of course there is a place called america
although its pronounced 'merica, its where the merkins come from
You'd think that an elite special forces hack like our very own Lewis Page would be au fait with an atlas, but he's sadly not, according to one rather disgruntled reader. Lewis unwisely kicked off this piece with: "An alliance of boffins from Oxford University and Virginia, America..." Oh no. Cue a fit of pique from one Lorne …
Technically he's correct (the commentard, I mean). There's a continent called North America. Another called South America. "Americans" can encompass Canadians, Mexicans, Cubans, Brazilians, Guatemalans, and so forth - also including citizens of the United States of America. Citizens of the USA are Americans, true, but they're not the *only* Americans
However, Lewis Page is also correct saying Virginia, America in the same way that one might specify "Paris, Europe" in order to distinguish it from, say, Paris, Illinois.
The labelling isn't strictly correct, but depending on your point of view, it isn't strictly incorrect, either, and you could (and I'm sure many more commentards here will) argue it either way.
Never be sarcastic when you may be wrong.
I don't like the Canadian gentleman's way of expressing himself. However, I think he is trying to say that America is not the name of a country. This is a common annoyance for Canadians.
Virginia is a state in the country called the United States of America. Canada is also an American country. It shares the continent of North America with the United States of America and Mexico.
People often refer to "Europe", when they actually mean the European Union. The EU is only part of Europe, not the whole continent, and that annoys non-EU Europeans. Similarly, people refer to "America", when they mean the United States of America. The USA is part of America, not the whole continent, and that annoys non-USA Americans.
Clear? Call them Gringos, not Americans.
I would think that saying "America" for "The United States of America" isn't too different from saying "Britain" for "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" or even "Germany" for "The Federal Republic of Germany". It's a short form of the official name of the country, with the descriptive bits describing the political system removed. The fact that there are continents named North and South America complicates things a bit, but only a bit. None of the other countries use "America" in their names, so there is little if any confusion.
Actually, Lewis, strictly speaking he is correct - the continent is called America and the country is called the United States of America. This is confirmed in the wikipedia article here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States, wot I just edited specially for the purpose.
Well technically the term 'America' isn't even specific enough to narrow the location down to a continent: it describes a very large area from Chile all the way up to this, admittedly inarticulate, individual's home in Canada.
The late, great Douglas Adams referred to this in one of his books as I recall. I can't recall the exact text but I am sure that some other Reg reader can oblige.
There is no country called America. He's quite right. There is a continent called America (which includes Canada, strangely enough) and a country called the United States of America.
There are at least 5 Virginias in America: one in Brazil, one in Colombia, and three in the USA.
I think your pundit there is politely protesting your correspondent's confusion of the country and the continent. Although he doesn't actually say so, he may have a point. There's no country called "America"; however, judging from your hint of a "really big piece of land south of [Canda]", perhaps he thought you were referring to the United States of America.
Of course, that's all complete gobberwonk. Mr Page would not make such an egregarious geographic error! He fully intended to refer to Virginia, on the American *continent*. To avoid confusion with all the /other/ Virginias of the world..
Let's simplify it.
EU = European
Europe != EU
USA = American
America != USA
England = GB, and UK
Scotland = GB, and UK
Wales = GB, and UK
NI = UK
NI != GB
UK = GB + NI
GB != UK
As a final reminder to USAnians,
UK != England
England != UK
Nordic = Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland
Scandinavia = Sweden, Norway, Denmark
Finland = Nordic
Finland != Scandinavian
And so on.
or just pretending to be one?
America is a CONTINENT.
The US of A is a COUNTRY.
As much a you don't say London, Europe, you don't say Illinois, America.
And America is not the big lump of land south of Canada. It is Canada PLUS the big lump of land south of it, and the one west of it too.
One should try to attend, and remember, primary school.
There are 3 or 4 places that could be Virginia, USA...
Which ever way you cut it, and the commentard turdspurt notwithstanding, Lewis was hideously ambiguous with his shorthand - but, since I believe he's ex-military, he probably still thinks that continental accuracy is all that is needed...
We say 'America' when we mean the USA. We talk about Americans, we roll our eyes and mutter 'Only in America', and we discuss the irony of the 'American Dream' over our yuppicinos.
Hands up who was actually confused?
Now hands up who is a maple-flavoured double double pedantard?
The guy who made the comment is, judging by the language, obviously some idiot teenager who can't even google what "boffin" means (how come its ok to use yank slang everywhere but any british slang and they all get confused across the pond and burst into tears?) so why do we care that he made it?
Sorry, perhaps you're being ironic or something - or perhaps its some sort of Friday thing.
Whatever it is, let's just state the basic geography here.
The statement 'America is that really big piece of land south of him' is wrong - period. That place is called the United States of America. On the other hand, 'America' is a continent, consisting of 'North America' - containing Canada, the USA, Mexico and and a bunch of small states down to Panama - and 'South America' - containing Columbia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and half a dozen smaller countries.
There - fixed that for you.
As a Canadian, let me just say to this to Lorne Babcock: Boffins are a sub-species of Puffins, but are known to be unusually intelligent! (Yes... that's the ticket)
They aid our noble hunters in the culling of the seals, so they don't overpopulate and develop bad diseases, and don't compete TOO much with the Spaniards stealing our fish. And no, the hunters don't kill pups, that's just bad business.
(Really, though, Lester. Bad commentard week, if this is the worst there is?)
To all the pedants complaining the term America should not be confused with the United States of America, why do we regularly hear "God bless America" and "I'm proud to be an American" etc.
To the rest of the world, and even to your own presidents, "America" = "USA".
When we talk about a loud-mouthed obnoxious twat on the tube, we say "there was an American loudly talking shit", we don't say "there was a person from the USA loudly talking shit". We KNOW "American" means "somebody from the United States of America", so there was no doubt in anybody's mind exactly what "Virginia, America" means.
Anonymously so I don't get murdered by an *American*
"To all the pedants complaining the term America should not be confused with the United States of America, why do we regularly hear "God bless America" and "I'm proud to be an American" etc."
Don't be so silly. They don't call themselves Americans. They call themselves "USAicans", and they are proud to be USAicans.
Don't you recall Eddie Murphy's 1988 classic film "Coming to USA"?
Or the less-classic 1995 Michael Douglass vehicle "The American President"?
I have it on good authority that the Native-USAicans have a number of casinos, and the Italian-USAican community has a number of legitimate family businesses.
Continents: North America, South America
Both together: The Americas (not a continent, but a term encompassing the two previously mentioned continents)
Country: United States of America.
In Europe and North America, the term 'America' is commonly used as a shortened form for the United States of America. However, it IS very unspecific.
Generally: If you really get your knickers in a twist over the word America instead of the term USA, you really need to get over yourself and go out and have some fun.
You know, that "The Federation of The United States of America the beautiful" song. For convenience, let's just abbreviate it to "America the beautiful"
Don't be a bunch of dicks, if you guys get it wrong in daily use, don't expect the rest of the world to get it right whilst you're exporting TV shows with it wrongly expressed.
You can't have it both ways when it comes to America and i think the worlds has decided that America = US of America.
Its like Football against Soccer (which always confuses me as only ones played using your FOOT to kick the BALL ie FOOTBALL, a re-think to the Amercian name really needs to be made, how about soft girly men in boby armour or somethin?)
(Must be Friday as i have my troll head on until i read the BOFH)
An easy solution to his turdspurt would be for the USA to pull a Fallout 3 get it over with and annex Canada and add a dozen or so stars to our flag. The only drawback would be they would want to keep the queen on our money. As for resistance as some comedian said our Salvation Army could take them these days. Nevermind nix that, without Canadian culture we would have any good comedians. Seriously though Canada is super beautiful, full of nice people, a bit cold for my tastes but any country that loves beer and Tim Horton donuts is ok in my book.
America isn't a continent, as North America and South America are separate continents and people that live in Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil etc... are never (correctly) referred to as Americans.
America is an abbreviation of the USA, a place where Americans live. The USA is the country allbeit a country made up of a collection of states, each with their own state laws. State law is trumped by Federal law which implies a Federation which is what the United States of America actually is.
To use America as a country and meaning the USA is not wrong. It is totally correct.
Those USAians are just being greedy and unimaginative, using 'america', 'american' and so forth when those words cover 2 whole continents and the people of many countries. There have been attempts to adopt more specific terminology, but they never seem to get very far. Even sticking to 'united states' doesn't work, as using that for the USA upsets residents of the United States of Mexico, just to the south.
Okay... admittedly the original comment was not what one would consider well written or well presented, but lets cut to the chase here.
The name of the country is the United States of America, not "America", The common use of "American" to refer to a citizen of the USA is quite different then referring to the entire country simply as America, something that maybe you should ask people in other North and South American countries about, and not just assume that you know best.
Second, the retort to the poster was quite ignorant. This individual may be a bit of an idiot, buit the comment about the seals??? Really!?!
Being a person from Canada, and from a province of Canada where we do participate in the annual hunt of Harp Seals, I know that there is a great deal of misinformation and ignorance of this industry, ignorance which is easily found in the off-handed commend about beating a seal cub with a baseball bat.
Please, do yourselves a favour and get informed before making such comments. Maybe try a source based on science and fact and not one based on profit-driven "animal rights" organizations that have nothing to do with anything close to reality.
Here is a site put in place by the federal government of Canada...
You are all missing a simple fact. Lewis Page is British and in Britain it is common for people to refer to the USA as America or the states. Afterall it doesn't make you sound like some kind of freak by pronouncing the full title all the time. If the US has an issue with it, that is fine, I would be okay for US citizens to ciritcise as long as they can name and point to the other countries on a map of Europe and perhaps detail all their closest neighbours, or point to North Korea on the map. Only then should we take Geographical advice from an American.
"America is a CONTINENT." - No it isn't, there are seven widely regarded continents, America isn't one, it is NORTH america, or SOUTH america. Whether referring to the continent as a land mass or a continental plate, America still isn't one of them.
"The US of A is a COUNTRY." - Correct
"As much a you don't say London, Europe, you don't say Illinois, America." Yes you can, if you don't that is fine but you CAN. Afterall there is a London in Canada (Just above great lakes) And you don't say illinois, america. (well you might, we don't) Just like you don't say Kent, England, or Warwickshire, England. or Prince Edward island, Canada. They are counties, states, provinces within the country and will only be mentioned if the sentence requires it.
"One should try to attend, and remember, primary school." - I agree, so should you. Start perhaps with Geology and Geography 101.
You should have used set notation.
I see what you're trying to say because I'm fully acquainted with the facts you are trying to express.
England = GB, and UK
Scotland = GB, and UK
Wales = GB, and UK
NI = UK
...is just wrong. The left hand sides are subsets of the right hand side.
Closest icon I could find for mathematics nazi ;-)
When someone refers to "America", as people in the UK often do, I always know it is a short way of saying "United States of America". As Mike Jennings says it is the same as saying "Britian" instead of "the United Kingdom of Great Britian and Northern Ireland".
When we talk about the whole continent we say "the Americas". No one is sidelining Canada, or Latin America or Puerto Rico for that matter.
What's the difference here folks, you're all Welsh. America comes from the Welsh name Ap Meric via a merchant from Bristol called Amerike.
Britian was originally full of Welsh (celtic) so that's what you should really be getting hot under the collar about ;)
"To be fair using Britain as a shorthand for the UK should be incorrect too, as Britain is technically England and Wales."
You're wrong. Britain is short for 'Great Britain', which is the name of the island made up of the NAtions of England, Scotland, and Wales. UK us an abbreviation of 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland', referring to the geographical location of the Kingdom.
Stop confuising the issue.
Is it just me who immediately thought of the old joke?
An Eskimo's Skidoo breaks down, so he sends out a distress call on the radio and waits for help. A few hours later, his mate turns up.
"Hear you've got engine problems, dude. Eh, have you blown a seal?"
"Nah, it's just the frost on my moustache."
I know this is the ultimate aim of the Gauls, to take precedence of over the Germanic Hordes or Romans.....
however, to use the American (or should than ube USAian) English it "Paris, France", to use British English or any other form of English outside the USA its "Paris" as non USAians have a resonable grasp of Geography to know that when people refer to Paris, they mean Paris the capital of the French Republic, not some hick town in Texas!?
Surely the giveaway, as ever, is in the title. It is the United States of America.
So by their own reasoning, and naming (albeit geographically incorrect, but when has geography ever been an issue in the USA); there must be an America. Otherwise how can one award the States, in their postion of unity to be OF America?
Thus, in referring to "America", one clearly refers to the the country of which the states are united. America.
Oh and Britain (short version of Great Britain, hence GB) is the British Isles, which includes those countries not part of the UK (nor the EU). But note Eire. The UK being england, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
By asdf Posted Friday 23rd October 2009 10:35 GMT "An easy solution to his turdspurt would be for the USA to pull a Fallout 3 get it over with and annex Canada and add a dozen or so stars to our flag."
Remember the last time that was tried, about 1812-1815? How's the White House these days?
"America isn't a continent, as North America and South America are separate continents and people that live in Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil etc... are never (correctly) referred to as Americans."
If you believe that, you probably don't speak any language but English. In Spanish, Portuguese and other languages, South and North Americans are "American". And the named countries certainly are.
That's the problem when you live in the Anglo-Saxon language bubble. You think everyone talks and thinks like you. Break out of the bubble and have a look around. You'll find the rest of us have created a very interesting world.
Did the original article say that America was a country?
Did it say "Virginia, in the country known as America"?
No, it used America as a geographical reference point, so that we wouldn't get it confused with Virginia in Ireland, Virginia Water or Virginia Bottomley.
So yes, Lewis was fine in saying Virginia was the one in the geographical region that is in common usage known as America.
And he knows all about America, it's where the Chinooks come from.
Fortunately for us, Canada is a rather unique name, and while properly referred to as Canadians, we are generally ok with the term Canuck as it is generally used in a friendly manner.
When we refer to the people of the United States of America, we refer to them as “Americans”, not “Americans of the United States” or “United States Americans”. The term “American” refers to nationality, not geographic location and also refers to those not living in North America (e.g.: Hawaii).
As for geographic location, Lewis should have referred to the country as “U.S.A.”, or even U.S. would have been ok. Americans use “America” because saying “The United States of America” is too wordy and, let’s face it, we all know to what they are referring. But out of respect for all countries “U.S.A.” would not only have been more accurate, it would have been fewer characters to mash out on the keyboard.
<<Stereotype mode = ON>>
My work here is done, eh? Time to go to Tim's for my 'double double' to wake up so I can go for some beer!
You're both wrong, and although I agree that Mr Spoon is muddying the issue and further confusing an issue that is already very confusing for many people, he's *technically* correct.
- Britain comes from an older root and refers to England and Wales.
- Great Britain is a geographical term and refers to the largest landmass of the British Isles. Politically, it encompasses England, Wales and Scotland.
- United Kingdom is a short form of "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", and is the modern political entity that exists in that geographical location.
- "England" is neither an acceptable term for the geographical island of Great Britain, nor for the political entity that is the UK. England is merely one fraction of the whole. By the same token, one would not say "Texas" to refer to the USA as a whole, nor would one say "France" to refer to the EU (or Europe) as a whole.
Back to primary school for you chaps.
Britain is often used as a shorthand for Great Britain and the UK, but it is not the same thing.
Britain is technically England and Wales. Great Britain is England Wales and Scotland.
In the English language, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is often, if incorrectly, called 'Britain', because 'Great Britain and Northern Ireland' is something of a mouthful, and the term 'United Kingdom', while considered correct, does not truly name the thing referred to; Great Britain and Northern Ireland just happen to be a United Kingdom.
This is more apparent in the case of the Dominion of Canada and the Commonwealth of Australia. A Canadian might occasionally refer to his country as 'the Dominion', but that is clearly a figure of speech. I have no idea how often Australians refer to their country as 'the Commonwealth', but I would suppose that it is not often.
Thus, the United States of America is clearly "America" in the same sense as the Dominion of Canada is "Canada", or the Bundesrepublic Deuchstland is "Deuchtsland" or the Republique Francaise is "France".
However, while this makes perfect sense in English, speakers of Romance languages such as French - and, more to the point, Spanish - could potentially be confused. While English speakers use "America" to refer to the United States of America, and "the Americas" to refer to the landmass consisting of North America, Central America, and South America, in French, for example, there is only the term "l'Amerique".
As a result, particularly in the United States of America, there is a considerable sentiment towards referring to that country as the "United States" and not as "America" out of deference to the feelings of Spanish-language speakers, who consider their native lands to be part of what they think of America - what we would call the Americas.
'Just for completeness - to those of you listing the constituent parts of North America - you might want to add Greenland. Even though it's a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, it's also a sizeable part of North America..'
And the left-hand quarter of Iceland; which (depending on your definition) is also (or indeed is not) part of Scandinavia.
The difficulty we have here is establishing a worldwide designation for Citizens of the United States of America. The generally used term 'American' is FAR TOO encompassing, even downright ostentatious. After all, as has been previously stated, America is a continental designation; North, Central, and South. So by this designation, someone living in Peru, Nicaragua or Mexico could call themselves 'Americans', although God forbid they would want to ...
No, as I see it, most countries citizens are named in such as way as to unambiguously connect them to their country's name; in this case United States of America. So citizens of the United Stated of America are FORMALLY now and forever known as USANS .
This new name is pronounced You-jans with a soft 'j' as in the word Asians.
... and this solves any ambiguity
All this commentary about the extent of Great Britain and not a word about Cornwall? Good Lord, folks, don't you all know that until a few centuries ago Cornwall existed on British maps as a separate and distinct country to England. Royalty referred to themselves as being 'rulers of England and Cornwall'. A Greek traveler in 300BC - recorded that the people of Cornwall were an evolved and civilized tin mining community trading tin with other countries - 800 years before the Anglo-Saxons first set foot in Britain.
In 1337 the 'Nation' of Cornwall was made a royal Duchy to provide an income to the Heir to the throne, Cornwall became an extra-territorial region of Britain ruled by the Duke's of Cornwall.
Kernow Bys Vyken!
England = GB, and UK
England != UK
So, the only way for this to be internally consistent is for England to be the sum of Great Britain and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Since I'm obviously a clueless provincial, I'll just have to trust your obviously superior European intellect.
So, given that, I will feel free to refer to anyone from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, etc as English (since that is the accepted term for someone from England, as far as I know). If they get offended, I'll refer them to you. Thanks.
In all the rush to be "correct" about the names of the United States of America and the Dominion of Canada, you all seem to have ignored their neighbours to the South. The actual name of that country is the United Mexican States - all right, it's really Estados Unidos Mexicanos, but I didn't want to get too pedantic on a Friday.
"And the left-hand quarter of Iceland; which (depending on your definition) is also (or indeed is not) part of Scandinavia."
No it isn't. As previously stated, "Scandinavia" is comprised only of Denmark, Sweden and Norway (being, as they are, directly connected to the Scandinavian Mountains from which they get their communal name - Norway and Sweden to either side, and Denmark at the tail end).
Denmark + Sweden + Norway = Scandinavia (geographical)
Scandinavia + Finland + Iceland = Nordic (cultural)
There is no matter of opinion about it. It is simply fact - in exactly the same way as the distinction between GB vs. UK is a geographical vs. political distinction.
In the U.S., we use the terms "U.S.", "United States", and "America" interchangeably when we refer to ourselves. So does most everyone else on the planet. If we are referring to the continents, we always say "North America", "Central America", or "South America".
If we are talking about Canada, we use the word "Canada" or "north of the border" (or "the 51st state" if we want to mock them).
We get to call ourselves "America" because we are the third most populous country in the world. Although Canada is second largest in area, it's #36 in population. And only the population talks.
The U.S. of A. means the United States of America. Americans, who come from America, refer to their country as the United States or just the States.
The geographical part of the world is North America and includes Canada, the USA and Mexico.
The term 'AmericaS' refers to the co-joined areas of North and South America.
Limeys are British; Canucks are Canadians and Yanks/Gringo's are Americans.
So long as people don't call Canadians or Mexicans "Americans", there should be less blood on the ground. I guess if they call it "the United States of America", then there's an "America" in there.
It's a bit like calling people from Northern Irish "British" because that's the occupying power of the day. Or calling the Scots "English" because they happen to almost speak the language. Luckily the Canadians I know are rather peaceful folks, who don't rip peoples throats out and shit down the hole when some geographically challenged Daily Mail reading mouth breathing wanker can't be bothered to use the right term.
While it's true that United States of Americans (well you tell me, United Statesians?) say things like 'Paris, France' or 'London, England' to distinguish the real cities from the fake ones in the US, no one else in the world does this. Generally no one else feels the need to boast that they've been within touching distance of somewhere with a slice of culture and a history dating back further than last Wednesday.
I suppose it's entirely possible Lewis was taking the piss, in fact I'm almost certain that this was the reasoning behind 'Virginia, America'.
What always amused me was that while those living in the colonies are aware of the fact most European countries feature more than one city, they invariably believe that everyone lives in the capital.
"Are you going home to London for Thanks Giving this year?"
"I've never lived in London and no one in England feels any particular gratitude towards the native populace of North America for not just letting those puritan wankers starve to death. I believe the short piece of history following the event proves how much better off they'd be not living on reservations that curiously seem to be relocated with the discovery of any sort of natural resource European Americans would like to own. Okay I admit it, we're a bit annoyed that you still haven't delivered that shipment of tea you promised us several hundred years ago. What did you do, throw it away?"
A couple of points.
America is the country all your fellow Canadians seem to spend a lot of time illegally emigrating to.
Boffins are the people who showed you how to get to access to that black liquid under the ground and how to it can be used for something other than powering Zambonis and whaling ships.
Hmm. i remember playing a 'puter game called "America's Army", developed for the, er, "US Army". Now I'm confused who exactly the game portrayed, and who commissioned it.
Perhaps the USA should clarify the situation by pulling a Hitler and annexing all of their continental neighbours. Then they could call themselves something simpler.
The thing I found odd (and maybe missed by the canucklehead) is not the reference to America, but I was wondering where in Virginia. I know Oxford is a collection of colleges like 20 or so, but there are quite a few possibilities in Virginia. For example, Virginia is the home of black helicopters (Langley), the Pentagon (Alexandria), and GWAR (Richmond, VCU I think). There's higher tech in Blacksburg (Va. Tech) and artsy pastoral schools in Fredericksburg. Maybe Dave Matthews was involved.
I wish the Reg would cover the research being conducted at the Slave Pit though, because of the Antartic ice melting.
The (very poorly and rudely articulated) point of the original commentard is that not all people refer to the U.S as America, and in Canada, it gets under our fingernails. The author is writing, I assume, for an international audience and should avoid idioms that piss off his readers.
By NO means do I want to imply that the word "boffins" should be replaced by "a team of expert scientists" or anything like that. I found the definition on the Web, so can he.
Now I off down the pub for a pint (that's 20oz for you Americans) and a bite of still-beating seal heart.
...claim to be American when the Iranians chant "Death to America"? Thought not.
When threatened by yobs in England, do they say "Don't hit me, I'm Canadian!"? Thought so.
So when push comes to shove, the Canadians deny being American- which I would think leaves the field to the yanks. Sorted.
Canadians and Mexicans have a name for themselves. Its called a demotic.
The Inhabitants of the USA call themselves Americans because they are, even if they are not the ONLY Americans. However, they have to use that because they have never organized a demotic just for themselves. Usanians?
But the Reg's idiot commentator is both wrong, and even more of an idiot because he is patronizing at the same time. The USA is that relatively small country south of Canada. There's more of North America in Canada than there is in the USA.
Anyway, God bless America - and I'm quite happy for that to include Canada.
Beer because mine's a Molson - a great (Canadian) American drink.
@AC 12h56 <<"Sadly, there are ignoramuses from all countries..."
Should that not be 'ignorami'? [...] plural of virus [...] virii>>
AghfhgF why are pedants wrong 90% of the time?? Show me a dictionary that says virii! The wikipedantia dictionary perhaps.
You're writing English, right, not latin? You know how english plurals work? Or do you keep plurals in their original language, say Tupinamba for jaguar, and so forth?
... so little time.
Context, people! Context!
This is The Register, a UK-based online content creator and publisher. The language it is written in is known as "English". There are a number of known versions of English, but the ".co.uk" in the URL should make it clear that the original "UK English" version is likely to be dominant.
Given that, and the immediate context of the offending phrase: "Virginia, America", we have a clear and unambiguous meaning: It refers to a location known as "Virginia" within a larger entity named "America". As "America" is a common contraction among English-speakers for the country known as the "United States of America", the intended location is perfectly clear from the context.
As no other nation in the Americas actually uses the word "America" in its name today, there is no confusion for English speakers: "America", in the UK, is invariably assumed to refer to the nation of the United States of America. Using contractions like this is no worse than referring to "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" as the UK. Contractions are not unusual.
The article was written in English and is clearly aimed at English-literate readers. Spanish, French or Italian readers have their own damned languages to get pedantic about and don't get to vote on English usage.
>Surely you mean pull a Fallout 1? I mean, it was there first, and talked about it first.
Good point. Was very late to the Fallout party so first one I played was 3 (Bethesda owns, just hope rumor that they are avoiding consoles for future games isn't true).
Also Canadians didn't burn down the white house the English did. The Canuks did hold out very well against our army but that was before the days where we spent more than most nations GDP on our military. Fighting in Canada is like Russia with few roads, harsh conditions, etc so pack a lunch if you don't get it done quick. Still Canada is smart not to overspend on their military and for how small it is it has down some remarkable things over the years such as the longest sniper kill on record as well as shooting down the Red Baron (sorry Aussies was a plane not ground fire that took him out). The relationship is a bit strained at times (mostly because we often elect Republicans) but we really do need each other and the long peace between the countries in North America is much of the reason why we are the biggest market in the world and even why the EU exists at all. Peace sells baby.
> "As much a you don't say London, Europe, you don't say Illinois, America."
No, I say "London" and "Illinois" without feeling the need to add a qualifier: I think most people assume that I'll be talking about "that one" unless I specifically say otherwise. But if it makes you any happier, I'll be glad to refer to the latter as "Illinois, New York". (Before anybody berates me for being geographically-challenged--which, incidentally, is true--I'm just reminded of a letter I received that was addressed to "Colchester, Essex, London, England". Sigh).
Just how much spleen should be vented over a simple error in the use of a term?
BTW, my neighbours (here in the Great White North) describe themselves as American, and them dahn sahf as US-ians, or "from the US". Except, that is, when they're complaining about them (which is quite often), when it's "bloody americans"
lester:"a place where they don't generally go boffin' seal pups with baseball bats. So now you know. ®"
that place you refering to is 0were they use hush puppy bats for the job i take it....
also ,i though we all lived on different bits of 'Pangaea'
or 'Vaalbara' the Earth's theorized first supercontinent if you prefer the older version.
"Technically he's correct (the commentard, I mean). There's a continent called North America. Another called South America. "Americans" can encompass Canadians, Mexicans, Cubans, Brazilians, Guatemalans, and so forth - also including citizens of the United States of America."
"I thought the bit of land south of Canada was called the united states of America. "
you mean the Wyoming craton...
"But Lewis you did miss out the 'United States of' when refering to the American Federal Republic"
didnt these AFR blokes nick some of the americans land once or twice and havnt got around to giving it back yet as it had/has oil on it!
"It also raises the question: how does "God Bless America" when it does not exist?"
ElReg answers that very question today, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/23/god_poll/
Atheists smite online God poll
Alert Print Post comment Does He exist? No, say 98 per cent of voters
so neather exist...according to 98% of the worlds voters, so he/she/it doesnt bless , and they are not blessed, it seems clear enough, and if by chance he did turn up sometime to say Hi, then surely he would be blessing the whole of 'Pangaea' and everything inbetween not just a bit of it...
"Poor Lorne Babcock, you don't know what boffins are?"
funny enough someone in that place people keep calling the USA does, look at Fringe
and its wonderful mad boffin Walter.
although since it moved filming to the place your calling canada, and the ser scripts have been taken over by non boffin types.
OC it odd that Walter Bishop as played John Noble, an Australian (the Pilbara craton (the Pilbara region of Western Australia).) employed by USA corp, working an filming in Canda playing their version of the English Boffin can get rather complicated, But he does play a good part IF they dont dumb down the science scipts he gets to act out ...
@Anonymous Coward, who wrote "People that live in Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil etc... are never (correctly) referred to as Americans."
Try telling them that. Cubans, in particular, are keen on the phrase "Our America" to make the point that the Yanks don't have a monopoly on the name.
It doesn't matter two figs what the root of "Britain" is. Most of us live in the current political and legal reality. There is a legal term to describe the area governed by the unified laws of England and Wales, it's called "England and Wales" which, whilst unweildy, is legally and constitutionally correct. So, in the current political reality Britain can only be the short form of "Great Britain", as there is no other legally (technically, whatever) recognised "Britain".
Or do you want me to use "Albion" instead?
There is no continent called America.
There is a North America, and a South America, but no America, sorry.
There is also no United States.
But there IS a United States of America, commonly called America for short.
There is also a Federative Republic of Brazil, commonly called Brazil, and a People's Republic of China, commonly called China.
If you cannot say "America", than you better not say "China" or "Brazil" either.
As I like to say, if you must go, go all the way.
John Savard, a Canadian might have referred to Canada as The Dominion, A HUNDRED FRIKKIN YEARS AGO!!! YOU KNOW, WHEN WE HAD A DIFFERENT FLAG?!?! DID WE JUST THAW YOU OUT OF A GLACIER OR WHAT?!?! JEEBUZ FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER & RICE, WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU!!
"Upon Confederation in 1867, the name Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country, and Dominion was conferred as the country's title; combined, the term Dominion of Canada was in common usage until the 1950s. Thereafter, as Canada asserted its political autonomy from Britain, the federal government increasingly used simply Canada on state documents and treaties, a change that was reflected in the renaming of the national holiday from Dominion Day to Canada Day in 1982."
My my, what a stupid dorky flag we used to have, eh?
"As for resistance as some comedian said our Salvation Army could take them these days."
You're so very welcome.
That is all.
Yes, "America" supposedly refers to the entire Western Hemisphere, basically. Technically it is incorrect to refer to the United States of America as "America". However, throughout the world, people often do call the US "America", and there is generally no confusion about it.
Sorry, but the original complain and the following 150 comments are just missing the point. "Virginia, America" grates because it is non-idiomatic. These double-barreled placenames always have "USA" as the second barrel.
Your chosen formulation makes you sound vaguely foreign, in the way that "London, England" would make you sound American. You don't want *that*, do you?
In all the 123 above comments the only one man (NBCanuck) did mention Hawaii, which doesn't belong to any America (be it Norhtern or Southern), but does to the USA.
So maybe when one sings "G-d bless America" or alternatively "I'm afraid of Americans", this relates not to Hawaiians, and therefore to the Barack Obama neither.
The real question that needs to be answered is why did Mr Cross shorten 'University of Virginia' to 'Virginia'? He didn't shorten 'University of Oxford' to 'Oxford'. Methinks there is more than just slack writing at work here. I will leave it up to the amateur shrinks to sort that out.
in 1917 composted a song " God Bless America" , as a patriotic effort for the war, that America finally got involved in actively in 1918.
To the point- Irving in this song always had America , not USA or United States .
The yanks still pull the song out when required to inspire patriotism.
This girl is American aint she?
to send most of our MoD budget to the USA, I'm shocked that Lewis Page doesn't know where it is.
The United States of America, otherwise known as the USA or the United States, is the area directly below (and to the west of) Canada.
Before you know it, Lewis will have gotten a bit more confused and he'll be demanding we buy Helicopters from Paraguay...
in Central America - completely missed. Yes North, Central and South America. Who cares any way the bloody Yanks and Germans refer to the whole of Great Britain as England which is just not cricket. I was always taught that these three Americas = one continent America. Is see wakapedia is still under the false belief that America is named after Amerigo Vispucci. Somebody hasn't told them yet you name things based on the surname not the first (see By rhydy 11:52 a scholer).
I always like "United Statesmen" as the term for a citizen of the USA.
I seem to remember reading that the lack of a proper name for the country now known as the USA was raised very shortly after the formation of the country (especially as, at the time it referred to a much smaller proportion of the continental Amereicas).
I've always loved the confusion that the USA causes by their myopic view of the world (which apparently revolves around them). I agree with the crowd that there is no such thing as America. While the "United States of America" is close but it really should be the USMPNAC ("United States of the Middle Part of the North American Continent"). The Americas consists of two major continents, north and south. Not that the USMPNAC would mind having control of South American resources I'm sure, however I think the locals might object.
look for "Americans are NOT stupid - WITH SUBTITLES"
Name a country that begins with the letter U ?
I have tried this more than a few times; the only ones who get this first time around seem to be either the older "American" or those who have been in the military.
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