Land of the Free Closure

CaissaCaissa Shipmate
As a Canadian, I thought this thread could be entertaining and have merit about what it meant to be free (my jocular comment about the USian National Anthem aside). I grow weary about this site's fetish about so called pond wars. I am sure the powers that be MMV.
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Comments

  • Give us a good reason why that particular thread, couched in terms of criticism of a particular nation based on a line from a song, should be reopened. Noting that you aren't a resident of the nation facing criticism. And, remembering that a thread on the nature of freedom could have been started without the overtones of criticising particular nations.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Caissa wrote: »
    As a Canadian, I thought this thread could be entertaining and have merit about what it meant to be free.
    A thread on that topic of what it means to be free could indeed have merit and be very worthwhile and thought provoking, entertaining or not.

    A thread that opens by asking “how free is the USA” and and continues by asking (Americans presumably, “[w]ith a history of banning alcohol and the House Un American Activities Committee in your history as well as racial separation” and “[w]ith health care that favours the rich (there is more I could say) what makes you The Land of the Free?” is not a thread on the broad topic of what it means to be free. It is a thread that can reasonably be seen as challenging (baiting?) shipmates of a single country to justify their country to everyone else here. It really doesn’t take much imagination to see how it would lead to something other than a worthwhile and thought-provoking thread. Repeated experience here confirms the likelihood of that.

  • RuthRuth Shipmate
    Caissa wrote: »
    USian

    The word is "American."
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »

    It is a thread that can reasonably be seen as challenging (baiting?) shipmates of a single country to justify their country to everyone else here. It really doesn’t take much imagination to see how it would lead to something other than a worthwhile and thought-provoking thread. Repeated experience here confirms the likelihood of that.

    I think that was already beginning to happen.

    I can see things happening that I disagree with in my own country, (believe it or not Aotearoa/NZ isn't perfect :wink: ) but if I were to be challenged in the way Shipmates from both the UK and the US have been on that thread I would probably respond in a tit-for-tat way rather than being encouraged to examine any truth in what was being said.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    To answer Alan's question with a question "Why are threads that are criticisms of countries not allowed to continue and if going to far be subject to the pressure valve of a hell call? The powers that be have created a protective class of criticism of countries.

    To answer Ruth, I prefer USian. Even though America is a colonial word based on Amerigo Vespucci, the term America and American best applies to the territory between the North Pole and Terra Del Fuego. I realize it is colloquially used to refer to the United States of America.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited April 19
    Caissa wrote: »
    To answer Ruth, I prefer USian. Even though America is a colonial word based on Amerigo Vespucci, the term America and American best applies to the territory between the North Pole and Terra Del Fuego. I realize it is colloquially used to refer to the United States of America.
    While I recognize the ambiguity, possible exceptionalism and less-than-ideal usage presented by the application of “American” to the United States of America and its people rather than the Americas in toto, that specific application is unquestionably more than colloquial usage. Whether we like it or not, it’s standard usage, and has been for a very long time.

  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    You can find USian in Wiktionary https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/USian#:~:text=USian (plural%20USians),resident%20of%20the%20United%20States.

    Feel free to google it and see the debate in favour of its usage.

    Here is a blogpost from 2003 referring to some Canadians using the term USian and why some Canadians and Mexicans refer to the usage of American to refer solely to residents of the USA.

    https://justinelarbalestier.com/blog/2003/10/22/why-i-use-the-term-usian/
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Or you could read what I said. I didn’t say USian is a term without support or arguments in its favor. I didn’t dismiss the problems others in the Americas might have with using “American” solely to refer to the United States of America; in fact, I acknowledged those problems.

    I criticized your characterization of that usage as “colloquial,” which it is not. Saying that it is standard usage rather than colloquial usage is not commenting on whether it is appropriate usage.

  • Why do you feel it appropriate to use a name for us that is disfavored by most of us? Why are you insisting on it?

    You remind me of someone I know who insists on changing the names of people around her. If you hate being nicknamed, she doesn't give a shit. She's going to use the term she fancies for you regardless.

    That's just plain rude.
  • As for the other thread--the only grounds I saw given for why Americans (NOT USians, thank you) should drop what they're doing and justify their national level of freedom to you right here and now is that a) the US indulges in aspirational self-description just like every other nation on earth, how surprising, and b) you have heard of certain nameless American schoolchildren making asses of themselves.

    Children.

    Hearsay.

    It really must be a slow day.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Just for the sake of clarity, since I’ve already weighed in on this thread, I’m not offended or bothered by USian per se. I don’t particularly like it—it’s clumsy and one isn’t sure how to pronounce it just by looking at it. But I’m not offended by it. I didn’t even notice Caissa’s use of it until attention was brought to it.

    I get the problems posed by using “American” as the denonym for the United States of America. I can remember talking about it in school decades ago, and looking at various alternatives proposed by various people—none of which caught on. It’s the challenge of a name like “United States of America”—it doesn’t lend itself to obvious denonyms.

    But the reality is that, for better or worse, “American” has been the standard denonym for the US and “America” has been used as a short name for the US—used both by its own residents and by others all around the world—since the founding of the Republic, if not earlier. To say that it is “colloquial usage” is to ignore reality, however much one might wish to change that reality. I just don’t see how it effectively advances a pro-USian argument to suggest that reality is other than what it is.

  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    I apologize for saying "American" was a colloquial usage. Nick Tamen quite rightly points out I should have used common usage. I am not sure why USian upsets residents of the United States of America. Do they not understand that some of us who live in the Americas find it objectionably exclusionary to used by residents of that country? I am not asking citizens of the United States of America to stop using American. I was simply explaining why as a resident of the Americas (specifically Turtle Island) I prefer the phrase USian. What is objectionable to using the phrase to describe someone from the United States of America?

    And Lamb Chopped, I did not ask for residents of the United States of America to defend their level of freedom. I did not start that thread. I am objecting, and I have objected before to the powers that be closing threads that they consider to be Pond Wars. I would object to the closure regardless of the side of the Pond being criticized. I think it prevents robust discussion. If that robust discussion requires a pressure valve there is always Hell.
  • RuthRuth Shipmate
    Caissa wrote: »
    What is objectionable to using the phrase to describe someone from the United States of America?

    It's not what we call ourselves. We're Americans. We have been Americans for hundreds of years. You may object, but you don't get to re-name us. You may say "US citizens" or "US residents" if it pains you to type "Americans."
  • Caissa wrote: »

    And Lamb Chopped, I did not ask for residents of the United States of America to defend their level of freedom. I did not start that thread. I am objecting, and I have objected before to the powers that be closing threads that they consider to be Pond Wars. I would object to the closure regardless of the side of the Pond being criticized. I think it prevents robust discussion. If that robust discussion requires a pressure valve there is always Hell.

    Thank you for the correction.

    It seems to me obvious why the Powers that Be close threads that are bound to lead to pond wars. Besides the historical reasons (I believe the Ship almost sank over just such a pond war, many years ago), there is the fact that this particular thread was started in Purgatory. Had it been started in Hell, where the allowable heat/light ratio is a bit different, perhaps it would have survived longer. Perhaps not. Even in Hell, there are no-go zones--outright obvious unrepentant and unremitting racism/paedophilia/legally actionable crap are among them, right off the top of my head. Sometimes the Powers that Be allow the Hell denizens to kick the shit out of the offender before closing; sometimes they just say "fuck this" and close it immediately.

    The Ship is a site for discussion, not for gratuitously insulting an entire nation (or race, or gender, or what have you). Demanding that a whole fucking nation justify itself out of the blue (which in practice, means demanding that a handful of American Shipmates take on that burden), without even a precipitating event (such as an idiot president making a dam fool statement on international TV)... well, whatever that produces, it won't be a discussion.

    And frankly, this sort of thing makes me feel like I've been volunteered to be a scratching post for a lot of bored cats.

  • GarethMoonGarethMoon Shipmate
    edited April 20
    Ruth wrote: »
    Caissa wrote: »
    What is objectionable to using the phrase to describe someone from the United States of America?

    It's not what we call ourselves. We're Americans. We have been Americans for hundreds of years. You may object, but you don't get to re-name us. You may say "US citizens" or "US residents" if it pains you to type "Americans."

    What do you call Germans? I'm guessing not what they call themselves!

    My latin American friends get extremely annoyed when a US citizen gets asked where they are from and they respond "America" and have all started saying eg "Me too, I'm from Brazil; which country in America are you from?"

    The sad thing is that these are the more culturally aware from the US, so are annoying people in their efforts not to be grating- rather than replying to "Where are you from" to someone in Eccles or Stenhousemuir with the name of their State or city.

    There's no easy answer, but I do wonder whether one country getting to define itself as the same as the entire continent that it's on will lead to claims of cultural appropriation, given the current willingness the US has to examine itself critically at the moment?

    I'm not even sure if my use of "US Citizen" would be acceptable to "Americans" (people from the USA) because it potentially disenfranchises "Dreamers" as othering them?
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    GarethMoon wrote: »
    What do you call Germans? I'm guessing not what they call themselves!

    Ooooh look! A canard!

    If a German ever told me to stop calling them that and call them a Deutscher, I would immediately do so, not argue with them or say that I will call them whatever I want.

    If for example, I were to refer to people from the Great White North as Canuckafuckers, would that be okay?
  • RuthRuth Shipmate
    GarethMoon wrote: »
    What do you call Germans? I'm guessing not what they call themselves!

    Rolling eyes so hard. If a German ever asks me to call them something other than a German, I'll do it. This is bullshit and you know it. Or should.
    My latin American friends get extremely annoyed when a US citizen gets asked where they are from and they respond "America" and have all started saying eg "Me too, I'm from Brazil; which country in America are you from?"

    No one here has said you must call the country "America." So again, this is bullshit.
    There's no easy answer

    There is. You can refer to the country as the US. You can call the people US citizens or US residents. But I doubt very much that you want an actual answer so much as you want to display animus toward the US. Keep it up and I'll see you in Hell.

    I ask @RooK or an admin to close this thread on the same grounds that the original thread was closed.
  • Fawkes CatFawkes Cat Shipmate
    I suspect that I am about to make two mistakes: (a) wading in to a point which has surely been concluded before and (b) trying to combine serious and flippant in one post, but here goes.

    Serious: isn't the issue about pond wars when a thread starts 'Why don't Americans do something about <X>' or 'Why is Britain so useless at <Y>' rather than 'Why is the US government doing <X>' or 'Why doesn't Britain's NHS do better at <y>'? If someone attacks my nation, I can see why I might be called on to defend the nation of which I am a part, but if someone attacks an institution of that nation then I may want to join in or observe as a neutral reporter on the ground. (N.b. I realise that in the above examples I have quoted public sector entities: a failure of imagination on my part. Feel free to substitute Microsoft or Tesco supermarkets as appropriate).
    Ruth wrote: »

    I ask @RooK or an admin to close this thread on the same grounds that the original thread was closed.
    Flippant: are we trying to build up the longest chain in the ship's history? Will we have a thread discussing the closure of this thread, then a thread discussing the closure of that thread, then...?
  • Caissa wrote: »
    I am objecting, and I have objected before to the powers that be closing threads that they consider to be Pond Wars. I would object to the closure regardless of the side of the Pond being criticized. I think it prevents robust discussion.
    Then you need to reconsider what "robust discussion" means. Try formulating an argument, with supporting evidence, standing by that answering questions from others (and asking your own questions) to explore the topic and get to understand what others think.

    Throwing gratuitous insults at each other is not robust discussion.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Rather than getting touchy about affronts to our national identities, two unrelated thoughts.

    1. If one is offended by people from outside one's culture 'dissing' or criticising it, as you see it, is it worth asking whether there are things one does oneself in relation to those who live another cultures, which which they might be offended by - e.g. telling them how their countries ought to be like one's own?


    2. More importantly, and more interestingly, would be to discuss what we think we mean by 'free', what distinguishes a 'land of the free', from anywhere else, what is freedom and what isn't.

    Words like 'Freedom' and 'Liberty' have been proclaimed by everybody for centuries. The ancient Romans of the Republic regarded their city as more free than their neighbours, yet that was a freedom for a very small proportion of those that lived there. It wasn't freedom for slaves or women and wasn't much freedom even for a man once you were below noble rank.

    In historic times, 'the liberty of X' tended to mean a town or area that had more freedom to run its own affairs than the adjoining land run by the king or a noble. It did not mean a place where you can do what do you liked. Indeed, the quality of life there would depend on who ran it, and in whose interests they did that.

    Anyone can recognise blatant despotism, unfreedom etc but most people will have fairly different ideas of what freedom looks like. A Marxist may regard Stalin's Russia as 'freedom' but even in comparison with the Czar's regime pre-1917, most people would regard 'the dictatorship of the proletariat' as the epitome of unfreedom.

  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    2. More importantly, and more interestingly, would be to discuss what we think we mean by 'free', what distinguishes a 'land of the free', from anywhere else, what is freedom and what isn't.

    This reeks of disingenuousness. The US is called "The Land of the Free" because of a line in a poem (as was noted on the original thread). The rudeness and pondwarness of demanding Americans defend the use of this term is what the issue of THIS thread is. If you want to not be thought disingenuous when discussing what freedom means, you should drop this gratuitous use of this epithet.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    2. More importantly, and more interestingly, would be to discuss what we think we mean by 'free', what distinguishes a 'land of the free', from anywhere else, what is freedom and what isn't.

    This reeks of disingenuousness. The US is called "The Land of the Free" because of a line in a poem (as was noted on the original thread). The rudeness and pondwarness of demanding Americans defend the use of this term is what the issue of THIS thread is. If you want to not be thought disingenuous when discussing what freedom means, you should drop this gratuitous use of this epithet.
    I was quoting the thread title. The phrase isn't itself quite as readily recognisable here. I knew it was referring to the USA's self image but the poem is one I don't think I know off hand.

    More generally, though, many countries claim to be places where people are free. Mine certainly does, though it's consistently further down the ratings than the Scandinavian countries, as I think the USA usually is. Most of its neighbours make the same claim. I'm sure Canada does, and probably with some justification. It's not an exclusively US claim.

    Is it free 'from' or free 'to'? What gives a place a justification to make that claim of itself? What makes such a claim just nationalist rhetoric, or worse, hypocrisy?


    It is a sad reflection on each one of us if we can't discuss such questions without getting touchy about them, or being unwilling to reflect at all critically on the weaknesses as well as the strengths of their own countries. It's understandable and perhaps annoying that the citizens of a neighbouring country do not have the same unstinting admiration for it as its own citizens do, but it's less excusable to be quite so offended as some of the posts on this thread have been when the neighbouring country is quite a bit smaller than one's own.

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Enoch wrote: »
    <snip>It is a sad reflection on each one of us if we can't discuss such questions without getting touchy about them, or being unwilling to reflect at all critically on the weaknesses as well as the strengths of their own countries.<snip>
    I think it’s perfectly possible that we could have such a discussion, but it would be hard to do so from a starting point like that of the OP on the closed thread. If I wanted to start such a discussion I would (as a Brit) perhaps begin by reflecting on deficits of freedom in the UK, before going on to question the issue in other countries.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited April 20
    Enoch wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    2. More importantly, and more interestingly, would be to discuss what we think we mean by 'free', what distinguishes a 'land of the free', from anywhere else, what is freedom and what isn't.

    This reeks of disingenuousness. The US is called "The Land of the Free" because of a line in a poem (as was noted on the original thread). The rudeness and pondwarness of demanding Americans defend the use of this term is what the issue of THIS thread is. If you want to not be thought disingenuous when discussing what freedom means, you should drop this gratuitous use of this epithet.
    I was quoting the thread title. The phrase isn't itself quite as readily recognisable here. I knew it was referring to the USA's self image but the poem is one I don't think I know off hand.

    It's the penultimate phrase of the first verse of our national anthem. I, on the other hand, know the first verse of the Canadian national anthem in full.
    It is a sad reflection on each one of us if we can't discuss such questions without getting touchy about them, or being unwilling to reflect at all critically on the weaknesses as well as the strengths of their own countries.

    If you can't tell the differences between "Let's talk about freedom, what it means, and how it's embodied in our many countries" and "Who the hell do you think you are, calling yourselves the Land of the Free?" then I'm not sure there's anything I or any other American can say to you that would make a gnat's ass worth of difference.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    I think the reference to the House Committee on Un-American Activities, abolished nearly fifty years ago, in the OP of the original thread was what really sank it for me.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    Do you know the first verse of the Canadian anthem in French? ;^) The lyrics must make many Quebecois squirm especially since the Quiet Revolution which began in 1960 with the election of the Lesage Government. Here is the French version in an English translation:

    “O Canada! Land of our ancestors,
    Your forehead is surrounded by glorious jewels!

    Because your arm can hold the sword,
    He can carry the cross!

    Your story is an epic
    Brilliant exploits.

    And your value soaked faith,
    Will protect our homes and our rights.

    Will protect our homes and our rights. "

    Our English version claims bombastically to be the "True north strong and free."

    As a Canadian I see my country warts and all and I more than happy to have them discussed on the ship even to the point of being asked to explain/account for them.. We have a lot to answer for about our treatment of the indigenous population. The systemic racism of our justice system needs to be addressed.

    The prohibition against Pond War topics can restrict members from other countries from asking Canadians to account for our warts with robust discussion.


    Mousethief, although Canuckfuckers appears an entertaining replacement to Canadian (at least to this Canadian) an argument for using it in place of Canadian seems lacking. The use of USian has a rationale and a pedigree.
  • GarethMoon wrote: »
    I'm not even sure if my use of "US Citizen" would be acceptable to "Americans" (people from the USA) because it potentially disenfranchises "Dreamers" as othering them?

    I live in the US, and have done so for the last couple of decades. I'm not an American, nor am I a US citizen. I tend to think that "American" is a narrower category than "US citizen": at some point, I'm likely to become a US citizen. I don't think I'll ever be American.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Caissa wrote: »
    As a Canadian I see my country warts and all and I more than happy to have them discussed on the ship even to the point of being asked to explain/account for them..
    As an American, I too see my country warts and all, and I have frequently discussed those warts on the Ship, as have other American shipmates.

    We have a lot to answer for about our treatment of the indigenous population. The systemic racism of our justice system needs to be addressed.
    As does the US. And most American shipmates have regularly acknowledged that and tried to work through many of those issues on the Ship.

    The prohibition against Pond War topics can restrict members from other countries from asking Canadians to account for our warts with robust discussion.
    Why should other shipmates expect, much less demand, that Canadian shipmates “account” for the Canada’s warts? Why does it need to be confrontational in that way? I think that makes robust and productive discussion less, not more, likely. And as many have noted, the Ships history demonstrates that to be the case.

  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited April 20
    Caissa wrote: »
    The prohibition against Pond War topics can restrict members from other countries from asking Canadians to account for our warts with robust discussion.
    Account for is an odd choice of words here. If A is accountable to B that implies that A has been officially given responsibility by a person or community B represents.
    Why are the Canadians on the Ship particularly accountable for Canadian warts? And why are the Canadian shipmates accountable to members of other countries?

    There may be productive ways of framing discussion of national failings on the Ship. But framing in terms of accountability of individual shipmates certainly isn't one of them.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    By "account for", I meant "explain".
  • RuthRuth Shipmate
    Caissa started this thread by complaining about the loss of his potential entertainment, so I don't take seriously any claim from him about being interested in a serious discussion of problems in the US.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    My OP, and my consistent position since joining the Ship, is that Pond War topic threads should not be shutdown by the powers that be. I can't control your opinion about whether or not I have any interest "in a serious discussion of problems in the US".
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    GarethMoon wrote: »
    Ruth wrote: »
    Caissa wrote: »
    What is objectionable to using the phrase to describe someone from the United States of America?

    It's not what we call ourselves. We're Americans. We have been Americans for hundreds of years. You may object, but you don't get to re-name us. You may say "US citizens" or "US residents" if it pains you to type "Americans."

    What do you call Germans? I'm guessing not what they call themselves!
    Germans I know do call themselves “German” if they are speaking English because they know that’s the English word for people from Germany/Deutschland. They would reasonably expect to hear Deutsch used by someone speaking German.

  • RuthRuth Shipmate
    The problem isn't the topics. The problem is attitudes like yours. The use of "asshole" has a rationale and a pedigree too. Perhaps I'll decide to call you that without regard for your choice of moniker here on the Ship.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    GarethMoon wrote: »
    What do you call Germans? I'm guessing not what they call themselves!

    Ooooh look! A canard!

    If a German ever told me to stop calling them that and call them a Deutscher, I would immediately do so, not argue with them or say that I will call them whatever I want.

    If for example, I were to refer to people from the Great White North as Canuckafuckers, would that be okay?
    No because adding a swear word makes it different.
  • RuthRuth Shipmate
    Only if you're offended by such things. I know plenty of folks who aren't. So let's just go by what mousethief and I choose to call you.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    I fail to see how the term USian and asshole have any equivalency. I have a hard time Ruth believing you are interested in a serious discussion about monikers. My fellow Canadian NPNP has addressed the false equivalency of canuckfuckers.
  • RuthRuth Shipmate
    I don't care if you understand it or like it. You insist on your choice, so I insist on mine.
  • Words have multiple meanings. Does "European" refer to the continent of Europe, or to the European Union, for example? It depends on context. "EUian" would have the same problem as "USian" - it's hard to pronounce, has stupid capitalization, and almost nobody actually uses it.

    Usually, "American" unambiguously refers to the United States of America. I understand @Caissa to be making a political point when choosing to use the term "USian" - he prefers to insist on his right, as a resident of the North American continent, to be an "American", and so wants to use a different term to refer to the inhabitants of the country to his south.

    As @Ruth pointed out earlier, "US citizens / residents" exist as an option, just like "EU citizens / residents" exist for anyone who either needs the precision or is being a cantankerous curmudgeon about the word "European".
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    I have no intention of refraining from using USian. If you want to refer to me as "asshole" rather than Caissa throughout the Ship that is your prerogative. I presume if you make that a regular habit the powers that be might intervene and cite you for both a first and third commandment violation. Then again maybe your status of Admin Emeritus might shield you from such action.
  • USian seems to offend some people from the USA here. Which means trying to avoid using it is best practice in my view. I'm reminded of the insistence and defence of continuing to use the word "fucktard" on the ship in past. It offended some, and this mattered not to some. If we want to discuss things and not insult one another, we could adjust our language.

    On my own offence, I used the word "England" at least once to refer to the entire UK on the old Ship, not understanding how this played to some of the collection of states within the UK. I'm also reminded of cheese references and "freedom fries" to France though my memory of this may conflate another forum and it may not have been this one. But it all leads me to ask: is USian insulting in the same way as England insults non-English UK residents, in the same way that Canuckafucker insults Canadians, the way American bothers (does it insult?) non-USA people, in the same way that fucktard insults intellectually challenged people?
  • If you really want to start a discussion about warts, why must they be identified as "your" (that is, American / Canadian / Geman / whatever) warts? Why not simply start a thread on assholes in Congress, or shitty treatment of first nations people, or bullshit immigration policies period?

    No sensible person is going to take an attack on Congress (in the nonphysical sense, anyway) as an attack on America, or on him/herself. I can't imagine any of our Brit Shipmates being so attached to Boris that they go up in flames if some non-Brit starts a thread on his [fill in recent egregious behavior]. The whole thing with parking unwanted immigrants on islands is eminently discussable without dragging Australian identity and pride into it.

    This means you can discuss warts, whichever ones they are, to your heart's content without starting a pond war. And the locals will most likely jump in with glee!
  • RuthRuth Shipmate
    Caissa wrote: »
    I have no intention of refraining from using USian.

    Shit like this is why we don't have many serious discussions about the problems in the US. You're more interested in being obnoxious.
    If we want to discuss things and not insult one another, we could adjust our language.

    Exactly.
  • the way American bothers (does it insult?) non-USA people,

    Should a Brit, or a Norwegian, or a Swiss be bothered or insulted by "European" being used to describe EU people? I don't think any of them actually are, and I don't think they should be.

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    But it all leads me to ask: is USian insulting in the same way as England insults non-English UK residents, in the same way that Canuckafucker insults Canadians, the way American bothers (does it insult?) non-USA people, in the same way that fucktard insults intellectually challenged people?
    Speaking only for me, and as I’ve said above, I don’t think USian is insulting per se. I can understand some of the motivations behind it. That said, I think it—like many other terms in many other contexts—can be used in a way to indicate some degree of contempt.

    I do think USian is a very poor substitute if one has problems with “American,” for the reasons that @Leorning Cniht gave: “it's hard to pronounce, has stupid capitalization, and almost nobody actually uses it.” The likelihood of it catching on in something approaching a widespread way is pretty much zilch.

    And I agree that insisting on using it when others have indicated it offends them is not best practice. It does cause me to wonder what the motivation is: Is it really to reserve “American” for its broader meaning, or is it to knock some folks down a peg?

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    edited April 20
    "America" technically can refer to 35 sovereign countries in North and South America. Moreover, I can think of three countries in the Americas that can also claim "U.S." The United States of America, the United States of Mexico--okay, the United Mexican States, and the United States of Brazil--did you know Brazil's first official flag was patterned very much like the flag of the United States of America, only it used green stripes to reflect the Amazon forest.

    The one word that is very unique referring to the citizens of the United States of America is "Yankee." Yankee may actually refer to the colonists of New Amsterdam though. Yan is very close to Jan, and Kee may have been a Dutch name.

    Oh, and BTW, the Yankees were not the only ones that prohibited alcohol at one time. The United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand also have a history of prohibition.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    . The United Kingdom[ my edit]have a history of prohibition.

    Do we? Apart from Sundays in Wales, nothing even remotely like Prohibition in the USA comes to mind.

  • RuthRuth Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    The one word that is very unique referring to the citizens of the United States of America is "Yankee."

    Paging @Nick Tamen!

    Here in SoCal "Yankee" means a member of the American League baseball team located in the Bronx.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    My use of USian is a tempest in a teapot. I use it on my Facebook page and all discussion groups in which I post. I consciously stopped using "American' awhile ago. Not one of my Usians relatives (yes, I have them) nor Ms. C's USians relatives have batted an eyelash at this usage.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Caissa wrote: »
    By "account for", I meant "explain".
    By explain, do you mean, set out the historical causes in a neutral manner something you do not understand, or do you mean, justify something you do not approve of?
    I don't think setting out historical causes leads to much discussion, especially not the sort that is called "robust"; the latter looks rather like an accusation that all US shipmates approve of the wart under discussion. That is not a recipe for healthy discussion.

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