Like most citizens of the United States, I call myself American all the time. It wasn’t until I moved to Argentina that I learned how egocentric this single word is. Imagine a conversation that goes like this:
Hi, my name’s Angie. What’s yours?
I’m Jorge. Pleased to meet you.
Where are you from Jorge?
I’m Argentine. How about you?
I’m United Statesian!
Yep, that’s a translation of a culturally appropriate conversation in Argentina. I learned pretty quickly not to call myself American because I invited a level of criticism for which I wasn’t prepared to face.
People who live in South America are Americans too. So are people who live in Canada or Mexico or in Central America. They have every right to call themselves Americans too. But the English Language messes this up horribly because we in the United States have no other word for ourselves other than American.
Is United Statesian even a proper word? According to Urban Dictionary it might be:
I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject… do we have an obligation as “Americans” to start calling ourselves United Statesians? Or are people from other American countries simply being over-sensitive?
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