At 10/6/12 01:20 PM, Drake wrote:
This is something that has been bothering me recently. Anytime someone says "American", one automatically assumes that they are referring to a citizen of the United States. Yes, the citizens of the U.S. are Americans, but they aren't the only ones. Anyone within the Americas, north, south, or central, is an American; no exception. Canadians? Americans. Brazilians? Americans. You get my point.
It's an ambiguous point at best. When referring to someone's country of birth as their classification, i.e. I am an Englishman, the term would be used to indicate someone from the country of the United States of America and therefore not someone from the two continents that were named in honour of Amerigo Vespucci.
American - Someone from the USA (politically)
Canadian - Someone from Canada, a Canadian citizen
Yes, there is the wider view of calling Englishmen Brits and then even further zoomed out, Europeans, neither of which I particularly subscribe to (except the Olympics, I was very proud to be British during those two weeks), so if we apply that to the Americas, you can refer to everyone in the USA and Canada, that is a citizen of those countries as "North American", with Mexico and a few other countries making up "Central America", plus Brazil, Argentina, Chile and the rest making up the "South American" continent.
Where do you draw the line? There is no definite border (only one defined on maps) between North, Central and South America, the same as there isn't one between Europe, Asia and Africa. Two side to the argument, there are.
Thank you, Yoda.