IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 1st January 2023, 03:45 PM   #1
bluesjnr
Professional Nemesis for Hire
 
bluesjnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Home.
Posts: 10,806
Identify as American? You're, "problematic".

Where next? The University of Stanford has, in it's release of a, "harmful language", list, identified that people from the United States only, may be insinuating that the U.S. is the most important country in the Americas if using the word, "American", to describe themselves.

Quote:
You insensitive bastards!
bluesjnr is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 04:08 PM   #2
ahhell
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 5,058
That might be the least stupid part of that list.

Quote:
Violent language is also a no-no. Troubling terms include “beating a dead horse, which “normalizes violence against animals,” “pull the trigger,” “trigger warning” and “killing two birds with one stone.”

Elsewhere in the guide, the reader is instructed that an “immigrant” is now a “person who has immigrated,” a “prisoner” is now a “person who is/was incarcerated” and a “homeless person” with “a person without housing.
So, now, I guess the phrase trigger warning needs a trigger warning?
ahhell is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 04:08 PM   #3
Thermal
Penultimate Amazing
 
Thermal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: In the Troll Ignoring Section
Posts: 21,170
Isn't the USA the only nation of those 42 that uses the continent's name in as the big identifier in its national name tho?
__________________
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" -Mark Twain
"Half of what he said meant something else, and the other half didn't mean anything at all" -Rosencrantz, on Hamlet
Thermal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 04:10 PM   #4
lobosrul5
Illuminator
 
lobosrul5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 4,127
Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Isn't the USA the only nation of those 42 that uses the continent's name in as the big identifier in its national name tho?
Yeah, and unless I'm mistaken, we're the only country to use the denonym "American". This is a solution looking for a problem.
lobosrul5 is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 04:10 PM   #5
jt512
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,919
After being widely ridiculed for calling for elimination of the word "American," Stanford required a log-in to view its list of "harmful" words. Fortunately, the Wall Street Journal saved a copy of the list, which can viewed here.
jt512 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 04:12 PM   #6
bluesjnr
Professional Nemesis for Hire
 
bluesjnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Home.
Posts: 10,806
Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Isn't the USA the only nation of those 42 that uses the continent's name in as the big identifier in its national name tho?
Stop oppressing me....
bluesjnr is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 04:13 PM   #7
jt512
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,919
Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Yeah, and unless I'm mistaken, we're the only country to use the denonym "American". This is a solution looking for a problem.

Most of the list is.
jt512 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 04:14 PM   #8
bluesjnr
Professional Nemesis for Hire
 
bluesjnr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Home.
Posts: 10,806
Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Yeah, and unless I'm mistaken, we're the only country to use the denonym "American". This is a solution looking for a problem.
Or as we say, "only in America".
bluesjnr is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 05:13 PM   #9
8enotto
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mexico
Posts: 2,753
From a south of the US the americas are from Patagonia to the arctic circle.

The part just south of Canada is the United States.

It's not a bad or derogatory thing unless it's politics 2016 to 2020 and in terms of goods it's sometimes preferred to other sources. Even domestic goods.

In the middle east region I would probably never be admit to being a US citizen casually. It makes for lousy vacation time.

During the Bush years it was even worse as they were causing a lot of strife in other places and people reacted.
It didn't make my life easier sometimes.
8enotto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 05:30 PM   #10
Stacyhs
Penultimate Amazing
 
Stacyhs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 28,611
How silly. Every other country in the Americas has an easy and obvious name for its citizens derived from its name: Mexican, Colombian, Peruvian, Costa Rican, Panamanian, Uruguayan, etc. Then we have The United States of America. What else should we or others call us? Unitens? United Statesans? Statians? Those do not indicate geographical location, but "Americans" does. Absolutely a solution looking for a problem.
Stacyhs is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 05:36 PM   #11
Norman Alexander
Penultimate Amazing
 
Norman Alexander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Dharug & Gundungurra
Posts: 13,622
Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
How silly. Every other country in the Americas has an easy and obvious name for its citizens derived from its name: Mexican, Colombian, Peruvian, Costa Rican, Panamanian, Uruguayan, etc. Then we have The United States of America. What else should we or others call us? Unitens? United Statesans? Statians? Those do not indicate geographical location, but "Americans" does. Absolutely a solution looking for a problem.
Yanks. That's what we use for you.

Easy.
__________________
...our governments are just trying to protect us from terror. In the same way that someone banging a hornets’ nest with a stick is trying to protect us from hornets. Frankie Boyle, Guardian, July 2015
Norman Alexander is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 05:51 PM   #12
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 64,839
Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Isn't the USA the only nation of those 42 that uses the continent's name in as the big identifier in its national name tho?
Yes. Which is rather unimaginative of us. In the cereal aisle bursting with creativity and flavor we chose to be "Cereal Flakes". It's a problem that's been recognized from the very beginning: we started as "the American colonies" and that was sufficient for English speakers because England only had that lump of colonies. Then Canada got distincted. The Founding Fatters considered other options, but some (Columbia) were already in use by others, and some were just silly. What should have been done was the invention of a completely new and original name that wasn't in use before or by anyone else-- they could have named us Cardassia or Sextasia or Zakuul. But they didn't and it seems rather too late to change it now.

How many times does someone actually get confused when someone from the US says "I'm an American"? Do people from other continents scratch their heads and guess we're from Brazil and just being general with the continent? Do people from other countries in the Americas get confused? Or is it that the rest of the continent feels insulted, like we're laying claim to the entire thing (which we've tried in the past, it didn't work out)? I guess I'm more inclined to view retention of the generic term as a sad failure in creativity rather than a boastful flex. There's no extra honor in being generic.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 05:53 PM   #13
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 64,839
Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Yanks. That's what we use for you.

Easy.
Also problematic, since it derives from "Yankee" and is a term for only a part of the country. Much like calling Iran "Persia" was a slight to all the other regions of Iran that aren't Persia.

And of course it doesn't help that one region of the country is still big mad about the Yankee region winning some sort of scuffle they had a while back, I'm not clear on the details but it seemed to mostly involve statues in parks and the naming of streets.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 06:12 PM   #14
Orphia Nay
Penguilicious Spodmaster.
Tagger
 
Orphia Nay's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ponylandistan Presidential Palace (above the Spods' stables).
Posts: 41,219
Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
How silly. Every other country in the Americas has an easy and obvious name for its citizens derived from its name: Mexican, Colombian, Peruvian, Costa Rican, Panamanian, Uruguayan, etc. Then we have The United States of America. What else should we or others call us? Unitens? United Statesans? Statians? Those do not indicate geographical location, but "Americans" does. Absolutely a solution looking for a problem.
True.

But it is also true that the term "American" "insinuates that the US is the most important country in the Americas (which is actually made up of 42 countries)".

They say you should call yourselves "US Citizens". Doubt that'll happen, if even those accused of being "woke" on the forum don't want to give up being "American".

I'm Australian (disclaimer), but I'd like to hear from other citizens of central/south America on this.
__________________
"We stigmatize and send to the margins
people who trigger in us the feelings we want to avoid"
- Melinda Gates, "The Moment of Lift".
Orphia Nay is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 06:22 PM   #15
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 64,839
Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
True.

But it is also true that the term "American" "insinuates that the US is the most important country in the Americas (which is actually made up of 42 countries)".

They say you should call yourselves "US Citizens". Doubt that'll happen, if even those accused of being "woke" on the forum don't want to give up being "American".

I'm Australian (disclaimer), but I'd like to hear from other citizens of central/south America on this.
But doesn't saying "US citizen" exclude those who live in the US but aren't citizens? Given our somewhat...problematic...history with/current feelings about immigration, saying "citizen" feels like a much ruder flex than employing generic "American" does. It seems to me like it's saying "oh, you may be an American but I'm a citizen!" Everybody's just people in places and from places, no need to throw legal status in the mix as well.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 06:50 PM   #16
Orphia Nay
Penguilicious Spodmaster.
Tagger
 
Orphia Nay's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ponylandistan Presidential Palace (above the Spods' stables).
Posts: 41,219
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
But doesn't saying "US citizen" exclude those who live in the US but aren't citizens? Given our somewhat...problematic...history with/current feelings about immigration, saying "citizen" feels like a much ruder flex than employing generic "American" does. It seems to me like it's saying "oh, you may be an American but I'm a citizen!" Everybody's just people in places and from places, no need to throw legal status in the mix as well.
Yes, "I'm from / live in the United States" is probably better. And defining yourself by your nationality is problematic no matter what country you live in.
__________________
"We stigmatize and send to the margins
people who trigger in us the feelings we want to avoid"
- Melinda Gates, "The Moment of Lift".
Orphia Nay is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 07:13 PM   #17
8enotto
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mexico
Posts: 2,753
Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
True.

But it is also true that the term "American" "insinuates that the US is the most important country in the Americas (which is actually made up of 42 countries)".

They say you should call yourselves "US Citizens". Doubt that'll happen, if even those accused of being "woke" on the forum don't want to give up being "American".

I'm Australian (disclaimer), but I'd like to hear from other citizens of central/south America on this.
Citizens of Mexico are Mexican by common use. ( I am not a citizen, I just live in Mexico.)
It is a matter of pride to most.
8enotto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 07:41 PM   #18
mgidm86
Philosopher
 
mgidm86's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,471
I tell people I'm Canadian.

That article "has qualities that are stupid but the article is not identified by it's stupidity", even though it is 100% stupid.

Quote:
“prisoner” is now a “person who is/was incarcerated”
There is no difference! You are still calling them "A person who is....." which identifies them by that single quality in exactly the same way, at least by the article's standards. Seems that way to me.

You'd have to say, "A person who is incarcerated but who is also a father, an electrician, a convicted murderer and a Pepsi drinker mmkay, they aren't just in prison!"

Twist hard enough and you'll end up with your head stuck up your own backside.

Does this mean I can stop calling these idiots who've been treating me "Doctor?"

Last edited by mgidm86; 1st January 2023 at 07:44 PM.
mgidm86 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 07:48 PM   #19
DevilsAdvocate
Philosopher
 
DevilsAdvocate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,412
It appears this inclusion is the result of some laziness on the part of the Stanford University IT Community's Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative and on the part of old pot stirring by conservative media.

The document created by EFLI includes the sources of the entries on their list. The entry for "American" comes from an archived web page for XSEDE. The Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment was a National Science Foundation project to provide digital resources to scientists and researchers. The Terminology Task Force published a terminology list with entries taken from a number of sources. The "American" entry was taken from a document created for the Inclusive Communications Task Force at Colorado State University.

That Inclusive Language Guide was published by the university newspaper where it then was frequently referenced by conservative media as an example of liberals gone crazy with political correctness. The university then explained that the document was draft document created by a small group of students as possible proposals to a language guide and that the group itself had rejected that entry prior to submission and therefore was never adopted a policy by the university.

The frequent references to the document by conservative media no doubt caused the document to frequently appear when searching for official academic terminology lists, and some of the entries made it on to other lists such as XSEDE which then carried over to the ELHI list.

Stanford has since issued a statement that the document is not official university policy at that the term "American" is not prohibited or even discouraged and that the entry is only included because it may be imprecise in some contexts. I think Stanford is backpedaling and looking for excuses for an entry that was only included by virtue of the path I described. But they certainly never said that it was "problematic" for someone to "identify" as "American".

As others have pointed out, the terms "America" and "American" can be problematic. If I recall correctly, when the Politics section was split it was initially called "USAian Politics" for that very reason until people complained that the name was too silly. My recollection of discussion at the time was that people in South and Central America and some other countries find "America" and "American" to be odd and somewhat confusing because in some other language the name of the country is always a translation of "United States" and "America" is used to refer toa continent or set of continents.

It is a problematic word due to potential ambiguity, but there are not really any effective practical alternatives other than specifying what is meant by the term within a certain context. I think the list should be updated to either remove the entry altogether or at least specify that the issue is ambiguity rather than some sense of superiority and eliminate the rather impractical suggestion of US citizen" as an alternative.

Otherwise--meh. Tempest in a teapot.
__________________
I don't need to fight to prove I'm right. - Baba O'Riley
DevilsAdvocate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 07:50 PM   #20
Steve
Penultimate Amazing
 
Steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sydney Nova Scotia
Posts: 12,006
Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
I tell people I'm Canadian.

That article "has qualities that are stupid but the article is not identified by it's stupidity", even though it is 100% stupid.



There is no difference! You are still calling them "A person who is....." which identifies them by that single quality in exactly the same way, at least by the article's standards. Seems that way to me.

You'd have to say, "A person who is incarcerated but who is also a father, an electrician, a convicted murderer and a Pepsi drinker mmkay, they aren't just in prison!"

Twist hard enough and you'll end up with your head stuck up your own backside.

Does this mean I can stop calling these idiots who've been treating me "Doctor?"
Ae you actually Canadian, or do you just tell people that?
__________________
Caption from and old New Yorker cartoon - Why am I shouting? Because I'm wrong!"
Steve is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 07:51 PM   #21
Steve
Penultimate Amazing
 
Steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sydney Nova Scotia
Posts: 12,006
This issue would never have arisen if the USA had chosen a better/more interesting name for their country.
__________________
Caption from and old New Yorker cartoon - Why am I shouting? Because I'm wrong!"
Steve is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 08:03 PM   #22
casebro
Penultimate Amazing
 
casebro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 19,674
Columbus named his new found world after his mentor, Americus Vespucia.

Personally, I am happy to NOT be considered to be a Vespucian.
__________________
Any sufficiently advanced idea is indistinguishable from idiocy to those who don't actually understanding the concept.
casebro is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 08:06 PM   #23
casebro
Penultimate Amazing
 
casebro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 19,674
"“American” is commonly used to refer to “people from the United States only, thereby insinuating that the U.S. is the most important country in the Americas.” The Americas, the guide points out, is made up of 42 countries."

But America IS "the most important country in the Americas.” America wins again.
__________________
Any sufficiently advanced idea is indistinguishable from idiocy to those who don't actually understanding the concept.
casebro is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 08:07 PM   #24
ahhell
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 5,058
Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
How silly. Every other country in the Americas has an easy and obvious name for its citizens derived from its name: Mexican, Colombian, Peruvian, Costa Rican, Panamanian, Uruguayan, etc. Then we have The United States of America. What else should we or others call us? Unitens? United Statesans? Statians? Those do not indicate geographical location, but "Americans" does. Absolutely a solution looking for a problem.
My understanding is that spanish and Portuguese speakers call us the equivalent of united statsers but everyone else calls us Americans. But then it's also the united States of Mexico, so that is just as theoretically confusing.

And again, not nearly the dumbest thing on the list. It includes basically any phrase with black and rule of thumb while admitting that there is no evidence that it as a problematic origin. It's a an it department suggesting they shouldn't say user?

And of course it's just a suggestion that will likely disappear but it is super dumb.
ahhell is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 08:11 PM   #25
Steve
Penultimate Amazing
 
Steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sydney Nova Scotia
Posts: 12,006
Originally Posted by casebro View Post
"“American” is commonly used to refer to “people from the United States only, thereby insinuating that the U.S. is the most important country in the Americas.” The Americas, the guide points out, is made up of 42 countries."

But America IS "the most important country in the Americas.” America wins again.
Yup, typical USA attitude. So important to "win".
__________________
Caption from and old New Yorker cartoon - Why am I shouting? Because I'm wrong!"
Steve is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 08:16 PM   #26
mgidm86
Philosopher
 
mgidm86's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,471
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Ae you actually Canadian, or do you just tell people that?

I'm a Problematic American but I identify as Canadian at times when I'm embarrassed to admit the truth.
mgidm86 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 08:30 PM   #27
grunion
Penultimate Amazing
 
grunion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 10,077
When asked, I say I’m from the US (or sometimes New York.) People south of Texas call us norteamericanos but that term includes Canadians.
__________________
I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.
~ Hafiz of Shiraz

Last edited by grunion; 1st January 2023 at 08:33 PM.
grunion is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 08:30 PM   #28
Steve
Penultimate Amazing
 
Steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sydney Nova Scotia
Posts: 12,006
Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
I'm a Problematic American but I identify as Canadian at times when I'm embarrassed to admit the truth.
Good choice then.
__________________
Caption from and old New Yorker cartoon - Why am I shouting? Because I'm wrong!"
Steve is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 08:30 PM   #29
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 33,729
Personally I still refer to those lands as "The Colonies".
__________________
Слава Україні! **** Putin!
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 08:33 PM   #30
sackett
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Detroit
Posts: 8,160
Yeah, well, when you're crossing into Canadia (see my location? we do that a lot) an American had better answer "US" respectfully when the border guard asks for your nationality.

Border guards have way too much power. Anywhere in the world.
__________________
If you would learn a man's character, give him authority.

If you would ruin a man's character, let him seize power.
sackett is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 09:04 PM   #31
Norman Alexander
Penultimate Amazing
 
Norman Alexander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Dharug & Gundungurra
Posts: 13,622
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Also problematic, since it derives from "Yankee" and is a term for only a part of the country. Much like calling Iran "Persia" was a slight to all the other regions of Iran that aren't Persia.

And of course it doesn't help that one region of the country is still big mad about the Yankee region winning some sort of scuffle they had a while back, I'm not clear on the details but it seemed to mostly involve statues in parks and the naming of streets.
Understood.

Quote:
Yankee is sometimes abbreviated as “Yank.” People from all over the world, including Great Britain, Australia, and South America, use the term to describe Americans. (In Spanish, it’s spelled yanqui.) Sometimes, it's a negative description. Other times, it's a playful term.
https://education.nationalgeographic...esource/yankee
__________________
...our governments are just trying to protect us from terror. In the same way that someone banging a hornets’ nest with a stick is trying to protect us from hornets. Frankie Boyle, Guardian, July 2015
Norman Alexander is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 10:23 PM   #32
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: The Antimemetics Division
Posts: 63,027
Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Yeah, and unless I'm mistaken, we're the only country to use the denonym "American". This is a solution looking for a problem.
It's a solution looking for a scapegoat.
__________________
There is no Antimemetics Division.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 10:30 PM   #33
Masque
Scholar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 85
Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
Where next? The University of Stanford has, in it's release of a, "harmful language", list, identified that people from the United States only, may be insinuating that the U.S. is the most important country in the Americas if using the word, "American", to describe themselves.
I've heard this bandied about since I was in grade school 60 years ago. Nothing new under the sun. Doesn't seem to have made much of a difference in the world.
Masque is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2023, 11:28 PM   #34
Mojo
Mostly harmless
 
Mojo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Nor Flanden
Posts: 36,653
Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
After being widely ridiculed for calling for elimination of the word "American," Stanford required a log-in to view its list of "harmful" words. Fortunately, the Wall Street Journal saved a copy of the list, which can viewed here.

I don't see "Semprini" on there.
__________________
"You got to use your brain." - McKinley Morganfield

"The poor mystic homeopaths feel like petted house-cats thrown at high flood on the breaking ice." - Leon Trotsky
Mojo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2023, 12:48 AM   #35
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 64,839
Seems to me that we've managed to get along with the ambiguity for this long. It's not like the situation over the name "Macedonia", for contrast. Didn't one of them go so far as to Prince their name so they were the Artist Formerly Known As?

If we do vote to change it, I think we should simplify and just drop the "Ame" to become "Rica". Possibly even...."Rica Suave". Yes, that sounds okay.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2023, 01:22 AM   #36
Hevneren
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 373
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Seems to me that we've managed to get along with the ambiguity for this long. It's not like the situation over the name "Macedonia", for contrast. Didn't one of them go so far as to Prince their name so they were the Artist Formerly Known As?

If we do vote to change it, I think we should simplify and just drop the "Ame" to become "Rica". Possibly even...."Rica Suave". Yes, that sounds okay.
Those were good times. I knew a Greek guy back then. He went absolutely ballistic over the dirty ******* Albanians in Skopje trying to steal HIS proud heritage. Alexander the Great and stuff.
__________________
Non possum audire quod dicis quia Musa habeo in aurem
Hevneren is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2023, 01:27 AM   #37
Axxman300
Philosopher
 
Axxman300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Central California Coast
Posts: 6,392
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
This issue would never have arisen if the USA had chosen a better/more interesting name for their country.
I could be wrong, but I think Ben Franklin pitched "Awesomeland", but was shot down by the Continental Congress...Yeah...I'm probably wrong.

[I think we called ourselves Americans early on after the Revolution just to emphasize we were no longer British citizens, and the name stuck.]
__________________
Disingenuous Piranha
Axxman300 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2023, 01:44 AM   #38
Gulliver Foyle
Muse
 
Gulliver Foyle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Cork baaaiii
Posts: 969
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Also problematic, since it derives from "Yankee" and is a term for only a part of the country. Much like calling Iran "Persia" was a slight to all the other regions of Iran that aren't Persia.

And of course it doesn't help that one region of the country is still big mad about the Yankee region winning some sort of scuffle they had a while back, I'm not clear on the details but it seemed to mostly involve statues in parks and the naming of streets.
Always fun when we get one of the latter and they have a conniption.

Originally Posted by Hevneren View Post
Those were good times. I knew a Greek guy back then. He went absolutely ballistic over the dirty ******* Albanians in Skopje trying to steal HIS proud heritage. Alexander the Great and stuff.
Which is ironic, because in ancient Greece, Macedonia was almost barbarian country. Most Greeks of the time wouldn't have considered either Philip or Alexander a proper Greek.
Gulliver Foyle is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2023, 05:42 AM   #39
sarge
Philosopher
Moderator
 
sarge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Posts: 9,878
Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
True.

But it is also true that the term "American" "insinuates that the US is the most important country in the Americas (which is actually made up of 42 countries)".
No it doesn’t.

Our attitude throughout much of our history does insinuate that we consider ourselves the most important country in the Americas, and by some measures this is simply true. Our attitude has also demonstrated that many of us are obnoxiously xenophobic.

Quote:
They say you should call yourselves "US Citizens". Doubt that'll happen, if even those accused of being "woke" on the forum don't want to give up being "American".

I'm Australian (disclaimer), but I'd like to hear from other citizens of central/south America on this.
We should simply keep calling ourselves what the entire world recognizes us as…..Americans.
__________________
My previous signature risked (unknowingly) violating the Hatch Act!
sarge is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2023, 06:47 AM   #40
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 106,880
Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
It appears this inclusion is the result of some laziness on the part of the Stanford University IT Community's Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative and on the part of old pot stirring by conservative media.

The document created by EFLI includes the sources of the entries on their list. The entry for "American" comes from an archived web page for XSEDE. The Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment was a National Science Foundation project to provide digital resources to scientists and researchers. The Terminology Task Force published a terminology list with entries taken from a number of sources. The "American" entry was taken from a document created for the Inclusive Communications Task Force at Colorado State University.

That Inclusive Language Guide was published by the university newspaper where it then was frequently referenced by conservative media as an example of liberals gone crazy with political correctness. The university then explained that the document was draft document created by a small group of students as possible proposals to a language guide and that the group itself had rejected that entry prior to submission and therefore was never adopted a policy by the university.

The frequent references to the document by conservative media no doubt caused the document to frequently appear when searching for official academic terminology lists, and some of the entries made it on to other lists such as XSEDE which then carried over to the ELHI list.

Stanford has since issued a statement that the document is not official university policy at that the term "American" is not prohibited or even discouraged and that the entry is only included because it may be imprecise in some contexts. I think Stanford is backpedaling and looking for excuses for an entry that was only included by virtue of the path I described. But they certainly never said that it was "problematic" for someone to "identify" as "American".

As others have pointed out, the terms "America" and "American" can be problematic. If I recall correctly, when the Politics section was split it was initially called "USAian Politics" for that very reason until people complained that the name was too silly. My recollection of discussion at the time was that people in South and Central America and some other countries find "America" and "American" to be odd and somewhat confusing because in some other language the name of the country is always a translation of "United States" and "America" is used to refer toa continent or set of continents.

It is a problematic word due to potential ambiguity, but there are not really any effective practical alternatives other than specifying what is meant by the term within a certain context. I think the list should be updated to either remove the entry altogether or at least specify that the issue is ambiguity rather than some sense of superiority and eliminate the rather impractical suggestion of US citizen" as an alternative.

Otherwise--meh. Tempest in a teapot.
Thought I’d quote this post as it seems most people posting after it was posted didn’t read it!
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:34 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.