Book recommendation list Part II

Kyla Tornheim kyla at merlin.sccs.swarthmore.edu
Thu Mar 13 12:42:49 EST 2003


On Thu, 13 Mar 2003, Ian W. Riddell wrote:

> I know that this is nitpicky (and touchy), but, technically
> Argentinians, Canadians, and Ecuadorians are American as well, not
> just those folks who live in the US. Unfortunatley, there's not a
> good adjective (USians?) for the citizens of the United States that
> does not negate the existence of the millions of people who don't
> live in that country.

Except. Argentina is named Argentina, and therefore it makes sense to
call people from that country Argentinians. Canada is Canada, Ecuador is
Ecuador, and the people are described as such. The United States is named
the United States of America, and so, no, "Americans" isn't the best
of all choices, but it's certainly better than "Statians" or anything
else.

If people from the entire continent are being described, they're "North
Americans." People from South America are "South Americans." Slapping the
two continents together isn't something that happens all that often.

I understand why you're annoyed, but "America" is included in the name of
the country; and I don't think that calling people who live in the USA
"Americans" negates the existence of everyone else who lives in North
America. However, I do hate it when people refer to the USA as "America,"
because, well, it's not. Call it the US, call it the USA, call it the
United States or abbreviate it to the States and it's all fine with me.

> Could we perhaps refer to the country of origin (U.S., Canada,
> Australia, Sweden) rather than using an adjective (American,
> Canadian, Australian, Swedish)?

That sounds like a good idea. I particularly noticed it when "New Zealand"
was written, and I had to stop and think if "New Zealander" was the
appropriate parallel term.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
>From a fallen tree, all make kindling.
       --Spanish proverb

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