Posted by: kirstieann | April 25, 2011

The American Misconception

It was once again drawn to my attention today in spanish class that we as “Americans” misuse the term ‘American’ the most. We call ourselves American, and believe that is what we are. While this is true in some contexts, it is not usually what we really mean. Think about it, when someone says they’re Mexican or Brazilian, what is your response? I bet 99% of you would say “I’m American,” and why wouldn’t you? What we are forgetting is that America is not a country, it is a continent, and includes North & South America and everything in between. We are not from the entire continent, we are from the United States of America, so why do we get lazy and trim that down to say we are American? Other languages make the distinction that we don’t – in spanish I would say “soy estadounidense” rather than “soy americano.” So please, unless you want people to believe you are from anywhere from Canada or Mexico to Chile, I suggest you stop telling your international acquaintances that you are American.

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