Tuesday’s Travel Rant: I’m From America

Following up last Tuesday’s Travel Rant about people from around the world assuming that they can go straight to their city when asked where there from, as opposed to their country, I thought I’d continue in that vein.

 

Where am I from? Ireland. Ok no probs there. My mate, where is he from? Argentina. My other mate? Hong Kong. All good here folks. Move along.

America is not a country

Can you read guys?

 

When someone asks any of these 3 people where they’re from, would you ever hear us say – I’m from Europe, America and Asia? No, of course not. We say our country, like the other 99.99% of the people in the world. Simple right? Wrong.

 

“How about you – my stars-and-stripes, McDonalds eating, American-football-loving friend, where are you from?”     I’M FROM AMERICA.

 

Argh, for f*cks sake. Here we go again….

 

America? Are you now?! Wow, that’s amazing. There are more than 30 countries in the Americas, throughout North America, Central America, and South America. Where do you mean exactly? Mexico? Brazil? Guatemala?

 

No of course you don’t mean those countries, because if you were from those countries you’d be humble, and informed, enough to not give a region or continent as your nationality. You’d  give your country, like the rest of the planet.

 

But no Americans (which they’re unfairly, but correctly, referred to) like to state they’re from America, when that is not even a f*cking country. They’re from the US, or USA, or the United States of America, or colloquially ‘the states’. Got it? Probably not, but lets move on anyways.

 

So my AMERICAN friends, be informed, be less ignorant, be less arrogant and when someone asks you where you’re from. Tell them a country, not a f*cking continent.

I should note that some of my bestestest friends are from the US, and they’re all awesome so I know it doesn’t apply to the whole country BUT if I had to say one country that does this more than other, here you have it folks :S

You’re welcome. Good day.

Further proof found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organization_of_American_States and here

Remember guys, the travel rants are done firmly tongue-in-cheek, if we can’t laugh at ourselves, we’re all in a spot of bother :S

92 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Travel Rant: I’m From America

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  7. Lindsay

    Haha, this is too funny! I think it all depends on who you’re with and the situation. Currently living in the US and working in the yachting industry, I often now answer with ‘Cape Town’ when asked where I’m from. This is because A) The people asking are usually in the same industry as me and this industry in known to be flooded infamously with South Africans. So if I’m gonna admit that I’m ‘another bloody South African’ I’m gonna make sure they know I’m from the better part of South Africa :), as mentioned by your other readers. But most importantly I answer with my city (again, only to certain people once I’ve sussed out the situation) because I GET KINDA ANNOYED when, say, someone with a strong Australian accent responds with ‘Australia’ when asked where they’re from, or Mr Johnny who I’m sure has an awesomely strong Irish accent responds with ‘Ireland’.. its like DAAAAA do you think I’ve been living under a rock my whole life?! So then comes the next question that so many people have mentioned..”Yes, but where IN Australia/the US/South Africa/Ireland”? So I think it all depends on the situation and yes, if you’re in a HOSTEL situation with a bunch of people from all over then maybe the country answer is best. It all depends on the context.
    So next time some dude says he’s from Denver just take a deep breath and think, ‘Hey, this guy must think I’m pretty intelligent and well-traveled enough to have picked up on my accent and therefore assumed that I’m from the United States of America that I think I should give him my city/State first’… just another way of looking at it :)

    Rant over! Keep the awesome posts coming! I LOVE THEM

    Reply
    1. Lindsay

      ‘Hey, this guy must think I’m pretty intelligent and well-traveled enough to have picked up on HIS accent and therefore assumed that HE’S from the United States of America that HE SHOULD think TO GIVE ME HIS city/State first’… just another way of looking at it :)

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  14. Amber

    I am from the US, but depending on which country I am traveling in, I often say I am from America. In many countries, with the accents and language differences, when I state I am from the US, or the USA, people look at me strange. They just do not understand. This is particularly true in Asia. I often say America, and 99% of the people I say that to, know I mean the US. I understand the basics of geography, but it is just a fact that many people outside of the US think America and the US are the same place, whereas Central America and South America are different places. I am not sure what these people think about Canada. Sorry.

    Reply
  15. Hollie Mantle

    Most of the people who have replied to this post are absolute idiots (and, what are the chances, American!) It’s as if, because of their own failings in terms of geographical knowledge, they assume we could never have possibly heard of California, South Carolina, Iowa or other more specific places and so only divulge the word “America”, as they continue to think that Berlin in a city in China and show surprise that people in England haven’t had tea with the queen. You’ve got it spot on! Don’t bother replying to their comments, it’s not worth your time to explain your jokes to people who have the same capacity for comedy as that of an amoeba.

    Your articles are absolutely brilliant by the way, it’s so nice to read a travel blog filled with a good sense of humour!

    Reply
    1. Ro

      Glad you know that Americans are absolute idiots, Hollie. You’re totally correct! Stupid Americans from Iowa must not realize how much you know about geography! How arrogant.

      HOWEVER, maybe you didn’t get the memo:

      http://onestep4ward.com/tuesdays-travel-rant-ya-from-im-denver-grrrrr/

      It’s already been declared that Americans CANNOT say they are from _____ City or ______ State when asked where they are from. THAT is arrogant, too!

      While the smart people like us are in agreement that Americans speak ignorantly and arrogantly, but we just can’t seem to figure out HOW they should answer our questions!!!!

      Let’s put our big heads together and write a specific script that Americans have to follow when asked questions abroad. That way, they can stop ruining my travels with their arrogance!

      Reply
    2. Amber

      Hollie, As an “American” I generally tell people which country I am from instead of narrowing it down because it is easier than saying “I grew up in NJ, but have not lived there for over 15 years. The last place I lived was in DC, but I am not ‘from’ there. I also lived for 5 formative years in Chicago.” I think many people know where in the US these places are, but in the US many people move around a lot while they are children, or go to university in another state. My relatives in Ireland are “from” Limerick – they have lived there all of their lives. It is just different.

      Reply
  16. Jake H

    Hi Johnny, interesting rant. In my travels, when I say I am from America, I don’t mean to be uninformed, ignorant, and arrogant. In my experience, “America” has been easier for me to say and for someone else to understand. “United States of America” or “USA” translates into varying phrases in foreign languages, whereas the word “America” does not change much (“Amerique”, “Amerika” etc etc) and thus is easily understood to mean that country in between Mexico and Canada. Never have I been asked “Yes, but WHERE in America?” Plus, if I were from any other country in the Americas, I would be quick to name it, rather than risk being mistaken for someone from the United States.

    But since it really bothers you, I’ll be sure to make an effort to say USA or United States or something of the like. I’ve never meant to be arrogant or uninformed – I’ve just never been told by anyone else that using the name “America” was so irksome. And I’m usually trying my damndest to not promote the stereotype of the loud, obnoxious, arrogant American. But if you’ll let me make a suggestion – just don’t let it bother you! Especially over a matter of semantics. There are plenty of things us Americans do that are actually arrogant, ignorant, and uninformed that are worth a lot more of your ranting vitriol than this :P

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      jake, this section of my site is tongue in cheek bro, it doesn’t really bother me so much – just one of the many things i think about occasionally :P

      Reply
  17. David

    Hi John,

    I’ve enjoyed your website immensely, and came across this gem of a rant. I admit I was a bit upset to see such a stigma on your behalf (though i have come across this more than once). I myself am a citizen of the United States of America .. god thats long isn’t it? I’m actually leaving in the next month to teach for a year in South Korea (hopefully travel for several months after in SE Asia) and I have the travel bug indeed!

    Your point is a valid one, Though I am so glad someone else brought up this other good point as well; Great Britain … well now I studied and lived in York, England for 6 months for Acting and not once did I hear someone call themselves Great British, they called themselves Brits .. or English/Welsh/Irish/Scottish (when in fact those are less relevant than calling people from the United States of America, Americans namely because American is in the actual title.

    That being said, I love your website and will continue to read on and possibly create my own eventually, but with this knowledge .. do you think you pick the United States of America out of jealousy? Hate? I can’t speak for you because I know not of why you choose to use this country as an example, but whatever the reason, perhaps using your travel experiences you can draw on all areas of the world that are affected by these terms.

    Also, if you didn’t want people to get so upset, maybe you should consider your language and how you word your rants .. “So my AMERICAN friends, be informed, be less ignorant, be less arrogant and when someone asks you where you’re from. Tell them a country, not a f*cking continent” – its not ignorance, it is the norm, hell – I get upset when people call themselves African American or Latino American .. if you were born in the USA then you are a citizen of the United States of America! :) I think you are on the right path but be open to what the other half lives everyday.

    Peace

    David

    Reply
  18. Jonny Blair

    Hey Johnny,

    Great article – I like it. When you raise a subject like this it will always attract comments, and yes mostly from those from the United States.

    I’m in full agreement with you and it reminded me of when I was studying Spanish in Uruguay. In the class there was a lady from the USA. Our teacher, Gaston went round the class asking each student what country they were from, in English to start with as it was our first lesson.

    The girl from the US said “I’m from America”. Gaston was a great teacher with a cracking sense of humour and his replay was “yes but what country?”. The girl was baffled. Gaston ended the conversation by saying “I’m from America too!” (he’s from Uruguay).

    I think some people on here also miss the point with this post. It’s just a wee bit of humour added to a rant! Some have taken it to heart and way too seriously!

    Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  19. Dan

    So, I guess when someone refers to “stupid Americans” or “AmeriKKKA”, you’ll interpret that as applicable to all citizens of all countries that occupy North and South America, right?

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      why are people failing to grasp this?! I have never once said the term ‘americans’ is wrong – so know i wouldn’t have a problem. As for Amerikkka, i’ve never even seen that before!

      Reply
  20. Wade

    All over the world, ‘America’ is the most common name for the USA. Most non-native speakers have no idea when I say “The US”, and if I say “The USA” they will amend it with “America?”.

    The use of “America” as a name for the USA is not a result of American ignorance, stupidity, or lack of reading or geography abilities. I also doubt that anyone around the world gives the use of “America” any imperialistic connotation.

    In fact, it looks like- until recently- you solely referred to the USA as “America” in your own writing. Interesting how for twentysomething years “America” was totally fine for your own personal use, but now you feel you’re qualified to condescendingly lecture us Americans about our own arrogance and ignorance.

    http://onestep4ward.com/7-tips-for-working-at-american-summer-camps/

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      the company is called ‘camp america’ and it used to deal with canadian camps too (maybe still does?) so it’s actually correct in its usage!

      And there’s nothing condescending about using terms accurately wade

      Reply
      1. Wade

        Since I posted this, you went and changed all your references of “America”. Anyway, you still forgot to change all of your old posts:

        http://onestep4ward.com/california-and-the-rest/

        “I would like to stress that my time in America was before I was a true global traveller and hence my spending habits, experiences and escapades are much different to how I travel now.”

        http://onestep4ward.com/one-tree-hill-ohio-and-home/

        “North Carolina came and went and next thing we knew we were on the computer searching for the best party town in America – credit card details dispatched and we were on our way to see Ohio state”

        Reply
  21. Mark

    As the most famous country in the Americas and also because of the fact that America is in our country’s full name, which as far as I know we are the only country with America in the name it seems perfectly reasonable to me to refer to our country as America and also as many others have stated it is how the majority of the world knows us.
    Is is arrogance to use the term LOL and expect people to know what it means? Just because we abbreviate doesn’t mean it’s arrogant.

    Also on the America hate if it weren’t for us arrogant United Statesians about 60 yrs ago you would be saying you are German.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      lol is abbreviated but it doesn’t infringe on anyone else territory, country or region. I think to compare is nothing short of ridiculous.

      “Also on the America hate if it weren’t for us arrogant United Statesians about 60 yrs ago you would be saying you are German.” There we have it. Thanks.

      Reply
  22. Steven Muzik

    Wow. I just checked in after a few weeks and I was surprised to see such simplemindness of your site.

    IMO it’s not ever OK to write hurtful, hateful things against anyone based on race, gender, orientation, nationality, etc…

    If you do this, you have to admit to being a bigot and stand by it. If you are willing to do this, than by all means do so and I’ll respect that. But at least admit to being a simple bigot, which you cannot seem to do.

    You seem to have created a successful travel blog based of SEO text, but your lack of logic and your awful grammar discard you from being an authority on the English language.

    Please stick to your shitty “5 things to do in New York” updates and refrain from insulting other people with your own ignorant assumption of authority.

    Steven

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      My travel rants are intended to be sardonic (perhaps poorly so :s), the entire site is dripping with optimism and inspiration (which i love), this is just a little side effort to reflect the quirky frustrations on the road, relax mate.

      my “shitty SEO text” allows me to live my dreams Steven, and it also allows me to employ 4 people from around the world. My grammar may struggle, especially after a long 16 hour bus country to country, or thanks to a banging hangover, but my site doesn’t claim to be perfect. I simply try to use it to show people that it’s possible to blaze your own trail, the status quo doesn’t have to be the, ermmm, status quo

      Reply
  23. lola

    interesting arguments here. did you realize in your very last comment that you referred to your best/close friends as ‘American’? what part are you referring to? perhaps i’m confused but didn’t you just commit the semantics crime that annoys you so?

    peace out – lola

    Reply
  24. Carl

    Have you ever noticed that some people from the USA are too scared to admit where they are from? instead they say ‘I’m Canadian’ – very strange!

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      yeah i’ve come across that quite a few time actually, even with Canadian flags on their bags! Although if it’s in the Middle East i think it’s actually a pretty smart move :S

      Reply
  25. Shey

    I cant reply to the other post so I’m just replying in a new comment

    But this will be my last reply. It’s really no point to arguing with you because we’ll never see eye to eye.

    No matter what the reasons I explained why Americans and many other countries viewed ourselves as America, a country, in your mind, you are right no matter what. And truthfully I don’t think you’re wrong, but I (we/Americans ) aren’t either. Different places learn differently. If you learned North America and South America are one continent called the Americas/America instead of two ,under the 6 continent model , then I could see how it can be a bit unusual for us to refer to our country as America too. But that isn’t how things work for us. To us, America is NOT a continent so we are not calling ourself a continent.

    And its great you traveled so much, but just because you traveled more then me doesn’t make you more knowledgable then me. Living in a huge internation city and interacting with a lot of different international college students, I’ve heard Japanese, Chinese, Norwegians, etc refer to the US as America. And FYI many South Americans use the 5/6 continent map too. So like I said, they aren’t wrong, if they want to refer to themselves as Americans (though the US Americans refer to them as South Americans) like you would be a European, thats fine.

    The few times I have went abroad, people have never wanted me to be more specific about which country in North America. When I say America they automatically know I mean the U.S. So please stop insulting my intelligence assuming you’re more knowledgable. If anything, you come off as a dogmatic egotistical close-minded basher. You don’t even care to try to understand Americans, you just jump on the usual bandwagon of ignorant arrogant stupid Americans.

    Here is a little excerpt for you
    At http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continent it states:
    “The 7-continent model is usually taught in Western Europe, Northern Europe, Central Europe, China and most English-speaking countries.
    The 6-continent combined-Eurasia model is preferred by the geographic community, Russia, Eastern Europe, and Japan. The 6-continent combined-America model is taught in Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Iran and some other parts of Europe; this model may be taught to include only the 5 inhabited continents (excluding Antarctica).”

    so like I said, you’re not wrong and neither are we. but you’re the one coming off as closeminded arrogant uninformed and ignorant.

    I’m unsubscribing. I have better things to do with my time then read childish ignorant incorrect one sided rants.

    You’re welcome for informing you. Good day.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      the continent model is completely irrelevant as to whether America is a country or not Shey, in all the models America is still not a country, although in one it is a continent. Also, to call me dogmatic in the middle of a dogmatic tirade is rich to say the least, but it’s a public forum so I welcome it regardless.

      Just to reiterate – my rant wasn’t that some people from the US call themselves a continent, that was just a result of their incorrect statement. The essence of the rant was that saying you’re from America, but meaning you’re from the US, is arrogant and wrong. In my opinion, that’s referring to a continent, but I accept some people don’t think America is a continent, no probs. I’m happy to concede that, but either way, to say you’re from America when people ask you what country you’re from, is still fundamentally wrong.

      Reply
      1. Phil

        agreed- it is fundamentally incorrect. As is saying you’re from “Ireland”, “England”, “Holland”, “Korea”, “Taiwan”…

        …however, the those people aren’t quite an easy target as Americans.

        Reply
          1. Phil

            Yes, Johnny. We are certainly in agreement. I look forward to your future rants on black and Jews as well. Also, I am unsubscribing from your website. Enjoy your bigotry!

  26. Keith

    Well wether we are Americans or not, we are the only country in the Americas to use the word America in the name of our country. That in itself should be distinction enough to use the word american as a descriptor.

    Reply
  27. Paige Mc

    Doesn’t it say somewhere you are from the North of Ireland. Wouldn’t that mean you are from the UK, and you have just made the same mistake you are complaining about?
    In fairness, I’ve tried using multiple variations of the above. When I say I’m from the US people don’t always get it with the language barrier. Everyone seems to know America when I travel, but to be safe I usually go with “I’m from California” which has never been an issue. Plus, people don’t have the same opinion about us as they do the rest of America.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      Hey Paige, I’m not sure if you understand the politics of Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, the UK and Great Britain? If you do, I’m happy to discus it, but if you don’t then let’s just leave it at that, cos being born in the Republic, growing up in the North and traveling with both a British and Irish passport, dealing with the IRA/LVF, catholicism/protestantism bigotry, shootings, bombings and civil unrest, our situation is quite different to the one I outlined with the USA :S

      Reply
      1. Paige Mc

        All of my friends and family are from Ireland, and I’ve lived there myself. I hear about it constantly so I’m pretty well versed. But I apologize, that wasn’t intended as a political debate. Just that most of my friends specify that they are from the North when they say they are from Ireland. I’ve never said “I’m American” and had somebody ask North or South.
        Regardless you sound a bit like those pompous travelers I very often come across. The one’s that complain about little things like this so much that you wonder why they didn’t just stay home in the first place.

        Reply
        1. Johnny Post author

          errrm Paige have you read my site?! My entire sight has over 500 articles oozing positivity about changing your life, doing some extraordinary. The Tuesday Travel Rants are a tongue in cheek ironic twist on what was previously an entirely positive website, i literally don’t know what else i can say! And you wonder why I didn’t stay at home in the first place? i travel the world, and love 99% of it, i use my entire portfolio of websites to inspire other people to change their lives, my TEFL company does that first hand. But you’re right, i should probably just stay at home

          Reply
          1. Paige Mc

            I said you sound like those people, not that you are one. I actually think your blog is brilliant! I guess I should just stop reading the Travel Rants. Usually don’t like them. Enjoy Vatican City, it’s beautiful!

  28. Abby

    As an American currently living abroad in South Korea, I am quite tired of the perpetuation of the ignorant American stereotype. Typically this is done by European ex-pats and not any of the Korean people I’ve met.

    What irritates me the most is that people are always preaching cultural tolerance. Oh, you can’t go to Asia and expect to feast on the same foods, you can’t expect to live the same way, they have distinct social differences, it’s Asia after all! Well, where is the cultural tolerance for America? Culturally, we refer to ourselves as Americans. When have you heard us referred to as United Statesians? Canada = Canadians, Mexico = Mexicans, but we are Americans. I’ve told people I’m from Texas (a state as large as the country of South Korea) but no one knows where that is, so I say “America” and they do. It’s just how it goes pretty much the world over.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey abby, by ‘Koreans’ I assume you mean South Koreans, right? Because I was in North Korea in January and the North Koreans aren’t the biggest fans of the US to be perfectly honest :S

      Also, I never said you guys weren’t ‘Americans’ you are (although i dont think it’s fair, that is in fact technically your nationality), just that the name of your country isn’t America

      Reply
      1. Abby

        I made the distinction in my comment that I was speaking about South Korea, although ‘Koreans’ could encompass any of the people I have met while living here. Additionally, people in South Korea call themselves ‘Koreans’ not ‘South Koreans’ so maybe you should write a hate-filled rant about them next.

        Reply
      2. anon

        Now you can claim to know what the North Korean people think?

        North Koreans can’t speak their feelings (in public or private) about anything in their lives and now YOU know that these indoctrinated people, who cannot travel and have no internet/international media, don’t like Americans. Your qualification for understanding North Korean anti-americanism is a guided tour for a couple of days.

        All we know about North Korea is what the NK gov’t allows us to see. Your own anti-americanism is making you sound like a pompous fool.

        Reply
        1. Johnny Post author

          i dont suggest for one second i can speak on behalf of the all of North Korea, far from it. I can however pass on the sentiments that were spoken to me my countless North Koreans (all of whom have been overseas i hasten to add, don’t believe everything you read)

          Reply
  29. Lee Carter

    Not only is the rant petty its also incorrect. America is a common name used for the USA both domestically and internationally. It is nothing to do with arrogance.

    You even refer to them as American in the condescending rant. A Canadian can surely distinguish themselves from this by saying they are Canadian, or from Canada.

    It is also a contradictory rant from your’e other, you bash Americans for being too specific one week and then too vague the next. Theres plenty of examples of American arrogance to rant about, these are simply not good ones.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      American is the correct terminology for someone from the US, of course i used that term. I never once said otherwise, although I don’t agree that it should be the official nationality of citizens of the US, it is used as such, so be it. America, however, is still not a country.

      Secondly, why should Canadians have to distinguish themselves anymore than you guys have to? How about you both state your actually country thereby removing all doubt (and being technically correct)

      Reply
  30. Jon

    “NOTE: I’m not full of “America hate and bashing”, i would never dream of insulting so many countries at once”

    Just one huh?

    The vehemence with which you respond to these comments Johnny contradicts your statements about not bashing the U.S. I just think you are missing the point that there is a difference between arrogance and a cultural norm. Ease up on us mate.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      i’m not bashing the US, just the people who don’t understand the correct terminology, i find that much condescending (especially to the peopel from your continent) than any truths i’ve stated here mate :S

      Reply
  31. anon

    “America is not a country, just the same way Ireland isn’t a country (Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland)”

    “I’m a 20-something Irish guy who left Ireland at 18 to study my degree in International Economics in England.”

    …Hm.

    ________________________________________________________________________
    “it’s not hate mate, far from it”

    “Follow up last weeks hate filled post about people from the US…”

    …Hm.

    If you’re looking for a reason to hate and insult another group of people, it’s quite easy to find. There are many stupid and arrogant Americans, as there are also Brits, eskimos, dogs, etc. Try to avoid making blanket statements regarding 300 million people- especially over something this petty.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      i did leave Ireland, the island of Ireland, in 2006 – this was a select way of avoiding politics mate, if you understand the significances of ROI/Eire/NI/Ireland etc

      “following up last weeks hate filled post” – if you can’t appreciate a little sardonicism then my tuesday travel rants aren’t for you my friend :S

      Reply
  32. Simone

    I totally agree with you mate…I’m from Italy, therefore I’m not a native speaker…All comments here seem to be from native speakers who never try to think about how someone who doesn’t speak english perfectly can understand them properly..Well, I’m going to ask someone “where are u from?” and then he is gonna say me ” America”, then will be impossible to understand where he is from since america has 25 countries..Ok, lets guess he is white,blonde with blue eyes, I might can guess he is not from south america but then he could be canadian or from USA…It’s pretty messy as much as it is when someone says: I’m from NY,LA,CHI..First of all, these abbreviations can be pretty hard to understand and then I asked u where are u from, i don’t give a damn about ur city, that can even be famous but it’s not the answer to my question…USA might be the most famous country in America and New York,Los Angeles, Las Vegas are well known worldwide..Well, italy is one of the most famous in Europe and there are Rome,Milano,Venezia, Florence that everybody knows..But, this is not the point and i would feel weirdly stupid if someone ask me:where am i from and i answer ROME and I’m not even a native speaker….lol

    Reply
  33. Paul

    America is also the name of a country, as well as two continents, it’s nothing to do with arrogance. North America is a continent, South America is a continent; and America is a country, another name for the USA. The irony is that you (and most other people, regardless of where they are from) refer to people from USA as Americans; so it’s not only people from USA who do it; proof that it’s nothing to do with arrogance.

    Australia is another example of a country that is also a name for the continent (although it has other names as well).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americans

    Whenever arguments about Semantics come up, it’s always good to check a dictionary:

    a·mer·i·ca/əˈmerikə/
    1. A landmass in the western hemisphere that consists of the continents of North and South America joined by the Isthmus of Panama.
    2. Used as a name for the United States.

    In short’s Americans are right to say they are from America, as it is another name for the USA.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      America is not a country, just the same way Ireland isn’t a country (Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland). Also, in ur definition you’ve proved me right “used as a name”, not “a name for”. Thanks.

      Reply
      1. shey

        Dude, you need to seriously lighten up and take a chill pill. This is rant worthy?

        I think the problem why we don’t see eye to eye on this, and probably never will, is in America we use the 7 continent model, so we see north and south america as 2 different continents. We don’t see them as the Americas. So when talking about countries we see nothing wrong with saying ‘America’.

        Though America isn’t the official term, from what I came across, its a widely accepted term used by a good number of foreigners and Americans alike. The United States has always been generically referred to as “America”. Two of our national songs refer to America specifically (“God Bless…” and “…the Beautiful”) It might not be politically correct to some other parts of the world who use 5 or 6 continent models but it is what it is.

        Thats just the way it is for us and it probably isn’t going to change. I hope you can come to terms with it.

        Reply
          1. shey

            I have never heard anything other then The United States referred to as America. So if you’re talking with others about what country you’re from, and you say America, its pretty obvious you mean the US.

            If you’re talking about Canada, Mexico, and the USofA, then that’s North America. We don’t refer to our continent or South America as America or the Americas. To us American (and some other parts of the world)

            America ≠ North America
            America ≠ South America
            Americas is a term rarely used. When used, they represent the 2 continents of North and South America
            Americans = citizens of the USA
            North Americans = citizens of a country located in North America
            North America = Canada Mexico USA
            America = another term for USA

            I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but this is how it works for us. I would really appreciate you trying to understand where we are come from instead of calling americans arrogant and self centered.

            The America hate and bashing is really starting to become ridiculous. Every little thing…

          2. Johnny Post author

            Traveling around the world for years on end i’ve heard countless Brazilians, Argentinians, Colombians declare they’re from America actually Shey, whether they do it to make a point or not is irrelevant, they too are technically correct although naturally people would like to know where in America they are from. As I do when someone who happens to be from the USA tells me that they’re from America “but where mate? Mexico? Canada?? USA?”.

            If you’ve never heard anything other than the USA referred to as America I suggest you expand your social circles, traveling experiences and TV channels until you do see it. Furthermore, the reason that the USA is referred to as America more than any other country (who has equal claim to say that) is because other countries wouldn’t dream of referring themselves to a continent.

            I understand entirely where you’re from Shey, you’re from America (as a continent, regardless of which model you follow), you’re also from North America, but as a country you’re from the USA, there are no two ways about it.

            NOTE: I’m not full of “America hate and bashing”, i would never dream of insulting so many countries at once

      2. Paul

        If you want to campaign to change the dictionary then go ahead, but right now all dictionaries contradict you. America is a term for the USA whether you like it or not.

        Also the proof that is has nothing to with arrogance is the fact that most people from Africa, Middle East, Far East and even most of Europe call the USA America. So are those people being arrogant also, even though they aren’t even from there? You are the one being arrogant if you think you are right and most of the other 7 billion people + in the world (+ every dictionary) think you are wrong.

        Reply
  34. Jon

    Sorry Johnny but I’ve got to aggressively disagree on this one. What about people from England saying they are British? What about those poor Irish chaps?

    The point is, it isn’t just United States of Americans(sounds natural right?) who say America and it isn’t as much of a choice like saying you are from a country vs. a city, but an ingrained cultural norm. I am an educated and decently well traveled guy who tries not to step on toes and didn’t even know this topic pissed anyone off until I got called out by a good Canadian friend a year or two ago.

    Lay off the USA hate for a bit mate. We’re not feeling the love.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey jon, no need to apologise mate. The UK system is pretty f*cked too, and i’m one of those Irish chaps! STrictly speaking, everyone within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should say they are from the UK and are British, maybe I should write a rant about that! :S

      Reply
  35. Rachel

    I’ve had this conversation in Korea a few times:

    “Where are you from?”

    Me: I’m from the USA.

    “Where?”

    Me: America.

    “Oh! America.”

    My point is, people know what you mean when you say America, as in (United States of). That’s why we say it (also because the only demonym for our country is ‘American’). I’m not saying no one says it to be arrogant, just that that’s not the intention of most of us.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      But how will people learn if we resort to the lowest common denominator? If you answer correctly, and they don’t understand, surely then answering wrongly in your follow up is doing nobody any favours :S

      Reply
  36. Ahimsa

    The continents are actually North and South America. Many of us Yanks refer to North America when including themselves with Canadians or Mexicans.

    Furthermore, it’s a big enough place to being from New York vs Florida, Los Angeles, Seattle, Madison, etc means something different. It’s not always pure dickishness if someone says they are from Chicago–this means something different than if they are from Atlanta. I think it’s hard to understand the scale of the US; where the 8th biggest (Colorado) is approximately the size of the UK.

    There is also the difficulty of the adjective. If I can’t say I’m an “American,” what can I say? A Stateser? A USonian? A “Yank” means something very different if you’re in Boston, or the South. I haven’t really come across an acceptable replacement for “American.”

    I understand there is a lot of frustrating chauvinism from those who live in the United States. But posts like this just make things more divisive.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey ahimsa,

      actually there’s no definitive answer whether North and South America are 2 continents or 1, it depends on where you’re from. I know in Thailand, where I live, they are regarded as 1 continent – ‘the Americas’ or ‘America’.

      I understand the scale of the US, but if we play that card, do we play the same card for Russia, Canada, China, Kazakhstan!??

      The Adjective, whether I like it or not, is American – i acknowledged that.

      Reply
  37. John Q. Patriot

    granted, citizens of the usa can be ignorant, but ease up on the usa hate bro, you are about to lose a subscriber

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey John, it’s not hate mate, far from it. Some of my best friends are America, I just traveled on the TransSiberian with a close American buddy, but this gets my goat so I need to air it!

      Reply

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