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Journal Jucius Maximus's Journal: America != United States of America 50

Some people keep responding to my sig with a certain dictionary quotation:

Main Entry: America
Pronunciation: &-'mer-&-k&
Usage: geographical name
1 either continent (N. America or S. America) of the western hemisphere
2 or the Americas /-k&z/ the lands of the western hemisphere including N., Central, & S. America & the W. Indies
3 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

I suspect they got this from an American dictionary.

Think about it...

This the same country that arbitrarily redefines words in 'easier to spell' variations such as aluminium/aluminum, aeroplane/airplane, colour/color, night/nite (OK 'nite' is not ubiquitous in the USA.)

This is from the same country where the RIAA can redefine the meaning of a word in the dictionary for its own purposes.

The New Lexicon Webster's Encyclopaedia Dictionary of the English Language (Canadian Edition of an American Dictionary):

America: the two continents North America and South America, extending from beyond the Arctic Circle to the subantarctic regions and joined by a central isthmus. North America is centred on longitude 100 deg W while South America lies further East centred on longitude 60 deg W. The name is from Americus Vespucius (Amerigo Vespucci). The total land area is over 16,000,000 sq. miles and the estimated total pop. 500,000,000 Linguistically and culturally the Americans are known as Anglo-America (the U.S.A. and Canada) and Latin America (Mexico, Central America, most of the West Indies, and South America)

So essentially, the American dictionary makers are saying that outside of the USA, America != United States of America.

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America != United States of America

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  • Yes, I'm a Citizen (or consumer) of the United States of America. I am guilty as charged because when people say "America" I think: My country, from all sea to fricking shining sea of it. Very shortly after that I remember the *rest* of the hemisphere.

    Now, the only thing I'd like to refute is that I've rarely seen the term "nite" used by anyone other than advertisers so far. Other than that your journal is spot on.
  • I've heard the term USians a few times to describe people from the US. I know if I lived in, say, Mexico and the US was bombing the shit out of some farmers somewhere that I wouldnt like to be identified in the same group :-)
    • "I've heard the term USians a few times to describe people from the US. I know if I lived in, say, Mexico and the US was bombing the shit out of some farmers somewhere that I wouldnt like to be identified in the same group :-)"

      I think that one reason terms like this have developed is that "The United States of America" is just way too long in terms of syllables to be commonly used, while the shortened "America" just happens to be the name of something else.

      • Re:USians (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Fred Ferrigno (122319)
        As a natural born citizen of the United States of America, I find the term 'USian' to be incredibly stupid. Yes, I know you other people who live on one of the American continents don't like to reinforce the idea that US citizens are the only Americans, but USian is the stupidest thing I've heard our people called since 'yank'.

        How many other acronyms are modified like that? Are British people now UKians? No, because saying it makes you sound like a moron. I doubt anyone ever bothers to say "USian" aloud just because of that. It's nationalistic flamebait, mostly from Canadians who want to work out national insecurities online. In formal conversation, where slang like 'USian' and 'yank' aren't allowed, you're left with two options only: American, and US citizen. The former being unspecific and the latter being cumbersome and wordy, you don't have much choice.

        The Cambridge International Dictionary of English [cambridge.org] acknowledges that in common use, 'American' is frequently used to refer to the USA. Whether they, or any other dictionary, have any authority in the matter is moot; dictionaries describe a language rather than prescribing one.

        So, what is it? Are you in some great hurry to be associated with us ignorant, loud-mouthed, uncouth Americans as we drink Starbucks and eat McDonald's watching MTV?

        Furthermore, the differences in spelling between American English and British English are due largely to a concerted effort by early American writers and lexicographers to change the language. In a display of (perhaps misguided) patriotism for their newfound home, they purposely used alternate and "simplified" spellings of common words to differentiate themselves from Britain. Also, as others have mentioned, at the time of the split with Britain, English spelling wasn't even consistent in its home country, so we can't be blamed for picking a spelling before the Brits could be bothered to do the same.
  • ... whatever.

    Why don't you go complain about Australians changing the meaning of words... like "randy" and "stuffed" and a few others that I can think of?

    We Americans have been calling ourselves Americans since before we kicked George III's ass. We have a right to call ourselves by whatever word we see fit. Just to make you complain more, if we ever invent a word that means "Master of the Universe," (aside from "god") I'll be the first one to adopt it as a replacement for "American" as we describe ourselves

    In addition, language and culture is always evolving. You don't hear anyone complaining about how the Brits ruined Middle English or the early Germanic lanuage from which it descended.

    You don't hear anyone complaining about how the Spanish, French, Sardinians, and Portuguese ruined Latin, do you?

    What about those jerk Yiddish-speaking people ruined Middle High German when they developed their language and culture?
    I suggest you brush up on your cultural Anthropology and your Etymology before you go complaining about change in languages.

    Or, might I simply suggest that you stop whining?

    • "Just to make you complain more, if we ever invent a word that means "Master of the Universe," (aside from "god") I'll be the first one to adopt it as a replacement for "American" as we describe ourselves"

      The last time someone invented the word meaning "Master of the Universe" (at least the last time I am aware of it) was back in the 1930s. The word was 'Aryan' and it was used by one Adolf Hitler to describe the German people as a superior race, and it was his justification for wanting to kill all Jewish people.

      You make me laugh :-P

    • You should save a copy of this post, Kymermosst. Then, whenever someone attacks your country (in whatever way), you can read that post again and remind yourself of why. Also, you can print it out and hand it around to all the bewildered "Americans" who keep asking "But why??" It probably won't actually work because, inherent in the post is the inability to see what's wrong with it, but at least it's a start.

      Regarding the "evolution" of language: there's no need to try to conceal behind a theory the fact that you simply screwed up English. Anyone who can add to the difficulties of an already confusing and inconsistent language in an attempt to make it simpler has got to be pretty dumb. Sure, colour/color makes sense if your population is as stupid and lazy as you. But things like cheque becoming check, which is already another word? And then, just to be extremely confusing, you decide that practise the verb and practice the noun will both be spelled with a C at the end to make things...erm...nope--not easier actually. And, in order to destroy any semblance of consistency in this new and improved version of English, defence, licence et al will use an S at the end. I dunno, because a C followed by an E isn't pronounced as an S any more? Nope, not that either. Just to be different, I suppose. That seems like the primary motivation between most of the stupid things you guys do.

      The only thing that the "Americanisation" of English led to is greater illiteracy.

      • "Anyone who can add to the difficulties of an already confusing and inconsistent language in an attempt to make it simpler has got to be pretty dumb."

        I have to agree that English is a very screwed up language to begin with. There are so many exceptions to exceptions of "rules" with strange double meanings, synonyms, homonyms, homonyms that sound like synonyms, synonyms that sound like homonyms, and people who don't know what all that stuff means ;-)

        Also I must agree that the 'additions/changes' made to English spelling through North America (and this includes my own country Canada, but mostly the USA) in general only add to the confusion. I pity people who are forced to learn the f#cked up language that is English. I consider myself to be better than most at using it, but I did not know the practice/practise item that you pointed out. I cannot imagine how hard it must be for non-english speakers to grasp it.

      • > In addition, language and culture is always evolving. You don't hear anyone complaining about how the Brits ruined Middle English or the early Germanic lanuage from which it descended.

        Regarding the "evolution" of language: there's no need to try to conceal behind a theory the fact that you simply screwed up English.

        Care to rewrite your reply in the proper Germanic instead of your screwed up version that you call "English"? ...Oh, wait. I forget that "Stop hiding behind facts and let me redefine fact as my own opinion!" is a valid and convincing argument.
        • I don't recall denying that English is much different from Germanic. Since I don't have any knowledge of how it changed, over what period of time, and due to what influences, I can't comment on the issue. However, you evidently miss the point. Firstly, I never said that the Germanic-English change was a good thing. Secondly, unless you can demonstrate to me that there is even a correlation between that issue and the topic of this discussion, you're just being disingenuous and should stfu.

          On the assumption that there is a direct correlation, allow me to point out that learning from our mistakes is supposed to be one of the big special things us humans do. Or maybe "Americans" aren't human either? That would explain a lot...

      • The only thing that the "Americanisation" of English led to is greater illiteracy.


        You mean "Americanization."

        whenever someone attacks your country (in whatever way), you can read that post again and remind yourself of why.

        Yes, you got it right. People want to kill us because we have our own culture and dialect. It's all about borders, language, and culture.

        there's no need to try to conceal behind a theory the fact that you simply screwed up English.

        Developing local dialect is screwing it up? Tell that to the Scots or Australians.

        Sure, colour/color makes sense if your population is as stupid and lazy as you.

        Yes, we're so lazy and stupid we bailed Europe out of two world wars. We're so lazy and stupid we put men on the moon. We're so lazy and stupid we won the Cold war. We're so lazy and stupid that we are THE world power. We're so lazy and stupid we beat the mighty British twice in war.

        Since evolution of language is just a theory (according to you) and not fact, I suppose you deny the existence of Middle and Old English, and the Germanic languages from which they descended?

        Do you deny that the Brits haven't changed English over the last millenium?

        Tell me why, then, have these Middle/Old English words: dois, brand, sae, boke, bluid, gang, guid, hauke, mither, fadir, auld, warld, and thrae now become these: does, sword, so, book, blood, go, good, bawk, mother, father, old, world, through.

        Why did you Brits change them? Tell me, Mr. Smarty-Pants linguist.

        • It never ceases to amaze me how greatly someone can miss a simple point.

          The majority of the parent post is both an excellent troll and another lump of text to add to the list of posts-to-read-when-you're-wondering-why-people-hat e-the-US.

          The latter half is amusing, since I never made any comment regarding English, Old English, Germanic etc and yet two people have attacked me on this. Read my other response, Kymermosst. Also, I'm wondering, what makes you think I'm British? Is that what the troll about how much better the US is than Britain was all about? I suppose you gotta keep up that patriotic spirit eh? Wish my country, whatever it is, could beat the crap out of anyone else. Then I could feel all powerful like the jocks did at high school.

          If you haven't noticed already, I'm not taking this discussion seriously.

          • Interesting that you accuse my post of being the troll, when the true fact is that you called me, and my fellow countrymen, lazy and stupid.

            I make the assumption that you are British because really, the only people I've met that we Americans are bastardizing English are either British or Canadian. The obvious jealousy and ingrained hatred you have toward the United States points the finger at you most likely being British.

            I apologize if my reasoning came to an errant conclusion, but logically it was the best conclusion, though I didn't mean to outright accuse you of being British, the last "you Brits" was an error on my part.
            Though, since you don't bother to deny it and offer the truth, I assume I'm correct.
            • I make the assumption that you are British because really, the only people I've met that we Americans are bastardizing English are either British or Canadian. The obvious jealousy and ingrained hatred you have toward the United States points the finger at you most likely being British.

              Don't disillusion yourself. They are not the only people who dislike your attitude. And yes, it is your *attitude* they dislike. Not the fact that you are american, but the fact that you are so high and mighty about being "THE world power". americans without this problem are fine people. However, if you do suffer from this ailment, you most certainly are a dickhead, need to have your head read, and IMO can just fuck off.
              • can just fuck off

                Ahh, and now we get to the finer parts of the English language, in any dialect. (Which was, the topic at hand, not American attitude.)

                The fact that we are the world power is, simply, fact as stated. Am I proud of this fact? Most certainly. We Americans contribute a lot to the world, and people like you that overlook all the good we do and instead point out our mistakes are the true "dickheads" in this world.

                And yes, I acknowledge we make mistakes. We are, after all, only human.

                • Ahh, and now we get to the finer parts of the English language, in any dialect. (Which was, the topic at hand, not American attitude.)
                  The topic was language, until you brought your all mighty "world power" up.

                  he fact that we are the world power is, simply, fact as stated.
                  Fact according to who? The US is like the schoolyard bully, and there are some countries who won't allow their lunch money to be stolen, at any cost.

                  We Americans contribute a lot to the world, and people like you that overlook all the good we do and instead point out our mistakes are the true "dickheads" in this world.
                  Your country contributes a lot, yes, unfortunately a lot of it is where it isn't wanted, which only gets them into trouble. (See "Recent Terrorist Attacks")

                  As I said, I don't despise Americans, I despise people who think that America is invincible.
                  • The topic was language, until you brought your all mighty "world power" up.

                    Which I brought up because we were, as a whole, called "stupid and lazy." Which, we aren't.

                    Fact according to who? The US is like the schoolyard bully, and there are some countries who won't allow their lunch money to be stolen, at any cost.

                    Ahh, and no other country ever bullies anyone. China doesn't bully Tibet, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. Russia never bullied Eastern Europe. Germany never bullied Poland, Austria and France. Britain never bullied... oh, most of the populated countries on the planet, but I'll name India, France, Ireland, and China.

                    Your country contributes a lot, yes, unfortunately a lot of it is where it isn't wanted, which only gets them into trouble. (See "Recent Terrorist Attacks")

                    You don't really understand why we were attacked, do you? At least I "get it." The terrorists used our foreign policy as an excuse, but it's not the true reason they don't like America. It's mostly not even the fact that we support Israel (via treaty, I know, treaties and promises and keeping your word don't mean jack shit to you when you don't agree with them.)

                    The fact is, people like the Taliban and Osama bin Laden don't like us because we aren't Muslim, and we have technology. If they had it their way, they'd have the whole world like Afghanistan. Women would be forced to undergo brutal "female circumcisions" (see "clitorectomy"), and not allowed to show anything but their eyes. Music, painting, and scuplture would be prohibited. "Ungodly" knowledge would be forbidden. Shaving your beard would result in getting your ears cut off. Worshipping anything other than Allah as defined by them would result in death. Oh yes, this is what they want.

                    People like Osama bin Laden want to kill me just because I go about my daily life. Because I vote, because I don't worship their Allah, because I let my wife show her face, and because I won't mutilate my daughters. That is why they don't like me, or my fellow Americans.

                    Do you think that if they were ever to defeat us and make us into what they want, that they would stop there? Who's the next "great Satan" after the U.S.A.? Is it mighty Britain? Russia? Germany?

                    Truly, you don't really understand what this is all about. Borders, language, and culture.

                    As I said, I don't despise Americans, I despise people who think that America is invincible.

                    I never said we were invincible. What I said was, we are the most powerful country on the planet. There is a difference, you know. As far as our invincibility is concerned, I can say that we have a pretty good score as far as war is concerned.

                    And no, I don't think you despise Americans. I have other theories on why you are so emotional about the whole topic. Something really pisses you off besides, simply, our attitude. If that were not true, you would reinforce your argument instead of resorting to name calling and profanity, and you would probably be blowing us off rather than sitting here trying to get me to resort to the same tactics.
                  • I don't know if it was you, but probably someone else in this thread whom doesn't like my opinions, has gone through my previous (valid) posts in regular discussions and moderated four of my (perfectly valid) posts as -1 Offtopic, even though they are not. All four moderations done within minutes of eachother.

                    To you, or whomever did this, it's a rather low, immature thing to do, and it didn't take me anywhere near having low enough karma to post at 1 instead of 2.

                    Clearly, we are not all adults here.
                    • Although I disagree with your views about the America vs. USA issue and such, I must say that this moderation is clearly against the spirit of moderation and you did not deserve to receive it. You were on-topic in a good debate. I hope that you get it back on metamod.

                      (And of course I couldn't have modded it down since it's my journal. I don't think you can moderate in your own journal.)

                    • Although I disagree with your views about the America vs. USA issue and such, I must say that this moderation is clearly against the spirit of moderation and you did not deserve to receive it. You were on-topic in a good debate.

                      I've been having a blast being as pro-American as I can be in this one. It's great to spout off and take your views to the extreme to see what kinds of rebuttals and arguments you get.

                      As far as language is concerned, I think that American English is working toward its own dialect, and probably will be a lot less similar to traditional (British, if I may) English in a few centuries. I think that Australian English is rapidly approaching that point, at least when spoken. :) Last time I talked to an Australian, I was saying "what?" every couple of minutes like I was talking to someone who hardly knew English at all. :) Language is a wonderful, fluid thing, in my mind.

                      I hope that you get it back on metamod.

                      Probably iffy on that, metamoderators seldom look at the context of a conversation, and the person who did it was selective enough to where my followups could appear to be off topic if the thread wasn't looked at.

                      (And of course I couldn't have modded it down since it's my journal. I don't think you can moderate in your own journal.)

                      You can, but then you can't post in it, or, if you have already posted in it, you can't. I had the opportunity to moderate the (only) post in my journal, and didn't take it because I wanted to reply.

                    • "Probably iffy on that, metamoderators seldom look at the context of a conversation"

                      Whenever I metamod, I look at the article name, so that would probably provide some clue to the metamoderator that you were on topic.

                    • > Last time I talked to an Australian, I was saying "what?" every couple of minutes like I was talking to someone who hardly knew English at all. :)
                      Interesting. I speak English (what you would refer to as "British English". And I spent several months travelling in Austalia a couple of years ago. And guess what - I never had a problem understanding anybody whilst I was over there...
    • I am brazilian AND american, and this have nothing to do with citizenship or passports. It is a fact. America is a continent, USA is a country. Period.
      Maybe in the 16th century, when a english-speaking settler said "I am going to America", he/she was talking about the continent. However, the only english-speaking COUNTRY in that continent was the [future] USA. Alex.
  • For a long time I have been looking for a really good sig:

    > America - a landmass often mistaken for a country [slashdot.org]

    I believe that I have found it -- when the sig attracts constant agreements, refutation, argument AND trolling, I know I've gotten it right.

  • Yes, we U.S. residents have indeed changed our spelling to something more convenient and sensible. "Color" looks more like the proper sounding "Cuhl-ore" as opposed to "Colour", which would be logically pronounced as "Cuhl-ooher" or "Cuhl-ower". Changing from "light" to "lite" may look a little silly if you're not used to it, but it removes a useless digraph (overall using one less letter) and makes yet another word adopt the rule of adding an e at the end of a word that ends with a consonant to change a vowel from a "low" sound to a "long" sound. This is standardizing. This makes sense. It is very slow progress towards a phonetic system, but at least it is progress. So you're complaining... why? Because it isn't what you were brought up with? The fact is that languages change over time. That's the reason there are so many different ones today. So? Any particular change may or may not be for the better, but you should at least examine those changes on their merits! Is it rational to look down on someone today if they don't live like their great grandparents did?

    If your goal is to be completely proper, why don't you stop complaining about us and instead encourage the U.K. to get its own act together? Advocate that the U.K. adopt the few good changes that the U.S. has made. Then perhaps the U.S. might be willing to take a few more steps towards the metric system. Speaking of which, that's another difference between our countries. We should have changed over completely but we haven't. The U.S. is locked into English measurements thanks to the same kind of thinking that you're using. That it is best to go with "same", not "better".
    • Sorry, I see now that you're Canadian, not British. My mistake, hope you get this before you reply to point this out. The same point I made still applies though. Your journal indicates that you want to go with "same", not necessarily "better".
    • The European Union comissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

      In the first year, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c". Sertainly sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard "c" will be replased with "k". Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

      There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced by "f". This will make words like "fotograf" 20 persent shorter.

      In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent "e"s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

      By the fourth year, people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" by "z" and "w" by "v". During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

      After ze fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer. Ze drem vil finali kum tru.
      • Well, first of all, isn't that a Mark Twain or Benjamin Franklin quote? You should at least tell who you got it from. Really, that wouldn't look so strange to you if it was what you were raised with, but there are a few problems with it:

        In the first year, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c". Sertainly sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard "c" will be replased with "k". Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

        I agree completely, but "s" looks a little too much like "5" to me. Wouldn't it be better to use a backwards "c" symbol? I'll use a ) symbol to substitute. Also, "c" looks nicer and is easier to write than "k", so let's just stick with "c" and make the sound harder.

        There will be growing public enthu)ia)m in the )econd year, when the trouble)ome "ph" will be repla)ed by "f". Thi) will mace word) lice "fotograf" 20 per)ent )horter.

        Nope. Digraphs are keen. I can often tell the difference between "ph" and "f". So let's keep "ph" and see what it looks like. Let's also replace "a" with "e" when it sounds more like "e". For now, we'll leave the largely unnecessarry "e" on the end of the words.

        In the third year, public ac)epten)e of the new )pelling can be expected to reach the )tage where more complicated change) are po)ible. Government) will encoorege the removal of double leter), which have alway) ben a deterent to acurate )peling. Al)o, al wil agree that the horible me) of )ilent "e") in the languag iz) di)graa)ful, and they would go.

        No, double vowels rock! There are 13 different vowel sounds, and by doubling up on the vowel it can be changed from a "short" to a "long" vowel. This can be used where there is no keyboard capability to put a - over the letter. Killing the silent "e"s now.

        Bii the fourth yeer, peepul wil bee ree)eptiv too )tep) )uch a) repla)ing "th" by "z"

        Nope. There is a distinct difference between "z" and "th". I'm not sure what the th on the end of "with" really would be written as, but both that and "through" do not sound like this. This is where the original author really started to go wrong. We can make changes to "s" with "z" or "zs" where it matches the sound. Now replacing all vowels with the proper sounds. "ae" will replace "same" sounds. Same with consonants.

        and "w" bii "v".

        Nope. A distinct difference there, too.

        Dering thu fifth yeer, thu une)e)ary "o" can be dropt frum werd) containing "ou" and )imilar change) wuud uv cor) bee upliid too uther combination) of leter).

        After thu fifth yeer, wee wil hav a rilee )en)ibul riten )tiil. Thaer wil bee no mor trubul) or dificultii) and everiiwun wil fiind it eezi too under)tand eech other. Thu dreem wil fiinulee cum troo.

        Now, if you were raised with that, that would look perfectly sensible.
        • "Well, first of all, isn't that a Mark Twain or Benjamin Franklin quote? You should at least tell who you got it from. Really, that wouldn't look so strange to you if it was what you were raised with, but there are a few problems with it"

          It came from one of those huge e-mail forward humour lists - I received it a long time ago. Who knows who oriignally wrote it? The whole thing is a huge joke and I posted it here because I thought it would be funny in the context. I'm not trying to make a point with it.

    • "So you're complaining... why? Because it isn't what you were brought up with?"

      I am complaining because the changes seen in 'American' English appear because people don't bother to learn the 'correct' way of spelling the words. It's not about the evolution of a language. It's about laziness and having the self-respect to avoid that trap.

      There are some conventions which are worth more then the energy they are designed to save. For example USA replaces 'The United States of America.' Some people type 'mfgr' instead of 'manufacturer.' But it stands to reason that in this case you have to know the long version before you shorten it for convenience. There is nothing wrong with this.

      But to change 'colour' to 'color' for the convenience of not having to learn something somewhat awkward as opposed to saving time with the pen or keyboard - to me that is unacceptable and the use of the shortened one shown a lack of self-respect.

      "If your goal is to be completely proper, why don't you stop complaining about us and instead encourage the U.K. to get its own act together?"

      Double-Negative time: I endeavour to not avoid a good mastery of my own language for the convenience of being able to use a 'dumbed down' version. It is not about being 'proper' - it is about having the self respect to know the difference between convenience and lack-of-learning.

      • Re:Spelling (Score:2, Insightful)

        by OblvnDrgn (167720)
        What I don't understand, is why your form (colour) is any more correct than mine (color). I was taught, and speak, American English. In this language, leaving out the 'u' and other such things IS correct, is perfectly acceptable, and to do otherwise would've resulted in some rather poor marks as a child in elementary school. Stay with me now. I believe the other form is called British English, though I admit I'm not positive of the nomenclature in that case, seeing as how it's not the language that I use. What! Yes, you heard me. We speak a different language. Amazing.

        Just because the two languages are very close to each other, in fact, nearly identical, especially when compared to some Romance languages, such as Italian or Spanish, doesn't mean that one is any more correct than the other. I speak proper American English. You speak the proper other kind. I wouldn't consider "colour" to be any more wrong than "hola." It's simply the way another culture decides to spell their language. C'est pas?
    • There is a part in George Orwell's masterpiece which describes how the administration go about destroying the existing language, by shortening words and removing 'unneccesary' ones completely. They are using language as a way of getting people to think in the way they want them to.

      Perhaps I'm just trolling, but the previous article reminded me slightly of a character in the book evangelising about this language; "NewSpeak". I personally prefer it when people use language correctly, rather than their own proprietry systems ;)
  • norwegian, swedish, danish, and to an extent islandic are all derivatives of old norse, a derivative of the germanic languages. Swedish and norwegian in particular are extremely similar, and usually swedish people can speak perfect norwegian and vice versa. Iclandic is the closest to old norse, with swedish a close second, however, none of them claim the others have "ruined " the language. they are recognized as seperate languages, just as most of the world recognizes Australian English, North American English, and British English as seperate languages. Why bother about it. you can still understand each otehr, and you are still understood. and most of you will understand that if you see "colour" as "color", the guy writing it is using North American English. I would even go so far as to say that different regions in the same country use different spellings for words, use different pronunciations, different accents. The USA has an abundance of different North American English dialects. As does england and the rest of the UK.
  • For those of you proudly proclaiming that the USA changed colour to color, because it is easier and simpler, and therefore a great idea, and those of you decrying the same thing for being indicative of laziness or lack of intelligence, perhaps I should let you in on a secret...

    'Color' is the original English (British) spelling of the word. It was changed to 'colour' when it was the vogue to ape seemingly more pleasing languages such as French. It was literally changed to make the word (and others of this form) more continental, and more 'cool', if you like.

    The emigrants who went to North America did so before the word was changed, so they used the original 'color' form.

    Therefore it is the British that changed the word to 'colour', and the Americans did not change it to 'color' to make it easier to spell.

    I am a Brit, but I got the above information from an American (Bill Bryson, to be exact).

    Tim
    • "'Color' is the original English (British) spelling of the word. It was changed to 'colour' when it was the vogue to ape seemingly more pleasing languages such as French. It was literally changed to make the word (and others of this form) more continental, and more 'cool', if you like."

      Apparently not everyone agrees with you [216.239.35.100] [google cache] or your reference, but some [ibiblio.org] others [linguistlist.org] are in agreement.

      What you say does make sense because 'colour' is much closer to the French word for color/colour than 'color.'

    • Interesting ... some say [linguistlist.org] that colour/color is a special case:

      But the 'color' words are different. Though the spelling had earlier
      fluctuated, 'colour' was pretty much established as the usual spelling in
      Britain by the 14th century, though 'color' continued to be used
      occasionally, under the influence of the Latin , the ultimate (but
      not direct) source of the word.

      But in 1828 Noah Webster opted for 'color'. He did this, apparently,
      partly because he preferred simpler spellings, and partly because he was
      eager to distinguish American English from British English. In fact, his
      dictionary contains a number of novel spellings for these reasons, but many
      of his proposals never caught on. However, Americans took a liking to his
      'color', and have made it their invariable spelling.
  • Too bad it's absolutely true. Ya?
  • I'm a Canadian, and 'American' means a resident of 'America' the country. America is alternately called United States of America, or USA. I can't speak for Mexicans or Puerto Ricans, but no Canadian would describe themselves as an American. North American, yes, but 'North America' and 'America' are different concepts. Is the dual-meaning of the word too much for you to handle?
    IHBT I guess. Seems you're picking up where the old US/America troll (Eladio something?) left off.
    • "... but no Canadian would describe themselves as an American."

      There are certain cases ... for example I am Canadian and if I was travelling internationally and ended up making a fool out of myself by whatever method, I would identify myself as an American, or make some comment about how the frickin' money* isn't green thus achieving the same end. (teehee!)

      *Note, in reality I don't mind that other currencies look different than mine - in fact I really LIKE the way German bills look - especially the 10 mark because of the gaussian distribution pic on it. (I will have to see what the euro bills look like the next time I travel to Europe.) The only paper money that bothers me is the new Canadian $5 and $10 bills ... it's printed on PAPER as opposed to the cotton that the old bills were printed on. It feels and looks so CHEAP!!

  • While bitching about how American dictionaries are wrong, you still refer to them as "American dictionaries."
  • Holland
    n : a constitutional monarchy in western Europe on the North Sea; achieved independence from Spain in 1579; half the country lies below sea level [syn: Netherlands, The Netherlands, Kingdom of The Netherlands, Holland]

    Source: WordNet (r) 1.7)

    Strictly speaking this is just as wrong as saying the USA is America. Holland != The Netherlands. The Netherlands has twelve provinces, two of which are called North-Holland and South-Holland. So in total Holland is approximately 1/6 of The Netherlands.
    • "Strictly speaking this is just as wrong as saying the USA is America. Holland != The Netherlands. The Netherlands has twelve provinces, two of which are called North-Holland and South-Holland. So in total Holland is approximately 1/6 of The Netherlands."

      Thank you ... I have been wondering about that for a long time but never bothered to look it up because all the people I know who are from .NL tell me they're from Holland. (Maybe they are from that 1/6 region.) Thanks for the correction.

  • English is a disaster as it is. If you don't agree, please try and read this aloud in front of a small audience.

    The Chaos
    by G. Nolst Trenite' a.k.a. "Charivarius" 1870 - 1946

    Dearest creature in creation
    Studying English pronunciation,
    I will teach you in my verse
    Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse
    I will keep you, Susy, busy,
    Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
    Tear in eye your dress you'll tear,
    So shall I! Oh, hear my prayer,


    continued... [demon.co.uk]
  • I think I will change my sig now ... the sig linking to this journal post generated a lot more interesting (and flaming!!) discussion than I had hoped. Thank you all for participating and sharing your opinions. Please expect that new visitors to this journal entry will come at a much slower rate because it is no longer linked in my sig.

    I am removing it because I think that all the discussion's good points have been made and it is digressing into more flames/trolls and fewer good arguments.

    P.S. To the troll that's been following me around since the discussion here heated up and is responding to me as AC every now and then: Are you more narcissistic than me!?!

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang

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