What’s in a word? Americanos vs. Estadunidenses

Gene at Expat Brazil posted a link to an article where the Argentine President called Americans by the term “americanos” instead of by the more formal term “estadunidenses” (something like “United-Statesian”). Interestingly enough, I was having this conversation on a forum elsewhere just yesterday so I thought I’d chime in ‘officially’ on my own site. Personally, I use both terms when I see fit (ie, depending on who I’m talking to) but I don’t go out of my way to make sure someone knows I’m not of the opinion that I rule the world.

All of Latin America (now there’s another famous discussion, are Brazilians ‘latinos’?) uses both terms although the use of “americano” is way more widely used by all while “estadunidense” is used by two kinds of people. The first kind is the intellectual wishing to be as correct and specific as possible and the second kind is the average person who believes that Americans believe we own the world (while we all know it is the “United-Statesian” government that really wishes to own the world). Let’s stop being silly then, shall we?

The only counter-argument used tries to say that anyone from the Americas is an American. True to a point, but nobody south of the United States really calls themselves “americano” so let’s make that clear (and yes, I’m pretending to know every citizen south of the US). If the intellectual wishes to make the distinction, then he/she must be of the intellect to know that we don’t call ourselves Americans for any other reason than that is just how we are known around the world. The argument is then moot because we certainly won’t start calling ourselves (or being called by others) “United-Statesians” any time soon.

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