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Thread: saying America when actually referring to the USA

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    Почётный участник eisenherz's Avatar
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    saying America when actually referring to the USA

    почему много людей говорят 'Америка', но они на самом деле означают США?
    является мексике, бразилии и других стран так незначительный.

    never understood that; surely other countries in the continent of America should feel undermined.
    i would never say 'Europe' and actually mean France for example

    anyway, just something that crossed my mind.....
    please always correct my (often poor) russian

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    Most likely it comes from United Stated of America, over time people just shortened it to just America
    It means no disrespect to other countries

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    Quote Originally Posted by eisenherz View Post
    почему много людей говорят 'Америка', но они на самом деле означают США?
    Традиция и более ничего. Вот что сказано в статье Америка:
    Слово «Америка» нередко употребляется для обозначения одного из государств этой части света — США[2]американский» — значит произведённый в США, находящийся в США и т. д.), а выражение «открыть Америку» часто означает «сообщить давно всем известную и очевидную информацию».

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    Старший оракул
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    Some similar examples:

    saying "Англия" (England) actually meaning "Великобритания" (Great Britain, the UK) which includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland;
    saying "Голландия" (Holland) actually meaning "Нидерланды" (the Netherlands), where North Holland and South Holland are just two of their 12 provinces (Netherlands - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia);
    eariler: saying "Россия" (Russia) actually meaning "Советский Союз, СССР" (the Soviet Union, the USSR) which used to consist of 15 union republics, Russia used to be one of them.

    Although the analogy is not quigte accurate. "America" when referring to the US belongs to "the whole instead of a part" relationship.
    My examples illustrate a different kind of relationship: "a part instead of the whole".
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    Почётный участник eisenherz's Avatar
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    i hear you, but i do not fully agree with the analogy...
    when i say Russia i mean Russia
    when i mean the Soviet Union i say CCCP
    when i say UK i mean England, Scotland, Wales etc
    when i mean England alone i say England

    in the case of 'America' supposed to mean 'USA' that feels like a country 'usurping' the name of a continent.

    but yes, i suppose it has just evolved like that for ease of speak and not for pretending to be the continent.
    please always correct my (often poor) russian

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Speaking for myself, I mean no disrespect when I refer to people of the US as "Americans." It's just a more expedient way to refer to "the citizens of the US" which is a bigger mouthful. I can see how people in Canada might be offended, since they are also part of the North American continent. But even most Canadians I know don't bat an eye when I refer to US citizens as "Americans." It rolls off the tongue easier and has fewer syllables. "US citizens" = 5 syllables. "Americans" = 4 syllables. Sometimes I just call us "Murkans" (more fitting these days) which only has 2 syllables. It's probably just a sign of how lazy we Murkans are
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    But even most Canadians I know don't bat an eye when I refer to US citizens as "Americans."
    For that matter, when Islamic radicals say Marg bar Amrika! (Farsi) or Al maut li Amrika! (Arabic), they don't mean "Смерть Канаде!"

    Sometimes I just call us "Murkans"
    I've also seen the spelling "Merkins". (Note that, historically, a "merkin" was a маленький парик для лобка!)
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by eisenherz View Post
    i hear you, but i do not fully agree with the analogy...
    when i say Russia i mean Russia
    when i mean the Soviet Union i say CCCP
    when i say UK i mean England, Scotland, Wales etc
    when i mean England alone i say England
    OK, I see But that's you.
    I know (at least in 1980-s) many people in the West used to say "Russia" instead of the USSR. I just heard about that.
    And here (in Russia), many people still use "England" to name the entire UK. It is very common at least in my country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    For that matter, when Islamic radicals say Marg bar Amrika! (Farsi) or Al maut li Amrika! (Arabic), they don't mean "Смерть Канаде!"
    I just wonder if you know that just out of curiosity, or did you learn either of those languages?
    I'm asking that because I was never exposed to languages like Farsi or Arabic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    I just wonder if you know that just out of curiosity, or did you learn either of those languages?
    I'm asking that because I was never exposed to languages like Farsi or Arabic.
    You just need to be a bit closer to Langley, VA to know it
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborski View Post
    Speaking for myself, I mean no disrespect when I refer to people of the US as "Americans." It's just a more expedient way to refer to "the citizens of the US" which is a bigger mouthful. I can see how people in Canada might be offended, since they are also part of the North American continent.
    What about Mexicans ? Now they get really offended 'cause you don't even consider them as North Americans
    Just kidding

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    You just need to be a bit closer to Langley, VA to know it
    Sorry, I did not get the joke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    Sorry, I did not get the joke.
    I was referring to CIA headquarters that resides in Langley, VA
    Throbert is in Virginia, as well

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    I just wonder if you know that just out of curiosity, or did you learn either of those languages?
    I'm asking that because I was never exposed to languages like Farsi or Arabic.
    I don't know either of these languages. Actually, I learned these phrases years ago on an Internet thread in which someone was complaining about the "ignorant" way that some Americans pronounce "Iraq" and "Iran" as Ай-рэк and Ай-рэн (instead of Ирак, Иран).

    But then a Persian-American commenter pointed out that in both Farsi and Arabic, they "ignorantly" say ам-РИ-ка instead of а-МЭ-ри-ка -- so if some Americans want to say АЙ-РЭН, not и-РАН, that was their own business!

    (And a Russian commenter added that Russians "ignorantly" say Стамбул and Пекин instead of "Istanbul" and "Beijing"... there were other examples given, too.) Anyway, that's how I learned how to say "Death to America!!!" in Farsi and Arabic.
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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    I was referring to CIA headquarters that resides in Langley, VA
    Throbert is in Virginia, as well
    Throbert has BEEN to the CIA headquarters at Langley and got to go on a tour! Biggest surprise: Their large collection of Abstract Expressionist paintings, including artists like Jackson Pollock. Second biggest surprise: The experimental "роботическая стрекоза" from the 1970s. Total non-surprise: Like a lot of the CIA's big ideas, the robot-dragonfly did not actually work. (Or, rather, it worked in the laboratory, but only if they turned off all the fans and air-conditioners, because the slightest breeze made it crash.)

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    Властелин Deborski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    Throbert has BEEN to the CIA headquarters at Langley and got to go on a tour! Biggest surprise: Their large collection of Abstract Expressionist paintings, including artists like Jackson Pollock. Second biggest surprise: The experimental "роботическая стрекоза" from the 1970s. Total non-surprise: Like a lot of the CIA's big ideas, the robot-dragonfly did not actually work. (Or, rather, it worked in the laboratory, but only if they turned off all the fans and air-conditioners, because the slightest breeze made it crash.)
    And to think, all I got to do was drive by there while we were in DC for the "Rally to Restore Sanity" a few years back.

    (Unfortunately, our rally did not succeed in restoring sanity)
    eisenherz likes this.
    Вот потому, что вы говорите то, что не думаете, и думаете то, что не думаете, вот в клетках и сидите. И вообще, весь этот горький катаклизм, который я здесь наблюдаю, и Владимир Николаевич тоже…

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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    Second biggest surprise: The experimental "роботическая стрекоза" from the 1970s.
    I guess it is a tricky part of Russian but you can't say "роботическая стрекоза".
    However you can say "стрекоза-робот" or "робот-стрекоза" or even "роботизированная стрекоза"

    DoD has a hummingbird now, totally works - Nano Air Vehicle (NAV) - AeroVironment, Inc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    Throbert has BEEN to the CIA headquarters at Langley and got to go on a tour!
    It's all jokes, man
    A guy who lives in VA and knows half a dozen languages could look suspicious to mere mortals

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    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    And here (in Russia), many people still use "England" to name the entire UK. It is very common at least in my country.
    In Russia many people don't know what UK and Great Britain are. So they use the name Англия. It's a long tradition of ignorance.

    Recently I heard someone saying New Zealand is part of British Dominion, instead of the Commonwealth.... etc .. etc.... Isn't 'dominion' a colonialism epoch term???

    A Canadian showed us a Canadian dollar bill and a Russian man (technical PhD, very educated senior man) was surprised to see the British Queen on the money. I told him Канада входит в Содружество, он улыбнулся и спросил, в какое содружество...., so such examples abound here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    Some similar examples:

    saying "Голландия" (Holland) actually meaning "Нидерланды" (the Netherlands), where North Holland and South Holland are just two of their 12 provinces (Netherlands - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia);
    In Russia also the majority of the people think that there is such country as Holland.

    Besides, technically Great Britain doesn't include Northern Ireland. The UK does since 1922.

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