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Source: (consider it) Thread: Continents, "Americas", "America", and what's what
Golden Key
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# 1468

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Hi. The Purg thread "Common-law Marriage" developed a tangent about the long-term question of what "America" refers to, what counts as a continent, etc.

I'm going to copy those posts over, so someone's common-law marriage doesn't get caught in continental drift.

Then we can pick up where we left off. [Smile]

--------------------
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--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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(Copied over from the "Common-law Marriage" thread in Purg.)

quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
"commonlaw" is also a Canadian term.

quote:
Originally posted by Carex:
And Canada is in the Americas...

quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
quote:
Originally posted by Carex:
And Canada is in the Americas...

Yankees can pretend to be Canadian when you travel. That's all you get. (only a Yank would post what you posted)
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
quote:
Originally posted by Carex:
And Canada is in the Americas...

Yankees can pretend to be Canadian when you travel. That's all you get. (only a Yank would post what you posted)
[Confused] So, Canadians get mad when people say America and excludes Canada and Canadians get mad when someone says America and includes Canada? Alrightly then.
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
"Americas" and "America" aren't the same thing.

Americas = North America, and Latin America (i.e., Mexico down to the tip of Tierra del Fuego), plus many islands. IOW, not just the US.

America = The United States of America (USA or US), including all US possessions and territories. (I'm not sure how Native American nations fit into that, because the relationship is complicated.)

The name "United States of America" goes back to our founding documents. "America" is just a short form. TTBOMK, we never kept any other country of the Americas from using "America" in their title.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
"Americas" and "America" aren't the same thing.

Americas = North America, and Latin America (i.e., Mexico down to the tip of Tierra del Fuego), plus many islands. IOW, not just the US.

America = The United States of America (USA or US), including all US possessions and territories. (I'm not sure how Native American nations fit into that, because the relationship is complicated.)

The name "United States of America" goes back to our founding documents. "America" is just a short form. TTBOMK, we never kept any other country of the Americas from using "America" in their title.

The use of the word America to mean the US has sparked annoyance from Canadians here on SOF in the past.
Just wondering what yanked np's chain.

quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
lB--

Yes. I was trying to make that point to several people.
[Angel]

There's definitely been trouble before, and even worse. There was a Hell thread that veered into "America" territory. Someone--IIRC, not even from the Americas--got really upset and insulting. I spoke up, saying more or less what I said here. Also that AFAIK, no other country of the Americas had "America" in their official title, unless on a very old deed or something. Erin piped up and confirmed that. IIRC, some folks were surprised at the truth.

quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
"Americas" and "America" aren't the same thing.

Americas = North America, and Latin America (i.e., Mexico down to the tip of Tierra del Fuego), plus many islands. IOW, not just the US.

America = The United States of America (USA or US), including all US possessions and territories. (I'm not sure how Native American nations fit into that, because the relationship is complicated.)

The name "United States of America" goes back to our founding documents. "America" is just a short form. TTBOMK, we never kept any other country of the Americas from using "America" in their title.

The fact that you think it works that way does not mean that everyone else, particularly people in the Spanish speaking part of "The Americas", necessarily agree with you.

In fact even the Wikipedia article on The Americas doesn't agree with you, containing several footnotes within the first sentence to show that what you are asserting is not in any way a universal view.

The whole idea that it's a plural because it's 2 continents is simply not how it's regarded in much of the world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continent#Number

[/tangent]



[ 29. November 2017, 04:05: Message edited by: Golden Key ]

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--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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orfeo--

This came up on the Ship a few years ago, too.

I was taught the geological idea of continents, via the 7 continents model (7cm). (BTW, the "Continents" article, to which you linked, says 7cm is taught in Australia.)

That's what I've gone with since, other than considering super-continents (Pangaea, Gondwanaland); new-to-us (Zealandia); and whimsically considering Atlantis, Mu, and Lemuria.

I've always found Europe, Asia, and the Indian sub-continent a little tricky, because Europe and Asia aren't visibly separate. Looking at the "Models" section of the Continents page, I see I'm not the only one.

I don't see the sense of "botanical continents", when they could just as easily be "regions".

The only semi-continental label that I'm familiar with is "Latin America": Mexico, Central America, South America, and assorted islands. That's due to Latin-based languages and cultures that are related to each other.

Latin Americans evidently think of "America" as all the bits. It's inclusive. We say "the Americas". That's inclusive, too.

FWIW, YMMV.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Golden Key
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np--

Wikipedia's "Americas" article, in the "Terminology--English" says:

quote:
Most Canadians resent being referred to as "Americans".[141]
The footnote refers to:

quote:
"America." Oxford Guide to Canadian English Usage. (ISBN 0-19-541619-8) Fee, Margery and McAlpine, J., ed., 1997. Toronto: Oxford University Press; p. 36.
I'm guessing that doesn't match your experience?

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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orfeo

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# 13878

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Sigh.

It doesn't have anything to do with my experience. It has to do with acknowledging that much of the world does not teach a 7-continent model. Including pretty well everyone in the countries lying to the south of the USA.

Besides, postulating that "America" means the "United States of America" actually means that the name "United States of America" is a bit peculiar. If that's "America" as well then the "United States" bit is superfluous.

There is ample evidence that the name "America" was used to refer to the entire expanse, and that deciding that it refers only to a particular bit is the result of a combination of English speakers being most interested in the English-speaking bits, and the fact that the founders of the USA were unable to come up with any more imaginative name than one that had "America" in it.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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I myself will quite happily and regularly refer to the USA as America. It's my standard conception of the term just as it is yours.

But the issue here was that you asserted this correlation as if it was some kind of objective truth. Which it is not. It is a cultural viewpoint that a large part of the world doesn't share.

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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orfeo--

Various responses:

--The "your experience" post, just above yours, was addressed to np, in response to his comments.

--You seemed personally offended about the whole thing. American Shipmates have run into that before on this topic, with people who were open about it.

--I need to correct something. Mexico is part of North America, geologically, and part of Latin America culturally and linguistically. I knew that, but I goofed.

--"America" is just a short form of the "United States Of America". In the past (the Hell board argument I mentioned), someone insisted that it wasn't, and that we were just the United States, and that calling ourselves "America" was just trying to lord our superiority over everyone else in the Americas. They were very surprised to find out they were misinformed.

--Here, we don't generally hear of different counts of continents--at least, not as anything modern. Very old maps, which I love, happen to have all sorts of arrangements and counts.

--I don't know what's currently taught in schools, but "the Americas" or "the countries of the Americas" is what I was taught, and AFAIK it's normal here.

--Even back at the founding of the US, there were the Americas, in various forms. The founding guys chose the United States of America--not to say that it's the end-all and be-all of the Americas, but that the colonies here united as states. Hence the name. America, US, and USA are simply short forms of a long name.

IMHO, it's no worse than "the United Kingdom of (list of all the bits in official order)" being shortened to "United Kingdom" or "UK".

--It's an objective truth, in the sense that this is how this country was set up. That's what I'm going by.

If I may ask, how does Australia view itself on this sort of thing?

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
orfeo--

Various responses:

--The "your experience" post, just above yours, was addressed to np, in response to his comments.

Sorry.

quote:
--You seemed personally offended about the whole thing. American Shipmates have run into that before on this topic, with people who were open about it.
I don't know what "personally" offended means. My annoyance is in the assumption that there is something inherently objective about a view which I know a large part of the world does not share. When one is on the internet, one needs to be aware that one is dealing with people from all over the world.

quote:
--"America" is just a short form of the "United States Of America".
No. It is not JUST that. And that's the whole point. The fact that this is what it is in your lexicon does not mean that's the sole meaning in existence.

Any more than the American habits for words like "entree", "jumper" and "thong" mean that these are the sole meanings in existence. You can use these words however you like. Well, except for "entree", that one is nuts. But where I would draw the line is if you insisted that everyone else had to use them in the same way that you do on the grounds that your American meanings were the real meanings.

quote:
--Here, we don't generally hear of different counts of continents--at least, not as anything modern.
We don't generally hear of them here, either. But I choose to inform myself about how other parts of the world live.

quote:
--I don't know what's currently taught in schools, but "the Americas" or "the countries of the Americas" is what I was taught, and AFAIK it's normal here.
Which is fine so long as the only people you talk to are other people that are "here". Again, internet.

quote:
IMHO, it's no worse than "the United Kingdom of (list of all the bits in official order)" being shortened to "United Kingdom" or "UK".
A moment's thought will demonstrate to you that the equivalent of "UK" would be "US". Which is, as you yourself have just observed, the abbreviated form that other people would sometimes prefer you use rather than "America". Nice try.

quote:
--It's an objective truth, in the sense that this is how this country was set up. That's what I'm going by.
All I can say to this is that you don't appear to understand what you're saying. Because your country was not set up as "America". It was set up as the United States of America.

quote:
If I may ask, how does Australia view itself on this sort of thing?
I don't understand exactly what you're asking. But we're tired of being confused with Austria.

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orfeo

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It's not the use of "America" I find weird. It's the insistence of it being something self-evident.

For one thing, the very term "The Americas" is based on the idea that there is more than one America. And yet you then want to insist that there is only one, which doesn't need distinguishing from any alternative America.

Sure, in plenty of contexts it is clear which America is meant. But it's not some universal objective thing. There's something fundamentally problematic with saying that there's Central America, and Latin America, and South America and even North America, but then there's also an America which just doesn't need any kind of adjective because it's "the" one.

[ 29. November 2017, 10:31: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Any more than the American habits for words like "entree", "jumper" and "thong" mean that these are the sole meanings in existence. You can use these words however you like. Well, except for "entree", that one is nuts. But where I would draw the line is if you insisted that everyone else had to use them in the same way that you do on the grounds that your American meanings were the real meanings.

Except that's the exact opposite of what happens in the real world. We blithely use "America" to mean the USA, and are excoriated by people in other parts of the New World for doing so.

Ironic that you use "American" here to mean USAian, without seeing the contradiction in what you are saying.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:

Latin Americans evidently think of "America" as all the bits. It's inclusive.

And, IME, it isn’t the complete story. People from Mexico to Argentina say America and American to refer to the USofA in general speech. Just as the rest of the world generally does.
I’m not saying the wiki article is wrong about how it is taught or how people might think of the concept, but it isn’t how the terms are used in general speech. IME.

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churchgeek

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As a US American living on the Canadian border (Detroit), I've heard the term, when a Canadian becomes a US citizen, that they've "become U.S." Is that still in use? My impression is it's an older term.

Anyway, my understanding is:

Americas = North and South America
North America = Canada, US, and "Central America" (Mexico and south through Panama), and islands in the Gulf of Mexico.
South America = the land mass south of Panama.

"America" is, in my experience (in Michigan), shorthand for the US, and "American" for US Americans. You might have noticed that when clarity's called for, I prefer to say "US American," as it is more specific.

The country is named "United States of America" not just because someone lacked imagination. The "States" referred to were the 13 British colonies, which, having declared independence, weren't going to call themselves colonies. And the polity here goes from the local up to the national, so they weren't forming a single nation and then sub-dividing it; they were uniting separate states. Located in the Americas. Hence, United States of America. It's a common misunderstanding in other parts of the world, but our states are actually different from each other in their polity; and they each have a government (with a Governor and other officials, and a bicameral legislature in almost all cases - IIRC there's one or more that doesn't?) which meets in a state capital. Each state sets its own policies and makes its own laws, so when you move from one state to another, you have to get used to the differences. Hence the emphasis on States in the name of our country.

[ 29. November 2017, 17:11: Message edited by: churchgeek ]

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Sipech
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# 16870

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I deal with things like professionally. I report the revenue by country, which can then be broken down into any number of regions. Nomatter how explicit you are, people always get the wrong end of the stick, which resulted in a page on our annual report boldly stating about our activities in America, when it then showed the location of several of our Canadian offices near the border. And because of revenues in the Caribbean, the North America figure is always the largest, but people cite it and call it 'US' which winds me up no end. [Mad]

The most animated conversation, though, came a few years ago when a former chief executive wanted to talk about Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East each as separate regions. So where did our revenue for the likes of Turkey and Egypt go? Everyone had a different opinion, and those who'd been to those locations on holiday aired their views most vociferously. Eventually, I just made a decision, decided which country fell where (Egypt and Turkey were both Middle East) and pissed off everyone in roughly equal measure.

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Lyda*Rose

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# 4544

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At times I think some people from other countries just resent the United States of America for many reasons, and the name controversy is low lying fruit.

[ 29. November 2017, 17:41: Message edited by: Lyda*Rose ]

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stonespring
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:

Latin Americans evidently think of "America" as all the bits. It's inclusive.

And, IME, it isn’t the complete story. People from Mexico to Argentina say America and American to refer to the USofA in general speech. Just as the rest of the world generally does.
I’m not saying the wiki article is wrong about how it is taught or how people might think of the concept, but it isn’t how the terms are used in general speech. IME.

I have Cuban, Peruvian, and Ecuadorian family, and friends from different parts of Latin America. Some do say "American" or "Americano/a" to mean people from the US, but others prefer not to. Many Latin American politicians, journalists, and academics who try to be politically correct do not use these terms in this way.

In Spanish, there is the adjective "Estadounidense" meaning someone from the "Estados Unidos de America" (USA), although the (almost never informally used) Spanish name for Mexico is "Estados Unidos Mexicanos," which does not mean "United States of Mexico", but "United Mexican States."

An adjective I have often heard used by politicians and journalists is "Norteamericano" (North American) - used to refer to people from the US, not Canada (note that in Latin America, Mexico and Central America is not generally spoken of as "North America," although Canada is). The fact that this adjective leaves out Canada when it is used in this way never seems to be addressed.

Informally, the term "gringo" seems to be used throughout Latin America, and I am not sure if it is a slur or not. Political correctness definitely exists in Latin America, but often in a very different way than in the US.

I have heard more than once the use of the term "Americano/a" by Latino/a people in the US to differentiate non-Latino/a white and black US citizens from those that are Latino/a. I have also heard it used by Latino/a to differentiate Asian US citizens from "Americano/a" US citizens. Of course, this is very informal, very politically incorrect (in mainstream US discourse), and rightly offensive to many (particularly Asians).

All that said, I think that the history of US imperialism in Latin America is enough to be respectful of those Latin Americans who are touchy about the adjective "American" being used to refer only to US people, as if the USA was the "real" America. It does make for some pretty awkward attempts to avoid using "American," though, at least in colloquial English.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
Many Latin American politicians, journalists, and academics who try to be politically correct do not use these terms in this way.

But this is not general speech. That is why I qualified what I wrote with that word.
quote:

All that said, I think that the history of US imperialism in Latin America is enough to be respectful of those Latin Americans who are touchy about the adjective "American" being used to refer only to US people, as if the USA was the "real" America. It does make for some pretty awkward attempts to avoid using "American," though, at least in colloquial English.

IMO, the imperialism is a big part of the problem.

I had thought gringo meant white American, but wiki says different.

[ 29. November 2017, 18:06: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Any more than the American habits for words like "entree", "jumper" and "thong" mean that these are the sole meanings in existence. You can use these words however you like. Well, except for "entree", that one is nuts. But where I would draw the line is if you insisted that everyone else had to use them in the same way that you do on the grounds that your American meanings were the real meanings.

Except that's the exact opposite of what happens in the real world. We blithely use "America" to mean the USA, and are excoriated by people in other parts of the New World for doing so.

Ironic that you use "American" here to mean USAian, without seeing the contradiction in what you are saying.

You might want to tap your irony meter. It seems to be stuck.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by churchgeek:
The country is named "United States of America" not just because someone lacked imagination. The "States" referred to were the 13 British colonies, which, having declared independence, weren't going to call themselves colonies. And the polity here goes from the local up to the national, so they weren't forming a single nation and then sub-dividing it; they were uniting separate states. Located in the Americas. Hence, United States of America. It's a common misunderstanding in other parts of the world, but our states are actually different from each other in their polity; and they each have a government (with a Governor and other officials, and a bicameral legislature in almost all cases - IIRC there's one or more that doesn't?) which meets in a state capital. Each state sets its own policies and makes its own laws, so when you move from one state to another, you have to get used to the differences. Hence the emphasis on States in the name of our country.

If you replace "located in the Americas" with "located in America" in your explanation, the result still works perfectly.

And I'm aware the USA is a federation. So is Australia.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Any more than the American habits for words like "entree", "jumper" and "thong" mean that these are the sole meanings in existence. You can use these words however you like. Well, except for "entree", that one is nuts. But where I would draw the line is if you insisted that everyone else had to use them in the same way that you do on the grounds that your American meanings were the real meanings.

Except that's the exact opposite of what happens in the real world. We blithely use "America" to mean the USA, and are excoriated by people in other parts of the New World for doing so.

Ironic that you use "American" here to mean USAian, without seeing the contradiction in what you are saying.

The more important response to this is to refer you back to the post where I quite clearly explained that I use the term America/American in this way and do not have a problem with it. Not once have I said it should not be used in this fashion.

[ 29. November 2017, 20:32: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Augustine the Aleut
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# 1472

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Stonespring writes:

quote:
An adjective I have often heard used by politicians and journalists is "Norteamericano" (North American) - used to refer to people from the US, not Canada (note that in Latin America, Mexico and Central America is not generally spoken of as "North America," although Canada is). The fact that this adjective leaves out Canada when it is used in this way never seems to be addressed.
Ah it has been, many many times in international fora (to my knowledge, IAA, OAS, and the UN). There are frequently motions etc using norteamericano while referring to US policy, and Canadian officials diligently and with much frustration, try to get in changed to estadounidense or US or USA. They point out to their hispano- & lusophone counterparts that Canada is in North America and has its own point of view. They get the same puzzled/confused/slightly hurt response which one gets trying to point out that America is not necessarily synonymous with the USA.

As one of my Foreign Service acquaintances, (normally most genteel and of a distinguished family) noted, it's like banging your f***ing head against a wall. I had no idea that she had ever heard that word, let alone was able to use it.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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I have it on the authority of wikipedia that "America" is a version of Amerigo Vespucci's first name. Which is weird. Obviously the country should be the United States of Vespucci.

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Any more than the American habits for words like "entree", "jumper" and "thong" mean that these are the sole meanings in existence. You can use these words however you like. Well, except for "entree", that one is nuts. But where I would draw the line is if you insisted that everyone else had to use them in the same way that you do on the grounds that your American meanings were the real meanings.

Except that's the exact opposite of what happens in the real world. We blithely use "America" to mean the USA, and are excoriated by people in other parts of the New World for doing so.

Ironic that you use "American" here to mean USAian, without seeing the contradiction in what you are saying.

You might want to tap your irony meter. It seems to be stuck.
Oh look, it's a text-only medium! How foolish of me not to have noticed.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
At times I think some people from other countries just resent the United States of America for many reasons, and the name controversy is low lying fruit.

Post of the thread. Might as well close it now; nothing wiser or more informative is likely to be said.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Augustine the Aleut
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# 1472

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
At times I think some people from other countries just resent the United States of America for many reasons, and the name controversy is low lying fruit.

Post of the thread. Might as well close it now; nothing wiser or more informative is likely to be said.
I think it more accurate to say that, rather than low-lying fruit, the name controversy is more like a mosquito buzzing just out of reach, diverting one from the proper and godly enjoyment of one's afternoon mojito.
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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
And I'm aware the USA is a federation. So is Australia.

That was truer before the Civil War. Far less so since. Canada is much more a federation than the USA. The several states have very little power independent of the nation. There was a subtle shift in the 19th century from the plural to the singular verb -- "the United States are" to "the United States is." This reflects the death of federalism in this country nicely. "State" in this nation has little of its original meaning and shades much closer to "province" than it did in 1787.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Any more than the American habits for words like "entree", "jumper" and "thong" mean that these are the sole meanings in existence. You can use these words however you like. Well, except for "entree", that one is nuts. But where I would draw the line is if you insisted that everyone else had to use them in the same way that you do on the grounds that your American meanings were the real meanings.

Except that's the exact opposite of what happens in the real world. We blithely use "America" to mean the USA, and are excoriated by people in other parts of the New World for doing so.

Ironic that you use "American" here to mean USAian, without seeing the contradiction in what you are saying.

You might want to tap your irony meter. It seems to be stuck.
Oh look, it's a text-only medium! How foolish of me not to have noticed.
Please. I am hardly the first person on this Ship to make a remark like that about people missing the intention, and in fact I’m fairly sure you are one of the people I learned it from!

[ 30. November 2017, 01:33: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
At times I think some people from other countries just resent the United States of America for many reasons, and the name controversy is low lying fruit.

Yup. Look, if someone wants to list all the bad things by the US gov't and representatives thereof, I'll help. Look up "smallpox blankets"; "Tuskegee syphilis experiment"; Project MKUltra (Wikipedia--and yes, it was real); and "bin Laden fake vaccine program" (which has caused people in the area to distrust vaccines).

That's just a small sample. Of course, it would be only fair for Shipmates to mention what *their* countries have done wrong...

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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orfeo--

quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
The more important response to this is to refer you back to the post where I quite clearly explained that I use the term America/American in this way and do not have a problem with it. Not once have I said it should not be used in this fashion.

As I mentioned earlier, your posts seemed personally offended and angry, with a theme of "you stupid, ignorant, self-centered Americans; here's what it's REALLY like". That rather out-weighed pointing out that you yourself use "America" for the United States of America.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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As someone whose tone is sometimes taken as more harsh than it is meant, the limitations of this medium make intention less than perfectly obvious.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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orfeo--

quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
--Here, we don't generally hear of different counts of continents--at least, not as anything modern.
We don't generally hear of them here, either. But I choose to inform myself about how other parts of the world live.
Per Wikipedia, both our countries teach the 7 continents model. Forgive me for not checking daily to see if someone thinks they've changed. [Biased]

I do know that all sorts of people have all sorts of ideas about the world, how it got here, how it works, etc. I can cope if someone thinks the (flat) Earth sits on the backs of animals. Or that the Earth is simply flat. There are some cool representations online. I can cope if someone believes the myths/folklore of their people. I wouldn't be likely to "correct" them. If I had some reason to do so, it would be along the lines of "hey, I know this is going to sound pretty weird, but did you know that most people think X? Just so you know, in case you run into them".

Oh, and your comment "But I choose to inform myself about how other parts of the world live" is a good example of saying how you are/Australia is smarter and better than I am/America is.


quote:
If I may ask, how does Australia view itself on this sort of thing?
quote:
I don't understand exactly what you're asking. But we're tired of being confused with Austria.
Well, I've always known the difference between Austria and Australia, because I know where they are. Plus I've been to Austria, and haven't yet been to Australia.

What I meant is how do Australia's views of itself compare to how other countries view it? And what are Australia's opinions of some of the other terms used for that area and beyond, like "Ocean(i)a" and "Australasia"?

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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hosting/

This is looking increasingly like a pond war. We don't do pond wars. Everyone dial it down, or call each other to Hell or something, or this thread's days here are numbered.

/hosting

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Eutychus--

Noted. Thx.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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lb--

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
As someone whose tone is sometimes taken as more harsh than it is meant, the limitations of this medium make intention less than perfectly obvious.

Thanks for the reminder. [Smile] I'm still working it out, about this thread.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
orfeo--

quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
The more important response to this is to refer you back to the post where I quite clearly explained that I use the term America/American in this way and do not have a problem with it. Not once have I said it should not be used in this fashion.

As I mentioned earlier, your posts seemed personally offended and angry, with a theme of "you stupid, ignorant, self-centered Americans; here's what it's REALLY like". That rather out-weighed pointing out that you yourself use "America" for the United States of America.
I don't know how many times I can point out that the thing that annoyed me was not the use of America, but the doubling down on it having one inherent meaning. That's simply not true.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Oh, and your comment "But I choose to inform myself about how other parts of the world live" is a good example of saying how you are/Australia is smarter and better than I am/America is.

At no point did I claim to be a representative of my country on this issue. Nor did I claim you were a representative of anyone but yourself. I've got no interest in pond wars (for one thing I live a very long way from "The Pond").

Could you just recognise the fact that there are a large number of places in the world (Australia not being one of them) where the term "America" does not mean the United States of America?

That is seriously the only point I was trying to make. At no stage was I jumping on the "you must not use the term America" bandwagon. I've restated this about half a dozen times now. The only reason I ever remarked on this issue in the first place is because your reaction was to treat your usage of the term as some kind of objective standard, which it is not. It is simply one cultural viewpoint.

And now we have an entire thread on the topic because you seem unable to accept that there is documented evidence of other usages of the term in other parts of the world besides your own.

[ 30. November 2017, 08:50: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
What I meant is how do Australia's views of itself compare to how other countries view it?

We try to think we're not racist. A lot of other people believe that we are.

quote:
And what are Australia's opinions of some of the other terms used for that area and beyond, like "Ocean(i)a" and "Australasia"?
I'm not aware of any evidence that we use those terms differently to how others use them. As far as I know, we use "Oceania" in the same way that other people do. "Australasia" is generally antiquated. Certainly it is no longer used to mean "Australia and New Zealand" as it once was and I can't remember the last time I saw a context in which it was used.

And I have never seen "Oceana" rather than "Oceania" until now.

[ 30. November 2017, 09:43: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Augustine the Aleut
Shipmate
# 1472

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
At times I think some people from other countries just resent the United States of America for many reasons, and the name controversy is low lying fruit.

Yup. Look, if someone wants to list all the bad things by the US gov't and representatives thereof, I'll help. Look up "smallpox blankets"; "Tuskegee syphilis experiment"; Project MKUltra (Wikipedia--and yes, it was real); and "bin Laden fake vaccine program" (which has caused people in the area to distrust vaccines).

That's just a small sample. Of course, it would be only fair for Shipmates to mention what *their* countries have done wrong...

Some years ago, there ws a thread on this very point. At the time I longed for a forum capacity to have flashing strobes to illuminate words saying that "it's nothing to do with the US as such: it's all about the name." There are countries in the Americas with worse records (we could even have a thread on the meanest American country)--but they are not marked with a geographically over-inclusive name. Perhaps some shipmates have other things in mind in their postings-- I cannot say.

As I pointed out somewhere above, nothing can be done about it. Like the mosquito, it's an irritant, and life goes on regardless.

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lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
What I meant is how do Australia's views of itself compare to how other countries view it?

We try to think we're not racist. A lot of other people believe that we are.

Is the entire country racist? I’d like to think not, however Australia has a racism problem. If you need help figuring this out, ask the brownfellas.
Not a war across any body of water, the UK, US and Canada have one too. I’d be shocked if New Zealand doesn’t as well.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Enoch
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# 14322

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Is the entire country racist? I’d like to think not, however Australia has a racism problem. If you need help figuring this out, ask the brownfellas.
Not a war across any body of water, the UK, US and Canada have one too. I’d be shocked if New Zealand doesn’t as well.

I suspect there's no population in the world that is entirely free of racism. Many years ago, I lived in Africa. Although people were very ready to criticise the former colonials for being riven with racial prejudice, they took it for granted that there was nothing either wrong or inconsistent in the country having racial restrictions on citizenship, restricting where some minorities could live and on one occasion expelling an entire minority ethnic group. And this wasn't one of the instances of this that everybody has heard of.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
I suspect there's no population in the world that is entirely free of racism.

That every country has racists misses the point. Some countries have bigger issues than others.

quote:

Many years ago, I lived in Africa. Although people were very ready to criticise the former colonials for being riven with racial prejudice, they took it for granted that there was nothing either wrong or inconsistent in the country having racial restrictions on citizenship, restricting where some minorities could live and on one occasion expelling an entire minority ethnic group. And this wasn't one of the instances of this that everybody has heard of.

I'd have to know more of the country(s) you are referencing to properly comment.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
What I meant is how do Australia's views of itself compare to how other countries view it?

We try to think we're not racist. A lot of other people believe that we are.

Is the entire country racist? I’d like to think not, however Australia has a racism problem. If you need help figuring this out, ask the brownfellas.
Not a war across any body of water, the UK, US and Canada have one too. I’d be shocked if New Zealand doesn’t as well.

There are arguably ways in which we are particularly bad, but then there are probably different ways in which other places are particularly bad.

One of our claims to fame, of course, was pretending that no-one owned the place before we got here. I'm not sure whether that's better than making treaties then breaking them, but it's different.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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I'd say Australia is mostly racist, and not just against indigenous people. We are prejudiced against ethnic groups who came to this country after our ethnic group. Our current objects of hatred are people who look like they come from the Arab world (great way to piss off an Iranian is to call them an Arab), people who look like they come from India and people who look like they come from Africa, especially Sudanese. This is a non-exhaustive list.

We currently operate a programme of indefinite detention for asylum seekers who try to come to Australia by boat. The current batch have been in jail in PNG and on a small pacific Island for four years. Australia recently refused New Zealand's offer to re-settle 150 of the refugees there, but has previously tried to settle some of them in Cambodia. The refugees in Papua New Guinea were attacked and beaten by members of the PNG armed forces and local townspeople maybe 18 months ago. One of them was beaten to death, and others were injured. Recently, they closed the current camp and relocated the asylum seekers to another camp situated on the edge of the town where the attackers live.

Our faults are legion in this area. When Australians protested against apartheid in the 1970's, or clapped along to the civil rights marches in America in the 1960's, we were applauding the dismantling of the racist systems of our cousins while ignoring our own. Talk about low-hanging fruit, eh.

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Human

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stonespring
Shipmate
# 15530

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
What I meant is how do Australia's views of itself compare to how other countries view it?

We try to think we're not racist. A lot of other people believe that we are.

quote:
And what are Australia's opinions of some of the other terms used for that area and beyond, like "Ocean(i)a" and "Australasia"?
I'm not aware of any evidence that we use those terms differently to how others use them. As far as I know, we use "Oceania" in the same way that other people do. "Australasia" is generally antiquated. Certainly it is no longer used to mean "Australia and New Zealand" as it once was and I can't remember the last time I saw a context in which it was used.

And I have never seen "Oceana" rather than "Oceania" until now.

Are schoolchildren in Australia taught that the name for the continent they are part of is Australia or Oceania? If they are taught that Australia is the name of a continent, what continent are New Zealand and the Pacific Islands part of? What about schoolchildren in New Zealand and/or the Pacific islands, for anyone who knows?

More broadly, are British and Irish schoolchildren taught that their homes are part of the continent of Europe? What about Icelandic schoolchildren? Are Greenlander/Greenlandic schoolchildren taught that they are part of North America, Europe, or neither? And what about schoolchildren in the Caribbean, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Melanesian islands, and Indian Ocean islands?

Is the whole categorizing island nations as belonging to one continent or other a vestige of European Imperialism and therefore not that important in some countries? (Anyone who doesn't know about schoolchildren can merely say what they have heard people from a country say.)

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
Are schoolchildren in Australia taught that the name for the continent they are part of is Australia or Oceania? If they are taught that Australia is the name of a continent, what continent are New Zealand and the Pacific Islands part of?

Well, Australia is in the unusual position of being classified as both a continent and a country. I haven't been in a classroom recently, but I would expect we think of it in "country" terms first. Continents only really comes up once you start talking about other continents.

I'm not aware of any evidence, though, that anyone considers "Oceania" to be a continent, it's a region. And the only continent that New Zealand is part of is the largely submerged Zealandia.

This is rather different to the UK, which sits on the same continental shelf as Europe.

Papua New Guinea is a more interesting case because it does sit on the same geographical feature as Australia. I would have to ask a colleague at work his experience, as he grew up partly in Australia and partly in PNG.

[ 01. December 2017, 22:13: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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Wikipedia's answer is to regard New Guinea as part of the Australian continent. Which I can't link to because the Ship is allergic to the underscore character in a URL.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Enoch
Shipmate
# 14322

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quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
... More broadly, are British and Irish schoolchildren taught that their homes are part of the continent of Europe? ...

Can't speak for Ireland, but it's generally assumed by everyone here except perhaps the most rabid Brexiteer that however much it may be important to some people that some aspects of its identity may be different, Britain is an island that is geographically part of Europe in much the same way as Anglesey is geographically part of Wales, the Isle of Wight part of England, or the Hebrides part of Scotland.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7389 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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I always thought Oceania was a term of convenience for the World Cup of The Beautiful Game. It was a group Australia spent alot of time and money getting out of because it was so difficult to qualify from it. Then we did get put into Asia instead of Oceania and the bloody Kiwis got through no problems. They are very irritating sometimes.

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Human

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
I'm not aware of any evidence, though, that anyone considers "Oceania" to be a continent, it's a region. And the only continent that New Zealand is part of is the largely submerged Zealandia.

This is rather different to the UK, which sits on the same continental shelf as Europe.

Papua New Guinea is a more interesting case because it does sit on the same geographical feature as Australia. I would have to ask a colleague at work his experience, as he grew up partly in Australia and partly in PNG.

It's rather part of an (inferred) attitude that every place is part of one continent or another. So you have to find (or invent) a continent to attach Australia, and Guam, and the Marshalls, etc, etc. to. Leaving places like Hawaii as virtually non-existent, since there is no handy nearby continent that they can be said to be a part of. Better to just admit not everything is in/on/attached to a continent.

Then again if you split Eurasia into two continents you are already moving "continent" from a geological to a political/ethnic concept. Just as "Central America" (which is entirely on the North American continent) is a political distinction and not a geological one.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Enoch
Shipmate
# 14322

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How much does it matter whether a bit of land has to have a continent to be allocated to? And if it does, why? I can't think of any very obvious reason why it needs to.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7389 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
How much does it matter whether a bit of land has to have a continent to be allocated to? And if it does, why? I can't think of any very obvious reason why it needs to.

Wish I'd thought of saying that.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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