? I really couldnt give a damn, except in historical context, I razz americans that we didnt want the uptight puritans anyway. let em go" but Ihave no issues with the revolution. Its history

3. In relation to question 2, do British people feel that Monarchism is superior to Republicanism?
Nope not this one, however, I prefer the political view. in the UK and Canada oh and the healthcare

4. Do English, Irish, and Scottish people really hate each other that much? Or is it more akin to a friendly rivalry nowadays (just like Red Sox and Yankees fans razzing each other)?
Not this Brit, I can trace my english background back to 1646, but I can trace my welsh, scot and irish family back almost as far, but yes there are "lots" of feelings against other regions, most are jokey but felt deep down, the northerner/southerner english is still rampant.Lots of anti english feeling too in some places, but again, depends who you talk to, and how old they are and how much cultural exposure they have
5. What is the common British view about America, as a nation? Are we still a colony in British eyes, some kind of estranged, prodigal son? In America, we sometimes refer to England as our Mother Country, but I was just wondering if that view is shared in the United Kingdom.
Bloody yanks is still common especially amongst the elder set(wrt ww2) aside from that... I havent lived there for 20 years, so I will not say its still like that)

6. In relation to question 5, do the British still view nations like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as still "British," even though they are independent now? In other words, do they feel a closer relationship because they parted amicably and peacefully, whereas America's independence was not peaceful.
Nope, but that may be because I live in Canada now and its a separate country even tho we have HM as titular head, its not the same.

7. In some of the forums I referred to above, I've encountered Australians who seem to be against both Britain and America. For historical reasons, such as the Revolution, the War of 1812, 54-40 or fight, etc., I can see why Canada and the UK might still be mad at us, but what on Earth did we do to the Australians to earn their wrath? That's what I understand the least. DOnt have a clue, Aussies can be a funny bunch:) but then who cant(yes its a joke)

8. How do the British feel about America's role in the World Wars? (I'm thinking of what they said as U.S. troops started arriving in Britain, "They're oversexed, overpaid, and over here," while they said the British were "undersexed, underpaid, and under Eisenhower.")
My grandmother loved the yanks for the silk stockings n black market rations. My other WW2 time family members have less favourable views.They certainly got the reputation as arriving after the worst was over. But...views change with other wars, especially with iraq. And again, I havent lived there for so long I dont know what the current "sentiment" is. Plus, everyone has their own peculiar histories and opinions that shape them so this is just "my" world view" as instilled into me at an early age, life teache you that it isnt always a good thing:)

Anyway, I might have more questions as they come up. Thanks for your patience.







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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 9:57:13 AM   
Lucylastic


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merrycans!!!!
canucks
easy
to call mexicans, peruvians, columbians, etc etc, latinos is like all of north america tho insult to the individual countries, maybe not
but if you call someone from brazil a peruvian, they arnt gonna be too happy.


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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 10:09:09 AM   
LafayetteLady


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheFireWithinMe

Actually my big pet peeve is the use of "America" instead of US. There's a whole lot more to America than the US.

I know it's off topic but wanted to get it out there.


Of course that is disregarding that the use comes from the fact that we aren't simply the "US", but the USA, as in United States of AMERICA.

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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 10:09:40 AM   
myotherself


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zonie63
..

1. Is it really that big a deal if Americans mistakenly call the country "England" as opposed to the UK or Britain? We already know that the United Kingdom encompasses England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. A lot of Americans just say "England" out of habit, not out of ignorance of Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. I see this correction being made constantly, and I was just wondering if there was something deeper to the issue besides just a simple geopolitical distinction.



It just makes me roll my eyes a bit. It bothers me less because I'm English and living in England, but I'm sure the Scots, Welsh and Irish would find it more insulting. Basically it makes me think that the person saying it knows very little about European geography.

quote:



2. Are there still lingering resentments over the American Revolution? How do the British people today truly feel about that event?


From my POV, I really couldn't give a shit about the American Revolution. And I'm sure that a large proportion of the British population feels the same way.

quote:


3. In relation to question 2, do British people feel that Monarchism is superior to Republicanism?


Nope, just different. Although being a monarchy we get some really cool history and some fab castles out of the deal.

quote:



4. Do English, Irish, and Scottish people really hate each other that much? Or is it more akin to a friendly rivalry nowadays (just like Red Sox and Yankees fans razzing each other)?



Again from a personal POV - I live 50 miles from the Scottish border. I have no problem at all with the Scots. Ditto Irish and Welsh. However, there is a little animosity towards the English from some small-town Welsh/Irish/Scots. I don't really undersstand it, and to be honest it's not that common.
quote:



5. What is the common British view about America, as a nation? Are we still a colony in British eyes, some kind of estranged, prodigal son? In America, we sometimes refer to England as our Mother Country, but I was just wondering if that view is shared in the United Kingdom.



Nope, we've pretty much disowned you
We see you as a separate country - nothing to do with us.

quote:


6. In relation to question 5, do the British still view nations like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as still "British," even though they are independent now? In other words, do they feel a closer relationship because they parted amicably and peacefully, whereas America's independence was not peaceful.


Nope - again, we see those countries as separate entities. In fact it still occasionally surprises me to remember that they share our Queen!

quote:


7. In some of the forums I referred to above, I've encountered Australians who seem to be against both Britain and America. For historical reasons, such as the Revolution, the War of 1812, 54-40 or fight, etc., I can see why Canada and the UK might still be mad at us, but what on Earth did we do to the Australians to earn their wrath? That's what I understand the least.


Fuknoes

quote:


8. How do the British feel about America's role in the World Wars? (I'm thinking of what they said as U.S. troops started arriving in Britain, "They're oversexed, overpaid, and over here," while they said the British were "undersexed, underpaid, and under Eisenhower.")




There is an old joke which comes around every time the US gets involved in a conflict. It goes something like "They were late getting into the last 2 world wars, so they're trying to start the next one to get in early".

That pretty much sums it up.


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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 10:13:46 AM   
LillyBoPeep


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quote:

ORIGINAL: LafayetteLady


quote:

ORIGINAL: TheFireWithinMe

Actually my big pet peeve is the use of "America" instead of US. There's a whole lot more to America than the US.

I know it's off topic but wanted to get it out there.


Of course that is disregarding that the use comes from the fact that we aren't simply the "US", but the USA, as in United States of AMERICA.


but we also aren't the entirety of America. that's what she's saying -- while we are the United States of America, Canada is a North American nation, too, and so is Mexico.
And then there are Central and South America. They're Americans, just not northern ones. =p

But I don't really know what we'd call ourselves; everything else is just too bulky. Canadians can say "Canadian;" what do we say -- United Statesian?


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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 10:25:34 AM   
Zonie63


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bighappygoth39

In my lifetime, I've only ever actually known and met three Americans, and it would probably be a bit unfair of me to generalise them without causing any offence, based on those people.
Going from a lot of the Americans who post on here, you don't really give the best impression, but I also know that here is not the best place to get a general idea of your country.
I have only observed how your country works from afar, and the news stories probably don't give the best impression, either.
As for the portrayal of WWII on some 'American' films, that also doesn't do you any favours in our eyes over here, but that's another generalisation.
Your choices of Presidents you actually seem to favour have been a little bit strange, to say the least. (Not that our choices of Prime Ministers have been that much better, to be fair).


Thanks for your comments, bighappygoth39.

I agree about America's voting habits. I don't really care for either the Democrats or the Republicans at this point, and all we really seem to have is a choice between the lesser of two evils. A lot of people get easily suckered by politicians who tell them what they want to hear.

Once the presidential primary season starts up next year, an interesting exercise is to check out what the local papers are saying about the candidates in the states where primaries are taking place. One can look at the language and word choice they use, along with tinges of bias for or against any given candidate. Once it's clear who the media like, then it's easy to predict who the winner will be.




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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 10:52:00 AM   
GreedyTop


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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 10:53:16 AM   
myotherself


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Divorced, but still on speaking terms

Feeling better now - was forced to see the doc at 'mumpoint' (a scarier alternative to gunpoint)!

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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 10:56:55 AM   
GreedyTop


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*hides from Bunny's Mum*

*hugs*

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RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 11:11:10 AM   
Zonie63


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TheFireWithinMe

It isn't that, geez what else is there. It's the use of America rather than USA or US, that bothers me. It's as if the rest of NA doesn't exist or is... I don't know...another continent? Honestly I don't know WHAT they think the rest of NA or for that matter SA is, it just irritates me when America is used to refer to the US.


One thing that I might mention is that the original 13 States thought of themselves as sovereign, not unlike independent nations, so the term "American" was a way of unifying the different states. I think it caught on more for our own internal purposes than an intentional slight against other nations.

Clearly, we know that the continents of North and South America exist, and a few of us even know that some view North and South America as a single continent (although I'd rather not get into that argument just now). Inhabitants of the continent would be viewed as "North Americans" or "South Americans," although I would mostly refer to the individual country where applicable.



(in reply to TheFireWithinMe)
Profile   Post #: 19
RE: Questions for those in the UK (and elsewhere in the... - 11/13/2011 11:14:01 AM   
LafayetteLady


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quote:

ORIGINAL: LillyBoPeep

quote:

ORIGINAL: LafayetteLady


quote:

ORIGINAL: TheFireWithinMe

Actually my big pet peeve is the use of "America" instead of US. There's a whole lot more to America than the US.

I know it's off topic but wanted to get it out there.


Of course that is disregarding that the use comes from the fact that we aren't simply the "US", but the USA, as in United States of AMERICA.


but we also aren't the entirety of America. that's what she's saying -- while we are the United States of America, Canada is a North American nation, too, and so is Mexico.
And then there are Central and South America. They're Americans, just not northern ones. =p

But I don't really know what we'd call ourselves; everything else is just too bulky. Canadians can say "Canadian;" what do we say -- United Statesian?



But very few of them are looking to be called "Americans." They are Canadian, Mexican, Brazilian, etc.

Yes, the USA is only part of the continent, but the only continent that uses "America" in it's name.

I get the whole concept that the USA calling themselves "American" *could* theoretically find insult with us using the term, HOWEVER, considering if you called them "American," those same people would jump very quickly to correct you and say, "no, I'm Canadian," it is really just an argumentative statement. Which from that poster is not surprising. But go ahead and ask her what her geographical origin or makeup is, and she is not likely to say, "oh, I'm a American. I'm from North America." More likely, "I'm Canadian."

Besides that, the whole need for some to "correct" others over things like "American" vs. "Canadian," or "U.K." vs. "Ireland, Wales, Scotland," is ridiculous. The reality is that United Kingdom is encompassing the way that the United States of America is, when simplified for grouping purposes. The U.K. is much more than simply England, just like the USA is much more than simply New York.

I have always referred to people from Ireland, Scotland, etc. as Irish, Scottish, etc. Have never thought of them being part of the U.K. anymore than I think about a New Yorker being an American.

Interestingly enough, you don't hear a whole bunch of Mexicans wanting to know why they aren't being called "American," but leave it to a Canadian to question it just for purposes of trying to be a smart ass, when in reality, they really only meet the requirements of the latter part of that statement.

Really? If getting pissed off about how a group of people refer to their National Origin is something you need to have as a pet peeve, it's time to get a life.

(in reply to LillyBoPeep)
Profile   Post #: 20
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