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At work yesterday, somebody asked my wife if she was an American. She answered that yes, she is an American. Another person argued with her that she was not an American. Then several other coworkers got into it. She told everybody that she was born in Colombia, and has had Colombian citizenship her entire life, and therefore obviously is an American.

She asked them if they had ever heard of South America, Central America, and North America. After this little geography lesson, a few people realized their error.

She came home asking why we don't teach simple geography in this country. She says that geography is taught in her country in elementary school.

She was very angry when she came home. She couldn't believe that there are people who don't even know that Colombia is part of America. She can't believe how ignorant and arrogant some gringos are, thinking that they are the only Americans on the entire American continent.

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"America" is also frequently used as short hand for "The United States of America".

When someone asks you what your NATIONALITY IS, you would probably say "American".

In my objective view these people were probably refering to national identity and not "continential" names.

If people did in fact appreciate the regional and continental bond that we have they would understand that the Mexicans who come here to work are simply attempting to FEED THEIR FAMILY rather than starve, waiting for their Mexican government to provide the services that some of them feel that they have a RIGHT to.
If your wife believes she is American, she is certainly entitled.

I would be interested to know whether she believed she was American when she lived in Columbia.

American society forces people to play interesting games with issues of identity.

I also found it curious that the dictionary offereing did not include the people of Central America to be 'American'.

One would wonder if they count.

Typically, the use of the term 'American' is socio-political, first, and geographical second.

P.S. I just occurred to me your wife did not mention her American citizenship.

Doesn't that count?

Or, more specifically, is she an American citizen?

If not, it would explain why she doesn't mention it.

PEACE

Jim Chester
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quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
If your wife believes she is American, she is certainly entitled.

I would be interested to know whether she believed she was American when she lived in Columbia.


Of course. Colombia is in America.

quote:
American society forces people to play interesting games with issues of identity.


Well, certainly US society does at times act as if we believe that we are alone on this continent.

quote:
I also found it curious that the dictionary offereing did not include the people of Central America to be 'American'.

One would wonder if they count.


I find that a bit odd, too. I can only guess that Central America is meant to be included. There is no agreement as to whether America is to be considered a single continent, or is split up into 2 or 3 continents. I believe that it was originally considered as a single continent, and still is in most of the world.

quote:
Typically, the use of the term 'American' is socio-political, first, and geographical second.


I'm not sure about that. It may depend on where in America you live.

quote:
P.S. I just occurred to me your wife did not mention her American citizenship.

Doesn't that count?

Or, more specifically, is she an American citizen?

If not, it would explain why she doesn't mention it.


I'm not sure what it means to be an "American citizen". She's a Colombian citizen, and I am a US citizen, so we both have citizenship in American countries. But does that make us "American citizens"?

Is it possible to be an "American citizen"? Is it possible to be an "African citizen?" Is it possible to be a "European citizen?" (Maybe with the European Union, the answer to that last question is "yes". I'm not sure.) Is it possible to be an "Asian citizen"? Is it possible to be a "Middle Eastern citizen?"
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Is it possible to be an "American citizen"? Is it possible to be an "African citizen?" Is it possible to be a "European citizen?" (Maybe with the European Union, the answer to that last question is "yes". I'm not sure.) Is it possible to be an "Asian citizen"? Is it possible to be a "Middle Eastern citizen?"---ricardomath

When you choose a continent to define who you are, it can be confusing.

But it points out, once again, that a continent has little to do with ethnicity.

Which reinforces my declaration that as an American (as in United States), I am an American who is African American.

AND, not an American (as in United States) who is simply African.

Interestingly, with wife having acquired citizenship, as an American (as in United States), she too then is an American of unknown African ancestry.

Ergo, in addition to all else she is an American who is African American.

Infallible logic.


PEACE

Jim Chester
I don't know about the other "citizens", but I no longer associate myself with a country, that when the going gets rougher than rough, would in a nanosecond, consider me a REFUGEE. That certainly was an underhanded way to say that I am not a "citizen" of this country. I was born here, I live here, because at the moment, THEY allow it. It's not whether we're citizens, it's do we (as kidnapped Africans) have a COUNTRY to call our own? We're not even honorary guests here. We're a people to be constantly ridiculed.

I read a post on blacknet where some "official" at a school here in America (I didn't copy the info) called the victims of Katrina "YARD APES". In all my years, I've
never heard that terminology before, and there's no words to describe that, nor my shock. Bennett's a whole different story with his diatribe. Wants us ALL dead.

I just hope when that broad's laying on her death bed, she never encounters a person she so despises in her hospital room, bringing her a damn bed pan or her food.

Lots of people are just flat out getting blatant with their insane hatreds against us and we just keep on taking it, and taking it, and taking it. I really believe we have to hone in our crazy brothers/sisters and become united AGAINST all this crap. It's not getting ANY better. We're not respected; just meekly tolerated; don't care what your so-called title is nor how much money you have. OUR lives aren't meaningful to THEM nor to many of our own. All this mental illness surrounding us as a melanined people is becoming damn near unbearable.
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quote:
Originally posted by Norland:
I don't know about the other "citizens", but I no longer associate myself with a country, that when the going gets rougher than rough, would in a nanosecond, consider me a REFUGEE. That certainly was an underhanded way to say that I am not a "citizen" of this country. I was born here, I live here, because at the moment, THEY allow it. It's not whether we're citizens, it's do we (as kidnapped Africans) have a COUNTRY to call our own? We're not even honorary guests here. We're a people to be constantly ridiculed.
____________________________________

As far as I am concerned we do have a country to call our own, the United States of America. No matter how many racist psychos are out there wanting us to not be Americans, or who are trying to break us down as a people and make us concede our stake in this nation, they all can just kiss my ass because we were not the ones that invaded the land of the Native Americans and stole it from them and forced them to 'tolerate' us; as long as that is true, we have more right to be here than any racist piece of you know what no matter how they try to progandize their twisted views and socially condition everyone that they come in contact with to become racist bastards who in turn become brainwashed to have the audacity to hate the very people that have fought and died for justice and equality for ALL in this country.
______________________________________


I read a post on blacknet where some "official" at a school here in America (I didn't copy the info) called the victims of Katrina "YARD APES".
_______________________________________

This statement was made by the Associate Vice President of Greenville Technical College in Greenville, South Carolina, her name is Rene Holcombe. She was promptly fired without any severence or benefits package, and has, of course, refused to comment to any of the media. As much as I hope that she will NEVER be able to find work again anywhere in the free world, I am sure some 'christian' school will hire her. This city is the same city that the infamous Bob Jones University is in (who has claimed to have changed its racist views since the senior died, and has African Americans actually enrolling their children in the school and African American ministers studying Theology there as well. Go figure . . .
______________________________________

In all my years, I've
never heard that terminology before, and there's no words to describe that, nor my shock. Bennett's a whole different story with his diatribe. Wants us ALL dead.
____________________________________

Yes, now I wonder how all those 'conservative' African Americans feel after 'joining forces' with Bennett when he was the so called 'Drug Zhar' - but I am sure that boot lickers of the sort will try to rationalize and make up excuses for his comments or try to show the world how what he said was true and not racist. Hell, if you abort all the white babies in this country the crime rate would go down, in fact, racism and hatred worldwide would go down as well.
________________________________________

I just hope when that broad's laying on her death bed, she never encounters a person she so despises in her hospital room, bringing her a damn bed pan or her food.
_________________________________________

Oh, but she will, I am sure because some of the most evil s.o.b.'s usually for some reason live the longest (afraid to die I suppose), and who do you think are most likely to be nurse's aids in the deep south partly because, this same school had a woman over ther Nursing department for over twently years that did everything in her power to discourage African American women from going or succeeding in that program in the first place and the ones she could not break, she would find some way to make sure that the majority found the R.N. program too hard to complete, making sure that the majority of African Americans would up wind settling for the L.P.N. Degree instead.
____________________________________________


Lots of people are just flat out getting blatant with their insane hatreds against us and we just keep on taking it, and taking it, and taking it. I really believe we have to hone in our crazy brothers/sisters and become united AGAINST all this crap. It's not getting ANY better. We're not respected; just meekly tolerated; don't care what your so-called title is nor how much money you have. OUR lives aren't meaningful to THEM nor to many of our own. All this mental illness surrounding us as a melanined people is becoming damn near unbearable.

___________________________________________

This is definately true. African Americans better stop living in this fantasy world about American racism considering whose hands the power structure in this country is in now (southern crackers); It was stupid for any of us to believe that the civil rights movement was over and was a success in the first place, the 'race war' was is merely a 'cold war' within the United States now and it would beset African Americans to see racism in the context (all of the contexts) that it is in, however, without unity, nothing we do will matter for long and we will still remain at the mercy of whites' 'tolerance' of us in this country.
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
At work yesterday, somebody asked my wife if she was an American. She answered that yes, she is an American. Another person argued with her that she was not an American. Then several other coworkers got into it. She told everybody that she was born in Colombia, and has had Colombian citizenship her entire life, and therefore obviously is an American.

Your wife's coworkers were using American in the following context:

3 : a citizen of the U.S.

While your wife is from South America, she is not an American in the context of the conversation with her coworkers unless she is a citizen of the United States. It may be an arrogant definition of American, but it is recognized internationally. The incident appears to have been a misunderstanding and not a case of ignorance.
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
I also found it curious that the dictionary offereing did not include the people of Central America to be 'American'.

One would wonder if they count.

Central America is not a continent. Central Americans count as North Americans.
quote:
Originally post by Norland:
I don't know about the other "citizens", but I no longer associate myself with a country, that when the going gets rougher than rough, would in a nanosecond, consider me a REFUGEE. That certainly was an underhanded way to say that I am not a "citizen" of this country.

If you are talking about the recent drama surrounding the use of the word refugee in reference to Hurricane Katrina survivors, then the "country" does not consider you a refugee unless you have fled the area affected by the storm. It's ridiculous that anyone would think the word used in this context has racist implications. Refugee is the perfect word to describe anyone of any race who flees a situation like the one caused by Hurricane Katrina.
R-Rob,

Fuck the "context" or whatever is "internationally recognized"... She was asked a question and she answered it from her Point Of Reference. Instead of denying her "American-ness", then her co-worker(s) could have supplied their "context" and said, "this is what I meant" and she, no doubt, would have still insisted on what she knows from her Point Of Reference.

And, I venture to say when "several co-workers got into it" there was more than just an innocuous "misunderstanding". But, I'll let you explain why so many people would have so much invested in the USA being THE "America".

Really, in that scenario, arrogance is too mild a word.

quote:
It's ridiculous that anyone would think the word used in this context has racist implications. Refugee is the perfect word to describe anyone of any race who flees a situation
REFUGEE = one that flees; especially : a person who flees to a foreign country
or power to escape danger or persecution


We can only wonder what CONTEXT that informs your view and what makes you feel so sure you can say what's ridiculous given your Frame Of Reference. Refugee? A "perfect" word?

Amazing how one can float so easily where, in one instant, you are endorsing the co-workers "context" on the use of the term "American" basically because it's a popular expression referring to the USA but, somehow against all convention as it relates to the term "refugee", you declare a damn near archaic form of the word "perfect"... Out of all the words in the English language, it was "perfect"... no matter how it was used IN CONTEXT or conventionally.

I'm sure this also shows how "refugee" is a PERFECT term for the situation.
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You don't make any sense, Nmaginate. I'm not floating anywhere. I endorse the use of American to mean U.S. citizen, and refugee to mean someone who flees the area of a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina. Those are very similar points of view.

In the case of American, I considered the context in which it was used and determined ricardomath's wife's coworkers meant "U.S. citizen."

In the case of refugee, there's only one definition. A Katrina refugee still retains all their rights as a citizen of the U.S. A Katrina refugee is simply someone who fled Katrina or Katrian's devastation. But if you disagree, what do you think would be a better word for someone who flees their city/state because a natural disaster has made the area inhospitable?

I'd also like to know how labeling someone a "Katrina refugee" makes them a subclass citizen.
The conventional use of the term "REFUGEE" in the USA is in reference to "a person who flees to a foreign country"... So Norland's post was justified.
That certainly was an underhanded way to say that I am not a "citizen" of this country.

You were definitely "floating" because, again, you've promoted the conventional American use of a term ("American") in one case and rejected such convention in the other ("Refugee").

quote:
Every year millions of people around the world are displaced by war, famine, and civil and political unrest. Others are forced to flee their countries in order to escape the risk of death and torture at the hands of persecutors. The United States (U.S.) works with other governmental, international, and private organizations to provide food, health care, and shelter to millions of refugees throughout the world. In addition, the United States considers persons for resettlement to the U.S. as refugees.
That's what the US government calls a Refugee.

  • an exile who flees for safety

  • a person who has escaped from their own country for political, religious or economic reasons or because of a war

    Ummm.... Victims, Survivors, New Orleanians(sic), AMERICANS, since it fits "evacuee".

    Hmmm... Let's see? Has REFUGEES been used to refer to other Americans in these types of natural disasters? Hurricane Andrew or Frances? Look them up and tell me what you find.

    So it doesn't matter what you "endorse". Especially considering you have so much, logically, standing against you. But, yeah... your definition of the word "refugee" is "perfect"; more perfect than a number of dictionaries it seems.

    quote:
    In the case of refugee, there's only one definition. A Katrina refugee still retains all their rights as a citizen of the U.S.
    Yeah, okay... sck
    And talking about making sense... What is that?
    I haven't quarreled with anything in terms of "rights" per se... So what are you talking about? But in actuality "the rights" of the victims of that disaster didn't mean a whole lot when they were waiting for water, etc. And I'm sure all the high level apologizing about the poor (and slow) government response was an indication of the great power of their "retention of rights".

    quote:
    In the case of American, I considered the context...
    And I told you about the ridiculousness of not reconciling the varying Frames/Points of References which her co-workers could have done without denying her her claims to be a [South] American.

    A simple, "You are? I thought you were from another country?" would have sufficed as a genuine quest for an understanding. Again, FUCK the context. By virtue of "context" they both were "right" - Ricardo's wife was right via her "context", based obviously on her Frame of Reference; likewise, her co-workers. But the burden was on the co-workers, they asked the question (which may be problematic in itself)... the burden was on them to specify clearly what they were talking about and to provide the context especially after the miscommunication.

    (And we won't even speculate on how, in a conversation with co-workers (unless she just started working there), how or rather why her nationality comes up for questioning with so many of her co-workers so ready and willing to participate in the "You're Not American" welcome.)

    Back to what would have sufficed (from the start):
    "What nationality are you? If you don't mind me asking?"
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    Refugee

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    This article is for the group of people as defined by international law. For the description of "refugee" as casually used for any person who has been forced to leave their home, [see displaced person]

    A refugee is a person seeking asylum in a foreign country in order to escape persecution. Some regional legal instruments further include those seeking to escape generalized violence in the definition of a refugee. [maybe , this would have been applicable, but still a stretch].
    Those who seek refugee status are sometimes known as asylum seekers and the practice of accepting such refugees is that of offering political asylum. The most common asylum claims to industrialized countries are based upon political and religious grounds.
    Under the 1951 Convention on Refugees and 1967 Protocol, a nation must grant asylum to refugees and cannot forcibly return a refugee to their nation of origin. However, many nations routinely ignore this treaty. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is dedicated to protecting the rights and wellbeing of refugees. As of 31 December 2004, the agency reported a total of 9,236,500 official refugees (excluding an additional 4 million Palestinian refugees) [1].
    Globally, about 16 countries (Australia, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States [2]) regularly accept quota refugees from places such as refugee camps. Usually these are people who have escaped war. In recent years, most quota refugees have come from Iran and Iraq, which have been in various wars and revolutions, and the former Yugoslavia, due to the Yugoslav wars.
    Displaced person
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    A displaced person (sometimes abbreviated DP) is the general term for someone who has been forced to leave his or her native place, a phenomenon known as forced migration. The term first gained widespread usage during World War II and the resulting refugee outflows from Eastern Europe, when it was used to specifically refer to one removed from his or her native country as a refugee, prisoner or a slave laborer. The meaning has significantly broadened in the past half-century. A displaced person may also be referred to as a forced migrant. The term "refugee" is also commonly used as a synonym for displaced person, causing confusion between the general descriptive class of anyone who has left their home and the subgroup of legally defined refugees who enjoy specified international legal protection.
    If the displaced person has crossed an international border and falls under one of the relevant international legal instruments, they are considered a refugee. A forced migrant who left his or her home because of political persecution or violence, but did not cross an international border, is commonly considered to be the less well-defined category of internally displaced person (IDP), and is subject to more tenuous international protection. The forced displacement of a number of refugees or internally displaced persons according to a identifiable policy is an example of population transfer. A displaced person who crosses an international border without permission from the country they are entering is often called an illegal immigrant. The most visible recent case of this is the large number of North Koreans who have settled in the border region of China.
    quote:
    I don't know about the other "citizens", but I no longer associate myself with a country, that when the going gets rougher than rough, would in a nanosecond, consider me a REFUGEE. That certainly was an underhanded way to say that I am not a "citizen" of this country. I was born here, I live here, because at the moment, THEY allow it. It's not whether we're citizens, it's do we (as kidnapped Africans) have a COUNTRY to call our own? We're not even honorary guests here. We're a people to be constantly ridiculed.



    Norland:

    You are able to BELIEVE anything that you want.

    Try making use of your "non-US-Citizenship" to enter into North Korea. Try walking down the streets Fahluja, Iraq - not looking like them. When stopped tell them that YOU DON'T RECOGNIZE CITIZENSHIP TO ANY COUNTRY and you are a "KIDNAPPED AFRICAN" even though you have never made a jesture to MOVE BACK "HOME". I am sure that they will say "Peace my brother" and allow you go to, right?

    It is interesting that folks are quick to tell us that the "White man stole the land". These same people will also produce the mortgage deed to the house that they own today on this "stolen land" as evidence of THEIR ownership of the land. Is the land now laundered because YOU reside on it? In all other cases when you are in receivership of STOLEN PROPERTY you must YIELD IT to the proper owner and you incur the loss even if YOU DIDN'T KNOW.

    Clearly YOU DO KNOW about the history of this land but you have not done anything to return it to it's rightful owners. Let us start with YOUR PROPERTY. Go down to the closest Native American and give him his property BACK!!!

    You in paying your taxes and working each day PERPETUATE "the beast" who's belly you live in.

    I am not saying "America Love It Or Leave It". I am saying "America - Stop being a CO-CONSPIRATOR to the crime that you are saying is perpetually going on".

    Your WORDS have little consequence on you LIFE as you live it.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nmaginate:
    You were definitely "floating" because, again, you've promoted the conventional American use of a term ("American") in one case and rejected such convention in the other ("Refugee").

    I am not promoting "conventional uses". I am promoting the use of context clues to identify the implications of a word's usage. In the case of American there just happens to be a definition to support the use of the word in the context defined by ricardomath.

    Just because a refugee is normally someone fleeing to a foreign country, does not mean that always has to be the case. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' definition of a refugee is irrelevent here. They weren't the ones who started calling Katrina survivors refugees. News organizations did. How do we know that they weren't talking about people fleeing to a foreign country? Let's look at the context and find out:

    • Hurricane Katrina kills 1,000+ people in Mississippi and Louisiana
    • Hurricane Katrina leaves a large metropolitan area like New Orleans flooded and void of electricity
    • Hundreds of thousands of people flee the area

    Oh, I see! In this context, a "Katrina refugee" must be someone fleeing the devastation of Hurrican Katrina! Wow, who knew English lessons from primary school would be so useful?
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nmaginate:
    Has REFUGEES been used to refer to other Americans in these types of natural disasters? Hurricane Andrew or Frances? Look them up and tell me what you find.

    The combined death toll of Hurricanes Andrew and Frances does not even equal a tenth of the number killed by Katrina. In the cases of Andrew and Frances, 250,000 people were not put on buses and moved 350 miles away. They were bad storms, but they were not Katrina. Comparing them to Katrina would be like comparing Katrina to last year's tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nmaginate:
    quote:
    Originally posted by RoboRob:
    In the case of refugee, there's only one definition. A Katrina refugee still retains all their rights as a citizen of the U.S.

    Yeah, okay...
    And talking about making sense... What is that?
    I haven't quarreled with anything in terms of "rights" per se... So what are you talking about? But in actuality "the rights" of the victims of that disaster didn't mean a whole lot when they were waiting for water, etc. And I'm sure all the high level apologizing about the poor (and slow) government response was an indication of the great power of their "retention of rights".

    I see what you mean. The lack of an immediate response to Katrina's aftermath was ridiculous. I think this branch of coversation is getting off the subject of language. My point was calling someone a refugee does not automatically make them a foreign national seeking asylum.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nmaginate:
    quote:
    Originally posted by RoboRob:
    In the case of American, I considered the context...

    FUCK the context. By virtue of "context" they both were "right" - Ricardo's wife was right via her "context", based obviously on her Frame of Reference; likewise, her co-workers.

    That is a stellar example of a miscommunication. If you recall, ricardomath said a few of his wife's coworkers eventually realized she was using American in a different context. I don't think they were ignorant to the fact that Colombia is in South America (though I could be wrong) so much as they were ignorant to the fact that she was using the word in a different context.
    quote:
    My point was calling someone a refugee does not automatically make them a foreign national seeking asylum.
    And that, whether it is "automatically" a reference to exiles is IRRELEVANT! The conventional use in America... (just like the term "America[n]") is one that refers to exiles. And my challenge to you was for you to find any comparable situation were Americans have been regarded as "refugees". All the conventional uses of the term do, indeed, matter here.

    It's ridiculous to say that they don't... just because the word has some damn near archaic meaning that simply means someone seeking refuge. You're the one said it was a "perfect" word. If it was indeed "perfect" then it would have avoided any possible misunderstanding by not swim up stream against the conventional, popular use of the term. If it was "perfect" and innocuous then it would be such a term that would readily and legitimately cause so much concern over it's meaning.

    So much for your "perfect" word. BTW, "perfect" suggests something that is automatic in terms of communicating, without confusion, what is meant and, being "perfect" doesn't fall prey to, again, legitimate misunderstanding, IF there was any.

    Ummm... And the English language is full of words, different words that mean the same thing or speak about the same type of actions, etc. Simple, "people fleeing Katrina" would do. Again, you are, in one case, trying to defend the convention and in the other trying to defy it. And it's not about CONTEXT. In the overall CONTEXT of the Media and it's view of Black people, particularly in NOLA since Katrina, you can't justify and claim "refugee" was something that was purely or "perfectly" innocuous.

    I mean, in the English language CONTEXT is something more than just literal translations. More than that comprises what is called the CONTEXT.

    quote:
    If you recall, ricardomath said a few of his wife's coworkers eventually realized she was using American in a different context.
    Yeah, after she told them she's a Colombian, SA citizen. And you need to get the starch out. Stop being so damn literal.

    quote:
    She can't believe how ignorant and arrogant some gringos are, thinking that they are the only Americans on the entire American continent.
    Note that's a statement contesting the "American" (USA) arrogance, internationally recognized or not, in claiming AMERICA, the name, for itself (to the exclusion of all of AMERICAs. United States works pretty good; same amount of syllables (as A-mer-ric-ca). Anybody else have that name?
    Central America is not a continent. Central Americans count as North Americans.RoboRob

    I can accept that.

    I thought Mexico was the southern limit, but then one could contend Central America is the northen portion of South America.

    I still find it interesting that this loose interpretation of what geography constitutes 'America' never seems to incorporate 'South', or 'North', or 'Central' in its new defintion of America.

    I know this is going to 'come off' wrong, but I think it is akin to saying/implying that marriage to an American citizen confers citizenship to an alien.

    My understanding was that, at best, such marriage enabled only residency.

    It's a bad projection of the truth.


    PEACE

    Jim Chester
    What's interesting about this thread is that different countries have different ideas about continents, and about exactly what "America" is. From this Wikipedia article:

    The 7-continent model is usually taught in Western Europe, the United States, Australia, and much of Asia. In Canada, the government approved Atlas of Canada names 7 continents and teaches Oceania instead of Australia, however most schools view North and South America as subcontinents, as well as Europe and Asia, hence most Canadians knowing 5 continents. The 6-continent combined-America model is taught in Japan, Iran, and Latin America. The 6-continent Eurasia model is preferred by the scientific community, and as such is commonly found in all parts of the world, but is especially used in Russia and other countries of Eastern Europe. Historians may use the 5-continent Laurasian model (Jared Diamond) or the 4-continent Afrasian model (Andre Gunder Frank).

    So depending mainly on where you are from, you see the world in one of the following terms:

    7 continents: Asia (49,700,000), Africa (30,250,000), North America (24,230,000), South America (17,820,000), Antarctica (13,200,000), Europe (10,600,000), and Australia (8,500,000, including New Guinea).
    6 continents: Asia, America (42,050,000), Africa, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.
    6 continents: Eurasia (60,300,000), Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, and Australia.
    5 continents: Eurasia, America, Africa, Antarctica, and Australia.
    5 continents: Laurasia (84,500,000), Africa, South America, Antarctica, and Australia.
    4 continents: Afrasia (90,500,000), America, Antarctica, and Australia.


    Most Americans (in the sense that the intellectually honest among us understand how I must obviously mean it) believe that North America and South America are continents, and that there is no such place as a continent called America. But the Spanish and Portuguese entries for "America" and for "continente" list "America" as one continent.

    Personally, I prefer to think of Eurasia as one continent, but North & South America as two, because NA & SA are on separate tectonic plates, which Eurasia is on one. But when "American" is used as a nationality adjective or noun, it means people from the US. It has to; otherwise there's no word for that.
    Vox:

    Thanks for the piece. I'll archive it.

    I didn't know about those different structured views.

    I heartily agree with your closing comment: But when "American" is used as a nationality adjective or noun, it means people from the US. It has to; otherwise there's no word for that.

    Exactly, AND...reasoned conversation goes 'down the tubes'.

    I might add that the people in all the countries with their alternative constructions still know who/what the subject is when demonstrators yell, 'Down with America.'

    PEACE

    Jim Chester
    Is the official name of this country the United States of America or the United States? The President is referred to as POTUS (President of the United States.) In fact, other then what's printed on currency, I am pressed to think of any official usage of United States of America.

    I believe other nations only refer to this place as the United States.

    As for the continents... You could argue that North and South America are separated by the isthmus of Central America and are therefore two continents. I don't really know about that one. But Europe as a separate continent is one of the most blatant examples of Western chauvinism. Maybe a peninsula but a continent? Ridiculous.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Solomonic:
    Is the official name of this country the United States of America or the United States? The President is referred to as POTUS (President of the United States.) In fact, other then what's printed on currency, I am pressed to think of any official usage of United States of America.

    I believe other nations only refer to this place as the United States.


    Actually, it depends on the country. Germans refer to this as die Vereinigte Staaten, Amerika, or die USA. In Arabic, the US is Amreeka, with no United or States. Just Amreeka. It's the United States of America, like Mexico is the "Mexican United States."

    I was taught that there are 7 continents (Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe & Australia). Based on the tectonic plate discovery, Europe and Asia are one continent. North & South America once were totally separate, before their plates drifted into each other. So I still think like most "Norteamericanos," in believing North & South America as separate continents. The two together, what Spanish-speaking people call "America," I call "the Western Hemisphere" or, perhaps more accurately, "The Americas." (Technically, of course, the Western Hemisphere includes the water as well as the land, west of a certain longitude.)

    For Huey, Laurasia is supposed to be North America and Eurasia. I guess they must figure that the Arctic Ocean, which separates northern Eurasia from northern Canada, is just one big lake in the middle.
    That "American" gets to my sister-in-law, as well. The other thing that drives her nuts is the casual booting of Mexico out of North America.

    It was confusing when I'd go to school and the teacher would say something about "American" or would include Mexico as a part of Central America or something and I'd say, "but my my brother's girlfriend says. . ."

    Of course the teachers weren't ever wrong, so after a while I'd go home and misuse "American" or say something about that non-North American Mexico only to have to contend with my sister-in-law and her lectures on geography.

    Confused up to middle school.

    I've known a couple of people from Latin America who have criticised those same things, and I'm inclined to agree with them, although I have my lapses with "American."
    Where do we live. We live in the Americas. Which includes North America, Central America and South America. We live in the Americas. America is a Spanish name. So your wife is American. I think we some of us in the US forget. That America is not just the US. It's the other two Americas too. The three main groups in Americas are. Native American (Mexican, Peruvian and so on) European and African. Three smaller groups Asians, East Indians and Middle Eastern.

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