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'[OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to inva'
2006\03\23@114159 by Dmitriy Kiryashov

picon face
Hi William and folks.

Indeed it is CNNN. But authority position has nothing to do with people
not knowing where large continent as Australia is :) I myself sometimes
was confused with small countries and where is who in east or africa but
not recognizing the Australia... :) I would rather correlate it to average
level of school education and extreme easiness of manipulation as a result..


WBR Dmitriy.



William Chops Westfield wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\03\23@132440 by Padu

face picon face
Well, I'm from Brazil, and inumerous times I've heard people thinking that
Buenos Aires is "still" the capital of Brazil.

Amazing.

Cheers

Padu

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\24@125512 by Peter

picon face


On Thu, 23 Mar 2006, Padu wrote:

> Well, I'm from Brazil, and inumerous times I've heard people thinking that
> Buenos Aires is "still" the capital of Brazil.

Sometimes the capital does not move when the government decrees that it
moves.

Peter

2006\03\24@131511 by William Killian

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face
> -----Original Message-----
> From: spam_OUTpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu [.....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Peter
> Sent: Friday, March 24, 2006 12:55 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
>
>
> On Thu, 23 Mar 2006, Padu wrote:
>
> > Well, I'm from Brazil, and inumerous times I've heard people
thinking
> that
> > Buenos Aires is "still" the capital of Brazil.
>
> Sometimes the capital does not move when the government decrees that
it
> moves.
>
> Peter

Check a map of Brazil and then of Argentina.  BA is still the capital?
When was it ever?



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2006\03\24@134111 by Bob Axtell

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William Killian wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Oh, no! These are such nice places! Do we HAVE to invade 'em?

--Bob

{Quote hidden}

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2006\03\24@140539 by Danny Sauer

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William wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)' on Fri, Mar 24 at 12:17:
> Check a map of Brazil and then of Argentina.  BA is still the capital?
> When was it ever?

I found it easier to listen to the lyrics of Evita.  Clearly the young
lady goes to Buenos Aires early on, where she eventually meets Mr.
Peron and goes on to be the first lady of Argentina.  So, thanks to
a musical and its clear lyrics roughly depcting semi-actual events,
*I* know where Buenos Aries is located. :)

--Danny, whose non-US geographical knowledge was entirely accuired
through popular culture

2006\03\24@145241 by David VanHorn

picon face
> --Danny, whose non-US geographical knowledge was entirely accuired
> through popular culture


Terry Gilliam does not tell us where the capitol of Brazil is though..

2006\03\24@151742 by Padu

face picon face
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter" <KILLspamplpKILLspamspamactcom.co.il>On Thu, 23 Mar 2006, Padu wrote:
>
>> Well, I'm from Brazil, and inumerous times I've heard people thinking
>> that
>> Buenos Aires is "still" the capital of Brazil.
>
> Sometimes the capital does not move when the government decrees that it
> moves.
>
> Peter
> --


Hehe, I honestly hope this is a joke, otherwise, one more for my collection.

cheers

Padu

2006\03\24@154640 by Danny Sauer

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face
David wrote regarding 'Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)' on Fri, Mar 24 at 13:54:
> > --Danny, whose non-US geographical knowledge was entirely accuired
> > through popular culture
>
> Terry Gilliam does not tell us where the capitol of Brazil is though..

But he does teach us that we should not correct mistakes on Government
paperwork, which is almost as useful as knowing where the capitol of
Brazil is.

--Danny, hoping that http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088846/ is the right
reference...

2006\03\26@035013 by Peter

picon face


On Fri, 24 Mar 2006, William Killian wrote:

>> Sometimes the capital does not move when the government decrees that
>> it moves.
>>
>> Peter
>
> Check a map of Brazil and then of Argentina.  BA is still the capital?
> When was it ever?

You got me wrong. I meant to say what I said, not in the BA context,
but in general. There are several places that qualify.

Peter

2006\03\26@035135 by Peter

picon face

On Fri, 24 Mar 2006, Danny Sauer wrote:

> --Danny, whose non-US geographical knowledge was entirely accuired
> through popular culture

Mostly made in Hollywood ? Ouch ;-)

Peter

2006\03\26@041136 by Peter

picon face


>> Sometimes the capital does not move when the government decrees that
>> it moves.
>>
>> Peter
>
> Hehe, I honestly hope this is a joke, otherwise, one more for my collection.

No, it is a sad observation. When the powers that be move the capital
(on paper) usually out of a bustling economic center that happens to be
the biggest city in the country, out into the boonies, often into an
artificially build city. Sometimes it works, but almost never without
problems.

Peter

2006\03\26@085657 by olin piclist

face picon face
Peter wrote:
>> Hehe, I honestly hope this is a joke, otherwise, one more for my
>> collection.
>
> No, it is a sad observation.

I think you're missing the point.  He was making fun of people asking if the
capital of *Brazil* was still Buenos Aries.  Of course Buenos Aries is the
capital of *Argentina*.  That's why the reply might be "one for the
collection" (presumably of comments that are so dumb they are funny).


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\03\27@120136 by Padu

face picon face
From: "Olin Lathrop" <RemoveMEolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamembedinc.com>
> I think you're missing the point.  He was making fun of people asking if
> the
> capital of *Brazil* was still Buenos Aries.  Of course Buenos Aries is the
> capital of *Argentina*.  That's why the reply might be "one for the
> collection" (presumably of comments that are so dumb they are funny).


Right on target. And while we never fought (well, at least directly) any war
against Argentina, we cultivate a healthy rivalry with them (especially
during world cups). Therefore it would be something like someone asking if
the capital of the USA is Moscow.

I remember that when I was in middle school, we had to memorize all the
capitals of the main countries in the world, and ALL capitals of America. I
doubt this is something still done today. (well, there's internet)

Cheers

Padu

2006\03\27@122658 by olin piclist

face picon face
Padu wrote:
> we had to memorize all the
> capitals of the main countries in the world, and ALL capitals of
> America.

Sounds like a waste of time.  Even living here I remember ever needing to
know what the capital of South Dakota is.  (Does it even have one or do they
rent space in North Dakota's capital?)


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\03\27@124914 by William Killian

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face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesspamBeGonespammit.edu [TakeThisOuTpiclist-bouncesEraseMEspamspam_OUTmit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Olin Lathrop
> Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 12:28 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> Padu wrote:
> > we had to memorize all the
> > capitals of the main countries in the world, and ALL capitals of
> > America.
>
> Sounds like a waste of time.  Even living here I remember ever needing
to
> know what the capital of South Dakota is.  (Does it even have one or
do
> they
> rent space in North Dakota's capital?)

Interesting.  I had interpreted that as the country capitals of North
and South America.




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2006\03\27@130129 by Danny Sauer

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Padu wrote regarding 'Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)' on Mon, Mar 27 at 11:10:
> I remember that when I was in middle school, we had to memorize all the
> capitals of the main countries in the world, and ALL capitals of America. I
> doubt this is something still done today. (well, there's internet)

Wow, that'll be really handy next time you're lost in Georgia and come
across a kindly stanger who can't remember where to renew his license
plates.  You'll be able to tell him "why, license plate renewals for
most states are handled in the state capital, which in Georgia means
Atlanta!"  The stranger will say "thank you" and ride his bike to
Atlanta, confident that soon, his license plates will no longer be out
of date.

Wait, that's a contrived situation that will never happen.  As is
*every other situation where one would need to know the capital of any
state in the USA or any other place in the world*.  I hope schools in
my area aren't still wasting time on that when they're still falling
behind the rest of the world on things like math, science, reading,
thinking, living, not being idiots, and just about everything else
useful that schools *should* be teaching kids...  Once they've solved
all those problems, then if there's still time to force children to
memorize useless facts that can be easily looked up, alright then. :)

--Danny, noting that it's apparently lunchtime

2006\03\27@131228 by William Killian

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: piclist-bouncesEraseMEspam.....mit.edu [EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Danny Sauer
> Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 1:01 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> Padu wrote regarding 'Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who
to
> invade next :)' on Mon, Mar 27 at 11:10:
> > I remember that when I was in middle school, we had to memorize all
the
{Quote hidden}

Geographical ignorance is hardly less significant than these other
things you mention.

I doubt though he meant the capital of Georgia any more than he meant
the capital of Chiapas.

Knowing Buenos Aries and Brasilia and Mexico City is more important than
many citizens of the United States might think.  If we are going to a
global economy than we need global knowledge.  Lest we fail at as you
called it "not being idiots".



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2006\03\27@133523 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 01:13 PM 3/27/2006 -0500, you wrote:


>Knowing Buenos Aries and Brasilia and Mexico City is more important than
>many citizens of the United States might think.  If we are going to a
>global economy than we need global knowledge.  Lest we fail at as you
>called it "not being idiots".

Observation: It's a lot more important to 'not look like an idiot' when
you're selling than when you're buying.

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
RemoveMEspeffspam_OUTspamKILLspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
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2006\03\27@134031 by Danny Sauer

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face
William wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)' on Mon, Mar 27 at 12:14:
> Geographical ignorance is hardly less significant than these other
> things you mention.

Find me a "real" application for that knowledge.  Just one.  Is
knowledge without an application really significant?  That's one for
the philosophers, I guess, but I personally don't place much
importance on memorizing full Monty Python episodes - or state
capitols.

> I doubt though he meant the capital of Georgia any more than he meant
> the capital of Chiapas.

Both are useless bits of knowledge.  I didn't even know where Chiapas
is, or for that matter if it's a real place 5 minutes ago.  Now I know
that it's a state in southeast Mexico, bordered by Tabasco, and is has
an area of 28,528 square miles.  Apparently it's tourist-friendly,
despite having been in a civil war for the last 12 years and speaking
random non-Spanish languages in many rural areas.

I have the same job and the same level of self respect now as I did
before I knew that.  Same friends, too.  The knowledge does not
benefit me.  In fact, it actually cost me a couple minutes of
productive work.  Just like memorizing useless data that can easily be
looked up is costing students time that could be spent gaining actual
useful skills and/or knowledge.

Dealing with a "global economy" is a straw man.  If it's your job to
deal with Mexican states, get a map and learn them.  If you're a
trivia buff, great.  For everyone else, knowing how to look up what
you don't know is the important part.  I can't imagine how a society
could survive if they're fixated on memorizing every obtuse political
division of every geographic area in the world.  I mean, why stop at
states?  Perhaps only an idiot doesn't know where Riggston, IL, USA is
located?  Sure, it's a town with a population around 20, but there's a
John Deere dealership there.  In this global economy, who can afford
*not* to know where every dealership of green farm equipment is
located?  Screw math, gotta memorize Vera, MO's location and
population!

Sigh.

--Danny

2006\03\27@142003 by Padu

face picon face
From: "William Killian" <RemoveMEwilliam.killianTakeThisOuTspamspamvgt.net>
>
>> Padu wrote:
>> > we had to memorize all the
>> > capitals of the main countries in the world, and ALL capitals of
>> > America.
>>
>> Sounds like a waste of time.  Even living here I remember ever needing
> to
>> know what the capital of South Dakota is.  (Does it even have one or
> do
>> they
>> rent space in North Dakota's capital?)
>
> Interesting.  I had interpreted that as the country capitals of North
> and South America.
>


I thought that was a waste of time too, especially at that time, when I had
more interesting things to do such as playing soccer.

And yes, I was refering to America as the whole new world (north, central
and south america)

2006\03\27@143546 by Rolf

face picon face
Danny Sauer wrote:
> William wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)' on Mon, Mar 27 at 12:14:
>  
>> Geographical ignorance is hardly less significant than these other
>> things you mention.
>>    
>
> Find me a "real" application for that knowledge.  Just one.  Is
> knowledge without an application really significant?  That's one for
> the philosophers, I guess, but I personally don't place much
> importance on memorizing full Monty Python episodes - or state
> capitols.
>  
[snipped]

The world is all about people. People are all about relationships. In
order to get a smooth ride around the world it is important to foster
good relationships.

This means being able to empathize (relate) to the people you typically
encounter in your day, in all areas including the internet.

So, since we are all on piclist, we all have some exposure to the
international types of people. Ignorance in core geographical concepts
will impact your relationships here because people will think you don;t
care about the rest of the world (a common complaint about people in
most first world countries - USA, UK, Canada). I come from South Africa,
and we generally have a good idea of our geography, and it makes the
world of difference when meeting someone new.

There is a level of knowledge that is expected, I feel, when dealing in
an international sense. My impression is that thee first world countries
seldom meet that minimum level. People all set their expetation as to
what the minimum level should be, and it appears that Brazilians and
Argentinians get  upset when people think BA is in Brazil. I get put off
when people think South Africa is just the bottom end of Africa (similar
to South America), and not a country. I do not get quite as offended
when people think that Johannesburg is the capital. My expectation of an
international encounter is for people to at least know that Johannesburg
and Cape Town exist, but not that South Africa has multiple capital
cities with the primary government being in Pretoria, and other branches
of government in Cape Town, and Bloemfontein.

Being able to tell that Canberra is the Capital of Australia makes for a
much better introduction to an Auzzie than to tell them Sydney is.

There, a real world example of why a basic level of internationally
expected knowledge of Geography is useful

Sort of like good spelling.

Rolf



2006\03\27@143813 by William Killian

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face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspamspamspamBeGonemit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesKILLspamspammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Spehro Pefhany
> Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 1:45 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: RE: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> At 01:13 PM 3/27/2006 -0500, you wrote:
>
>
> >Knowing Buenos Aries and Brasilia and Mexico City is more important
than
> >many citizens of the United States might think.  If we are going to a
> >global economy than we need global knowledge.  Lest we fail at as you
> >called it "not being idiots".
>
> Observation: It's a lot more important to 'not look like an idiot'
when
> you're selling than when you're buying.
>

Perhaps but it might depend upon whether someone will try to take
advantage of you as a buyer.



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2006\03\27@144146 by Alexandre Guimaraes

face picon face
Hi,

   I live in Brazil and finished High School in Michigan as an exchange
student.. The difference in the quality of "general Knowledge"  from
Brazilian schools and American schools is unbelivable !! I agree that
knowing the state capital from another country is not necessary and is even
kind of stupid... But.... Knowing the capitals of, at least, the 10 biggest
economies in the World will not hurt at all ! There is much more to being a
citizen than knowing how to perform a technical job well.... It was pretty
hard to get into any reasonably intelligent conversation with american
teenagers at the time I was there.

   This is a delicate subject but in my opinion a basic knowledge of
geography, politics and history is essencial for anyone, anywhere in the
World. It is not in the interest of the politicians, the less well informed
the population gets the easiest it gets to "pull the masses" to the most
profitable side....

   Just my 0.5 cents....

Best regards,
Alexandre Guimaraes


{Original Message removed}

2006\03\27@144258 by William Killian

flavicon
face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesSTOPspamspamEraseMEmit.edu [KILLspampiclist-bouncesspamBeGonespammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Danny Sauer
> Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 1:41 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> William wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary:
who to
> invade next :)' on Mon, Mar 27 at 12:14:
> > Geographical ignorance is hardly less significant than these other
> > things you mention.
>
> Find me a "real" application for that knowledge.  Just one.  Is
> knowledge without an application really significant?  That's one for
> the philosophers, I guess, but I personally don't place much
> importance on memorizing full Monty Python episodes - or state
> capitols.

Obviously you have your answer.  I will not convince you regardless of
what I say.

> > I doubt though he meant the capital of Georgia any more than he
meant
> > the capital of Chiapas.
>
> Both are useless bits of knowledge.  I didn't even know where Chiapas
> is, or for that matter if it's a real place 5 minutes ago.  Now I know
> that it's a state in southeast Mexico, bordered by Tabasco, and is has
> an area of 28,528 square miles.  Apparently it's tourist-friendly,
> despite having been in a civil war for the last 12 years and speaking
> random non-Spanish languages in many rural areas.

Having been there about 26 years ago I'd only question that last 12
years.

> I have the same job and the same level of self respect now as I did
> before I knew that.  Same friends, too.  The knowledge does not
> benefit me.  In fact, it actually cost me a couple minutes of
> productive work.  Just like memorizing useless data that can easily be
> looked up is costing students time that could be spent gaining actual
> useful skills and/or knowledge.

To you it is unimportant.  Nothing will change your biases except your
own decision to shift your paradigm.

I happen to work for a company that is now putting slot machines into
Mexico.  Yeah to us it is pretty important where the local state
governments are in Mexico as we deal with governments at all levels down
to the local.

{Quote hidden}

You told me far more about yourself than you might think you did.

Your rant was political more than anything.




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2006\03\27@144914 by William Killian

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face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: @spam@piclist-bounces@spam@spamspam_OUTmit.edu [spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Rolf
> Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 2:38 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> Danny Sauer wrote:
> > William wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary:
who
{Quote hidden}

typically
> encounter in your day, in all areas including the internet.
>
> So, since we are all on piclist, we all have some exposure to the
> international types of people. Ignorance in core geographical concepts
> will impact your relationships here because people will think you
don;t
> care about the rest of the world (a common complaint about people in
> most first world countries - USA, UK, Canada). I come from South
Africa,
> and we generally have a good idea of our geography, and it makes the
> world of difference when meeting someone new.
>
> There is a level of knowledge that is expected, I feel, when dealing
in
> an international sense. My impression is that thee first world
countries
> seldom meet that minimum level. People all set their expetation as to
> what the minimum level should be, and it appears that Brazilians and
> Argentinians get  upset when people think BA is in Brazil. I get put
off
> when people think South Africa is just the bottom end of Africa
(similar
> to South America), and not a country. I do not get quite as offended
> when people think that Johannesburg is the capital. My expectation of
an
> international encounter is for people to at least know that
Johannesburg
> and Cape Town exist, but not that South Africa has multiple capital
> cities with the primary government being in Pretoria, and other
branches
{Quote hidden}

Well said IMO.

And thanks for your country's donation of Dave Matthews to us here in
Charlottesville Virginia.




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2006\03\27@160028 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Padu wrote:
>> we had to memorize all the capitals of the main countries in the world,
>> and ALL capitals of America.
>
> Sounds like a waste of time.  Even living here I remember ever needing to
> know what the capital of South Dakota is.  (Does it even have one or do they
> rent space in North Dakota's capital?)

How come that both Olin and Danny immediately assumed that "all capitals of
America" means "all capitals of the states of the USA", and completely
forgot that it also (and more likely) could have meant "all capitals of the
countries in the continent of America"? I know that "America" is often used
as shorthand for "United States of America", but the ambiguity should
always be present in the mind, especially for the citizens of the USA (who
presumably are more familiar with the use and origin of the different names
in use for their country).

While knowing the former may be a waste of time, knowing the latter is
probably not a waste of time, for any citizen of (the continent of) America
:)

The other thing is that if someone regularly reads decent world news (in
the meaning of "world" as found in a standard dictionary, not as in "World
Series" :), the major capitals should memorize themselves without spending
any additional time.

Gerhard

2006\03\27@160231 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
William wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)' on Mon, Mar 27 at 13:48:
> > {Original Message removed}

2006\03\27@161442 by olin piclist

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> How come that both Olin and Danny immediately assumed that "all
> capitals of America" means "all capitals of the states of the USA",

Because he said "of America", not "of the Americas".

******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\03\27@161820 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Danny Sauer wrote:

>> Geographical ignorance is hardly less significant than these other
>> things you mention.
>
> Find me a "real" application for that knowledge.  Just one.  

How about being able to read and understand news (in the wider sense of the
word) from and about other countries? That's one of the skills that's
generally astonishingly rare in the USA, and the regular foreign policy
snafus of astonishing dimensions are probably a result of that.

As I just wrote in another post, if you actually do read (and understand)
news from other countries regularly, you pretty much know that without any
additional effort. If not, knowing some basic facts about the more
important places might get you the foot into the door...

> For everyone else, knowing how to look up what you don't know is the
> important part.  I can't imagine how a society could survive if they're
> fixated on memorizing every obtuse political division of every
> geographic area in the world.

See, here you seem to kind of loose reasonability. Chiapas is not an obtuse
political division of some obtuse geographic area somewhere in the world,
it's a state of a *neighboring* country -- one of the only two of the USA.
I think having a basic knowledge of Mexico and Canada is something that can
be expected from a US citizen, and it's also something that, if more
common, possibly would help create better relationships.

And the capitals of the, say, 20 or so most prominent countries in the
world are prominent in ones mind if one reads every now and then the
international section of a decent news outlet. If not, /that's/ the problem
IMO, not the fact that the countries and some basic facts don't have been
memorized in school.

Gerhard

2006\03\27@162120 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Spehro Pefhany wrote:

> Observation: It's a lot more important to 'not look like an idiot' when
> you're selling than when you're buying.

Maybe, but when you're buying on credit, other issues come into play :)

Gerhard

2006\03\27@163333 by olin piclist

face picon face
Danny Sauer wrote:
> No, I'd honestly like to hear of a useful, generally applicable
> application of the knowledge.

We live in a connected world.  People, events, and public attitudes in other
parts of the world do effect our lives.  Geography is often a useful and
sometimes necessary context to understand these things.  Maybe knowing
sub-national capitals is more for trivia, but broader geographic knowledge
and the historical and cultural knowledge that goes with it is pretty
important if you want to vote, understand the current world news, or not
come off as arrogant self-centered baffoon when communicating with a
foreigner.

I can't come up with specific examples right now, but it has been useful to
me a number of times that I have a pretty good map of the world in my head,
and a more detailed map of North America and the US.  Sure anyone can look
something up, but sometimes it's about connections that you wouldn't know
were relevant without some basic knowledge.  Sometimes it's about making a
positive impression or forging a useful link with a person in a conversation
when you can't go run to the nearest library and look it up.

The argument for geographic knowledge is really no different than for other
general knowledge, whether someone will ultimately use it professionally or
in daily life or not.  People need a baseline knowledge of many subjects.
If for no other reason, how would you otherwise know what is out there you
might want to know more about?


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consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\03\27@163658 by olin piclist

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> it's a state of a *neighboring* country -- one of the only
> two of the USA.

I've always thought of there being three.

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consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\03\27@171641 by William Killian

flavicon
face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: TakeThisOuTpiclist-bounces.....spamTakeThisOuTmit.edu [TakeThisOuTpiclist-bouncesKILLspamspamspammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Gerhard Fiedler
> Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 4:18 PM
> To: .....piclistspamRemoveMEmit.edu
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> Danny Sauer wrote:
>
> >> Geographical ignorance is hardly less significant than these other
> >> things you mention.
> >
> > Find me a "real" application for that knowledge.  Just one.
>
> How about being able to read and understand news (in the wider sense
of
> the
> word) from and about other countries? That's one of the skills that's
> generally astonishingly rare in the USA, and the regular foreign
policy
> snafus of astonishing dimensions are probably a result of that.
>
> As I just wrote in another post, if you actually do read (and
understand)
> news from other countries regularly, you pretty much know that without
any
> additional effort. If not, knowing some basic facts about the more
> important places might get you the foot into the door...
>
> > For everyone else, knowing how to look up what you don't know is the
> > important part.  I can't imagine how a society could survive if
they're
> > fixated on memorizing every obtuse political division of every
> > geographic area in the world.
>
> See, here you seem to kind of loose reasonability. Chiapas is not an
> obtuse
> political division of some obtuse geographic area somewhere in the
world,
> it's a state of a *neighboring* country -- one of the only two of the
USA.
> I think having a basic knowledge of Mexico and Canada is something
that
> can
> be expected from a US citizen, and it's also something that, if more
> common, possibly would help create better relationships.

The fact that there is an internal civil war (on and off) in the closest
neighbor country I think is significant.  When Mexico is a vibrant well
understood country rather than that place that has cheap booze and
hookers I personally think is important.

That Mexico has political issues that mirror Venezuela is significant.
Chavez is not the lone crackpot portrayed in the US mass media but
rather a part of a much larger movement is important.

Both Mexico and Venezuela being producers of crude oil impacts every
single American every single day.

> And the capitals of the, say, 20 or so most prominent countries in the
> world are prominent in ones mind if one reads every now and then the
> international section of a decent news outlet. If not, /that's/ the
> problem
> IMO, not the fact that the countries and some basic facts don't have
been
> memorized in school.

The rote memorization is a start.  It is not the end of learning global
geography but merely an introduction.  

Perhaps more of my politics is revealed implicitly here but this was not
intended to sway politically but information is needed no matter what
you do even just choosing a new car based on your expectations of
possible interruptions in the flow of oil.


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2006\03\27@171912 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> it's a state of a *neighboring* country -- one of the only
>> two of the USA.
>
> I've always thought of there being three.

Care to name the third? So far, I only know of Canada and Mexico. (BTW, the
CIA seems to agree with me; check out "Land boundaries" in
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html.)

Gerhard

2006\03\27@172421 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 27, 2006, at 10:40 AM, Danny Sauer wrote:

>> Geographical ignorance is hardly less significant than these other
>> things you mention.
>
> Find me a "real" application for that knowledge.  Just one.  Is
> knowledge without an application really significant?

In all honesty, I've certainly learned plenty of math and science
that is just as useless as "state capitols."  Memorization *is* one
of those important  "thinking, living, not being idiots" skills, and
I don't see why state capitols should be any less valid a topic than
the names of the cervical vertebrae or the order that electron
orbitals are filled in, to pick two examples from the past that I
can no longer remember...

Sure, I might have gone into medicine or physics.  But I MIGHT have
gone into politics, too...

BillW

2006\03\27@172626 by Padu

face picon face
----- Original Message -----
From: "Olin Lathrop"
> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> How come that both Olin and Danny immediately assumed that "all
>> capitals of America" means "all capitals of the states of the USA",
>
> Because he said "of America", not "of the Americas".
>

Maybe I'm wrong, but if I am it is my middle school teacher's fault. He
tought me that "America" is composed by 3 subdivisions: North America,
Central America and South America.
I do understand that it is part of the general culture of the USA (and
probably even official) to call themselves as Americans, but that's an
obvious name clash. A citizen of Mexico is an American and North American. A
citzen of Colombia is a South American as well as American. The Pan-American
games is for all American citzens, from Canada to Argentina.

Cheers

Padu

2006\03\27@172930 by William Killian

flavicon
face
We got plenty of just across the water border like say Russia across the
Bering strait and carious Caribean nations but only two land borders.

Unless you call Quebec separate or the red/blue divide which mirrors
fairly closely the USA/CSA divide.

> {Original Message removed}

2006\03\27@174105 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Mon, 2006-03-27 at 14:22 -0800, Padu wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Olin Lathrop"
> > Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> >> How come that both Olin and Danny immediately assumed that "all
> >> capitals of America" means "all capitals of the states of the USA",
> >
> > Because he said "of America", not "of the Americas".
> >
>
> Maybe I'm wrong, but if I am it is my middle school teacher's fault. He
> tought me that "America" is composed by 3 subdivisions: North America,
> Central America and South America.
> I do understand that it is part of the general culture of the USA (and
> probably even official) to call themselves as Americans, but that's an
> obvious name clash. A citizen of Mexico is an American and North American. A
> citzen of Colombia is a South American as well as American. The Pan-American
> games is for all American citzens, from Canada to Argentina.

All I know is if in Canada you call someone "an American" it means 100%
"a citizen of the USA".

I didn't realize in the rest of the world that if you call someone an
"American" it applies to any of the countries in North/Central/South
America.

How widespread is this? In Europe, if I say "I'm an American" is it
assumed I mean I'm of the US, or that I'm of a country in the
"Americas"?

TTYL

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2006\03\27@175226 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Olin wrote regarding 'Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who
to invade next :)' on Mon, Mar 27 at 15:35:
> Maybe knowing sub-national capitals is more for trivia, but broader
> geographic knowledge and the historical and cultural knowledge that
> goes with it is pretty important
[...]

Isn't that what I said in the part that was trimmed? :)  If not,
that's what I intended to communicate...

None the less, I'm not sold on the idea of capitals - which is the
discussion topic as I understand it, not general geography.  It sounds
like the only reason a student would memorize them is so he can
impress a "native" with his vast knowledge of the name of one city
from their homeland (or two in South Africa's case, right?).

In my relatively limited experience with people from other countries,
I typically just ask them where the city's at if I don't know.  Most
rational people don't expect me to know where Perth, AU is - or its
relationship to Canberra.  It's reasonable for them to expect me to
understand what they're talking about when they say it's on the west
edge of the continent, though.  These people are usually fine with
describing the location.  I've often been asked where Lincoln, IL is,
and I've never had a problem with telling people (it's almost exactly
in the center of Ilinois, which is the middle state just east of the
big river running down the middle of the USA - or it's halfway between
Chicago and St. Louis).  I'm generally not offended that people don't
know where every small town in IL is, either.  So I wonder, who's the
self-absorbed buffoon - the person willing to ask questions when they
don't know, or the traveller who thinks poorly of anyone who doesn't
have a detailed world map committed to memory?

I can't know everything about everything.  I just can't.  Like others
have said, world news makes the "important" stuff fall out, so that's
all I personally worry about - and all I feel I needed for that to
happen was a general understanding of world geography from elementary
school.  I have not *ever* encountered a situation where knowing the
capitals would have made a difference to my comprehension of world
events.  At least, not as far as I know - which is why I asked for an
example scenario... :)

--Danny

2006\03\27@180023 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Gerhard wrote regarding 'Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)' on Mon, Mar 27 at 16:20:
> Olin Lathrop wrote:
> > Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> >> it's a state of a *neighboring* country -- one of the only
> >> two of the USA.
> > I've always thought of there being three.
> Care to name the third? So far, I only know of Canada and Mexico. (BTW, the
> CIA seems to agree with me; check out "Land boundaries" in
> http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html.)

Cuba, perhaps?  It's fairly large, awfully darned close (what, 100
miles or so?), and I sure think of it as a neighboring country.  The
other islands in the area aren't involved in cold war movies, and
therefore don't come up so often. :)  I mean, who worries about being
invaded by residents of the Bahamas or Jamaica?

--Danny, bringing up that pop culture learning again ;)

2006\03\27@180615 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Danny Sauer wrote:
>> No, I'd honestly like to hear of a useful, generally applicable
>> application of the knowledge.

> I can't come up with specific examples right now,

How about a (fictional) news item: "Jintao to visit Taipei". Would be a
pretty major event if it happened, but you need to have some basic context
in mind (one geographic, one political, one historic, at least) to capture
the relevance.


> The argument for geographic knowledge is really no different than for other
> general knowledge, whether someone will ultimately use it professionally or
> in daily life or not.  People need a baseline knowledge of many subjects.
> If for no other reason, how would you otherwise know what is out there you
> might want to know more about?

IMO for "foreign stuff" like world geography, languages, cultures there is
another, stronger reason: peace. Lack of understanding is probably the one
major cause of war (and other non-peace states). And basic knowledge can
prevent that to quite some degree (IMO).

There's also the thing about government interests. Quite frequently,
whoever is in charge is not really interested for people to know exactly
what they are doing. The public statements quite often are misleading,
especially about foreign matters, and some general knowledge in such areas
can help tremendously to spot this when it happens. For whatever purpose...

Gerhard

2006\03\27@181108 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> How come that both Olin and Danny immediately assumed that "all
>> capitals of America" means "all capitals of the states of the USA",
>
> Because he said "of America", not "of the Americas".

Hm...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States#endnote_America

Probably exactly what part of this thread is about.

Gerhard

2006\03\27@182619 by William Killian

flavicon
face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: spamBeGonepiclist-bounces@spam@spamspam_OUTmit.edu [TakeThisOuTpiclist-bouncesspamspammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Padu
> Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 5:23 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
{Quote hidden}

He
> tought me that "America" is composed by 3 subdivisions: North America,
> Central America and South America.
> I do understand that it is part of the general culture of the USA (and
> probably even official) to call themselves as Americans, but that's an
> obvious name clash. A citizen of Mexico is an American and North
American.
> A
> citzen of Colombia is a South American as well as American. The Pan-
> American
> games is for all American citzens, from Canada to Argentina.
>
> Cheers
>
> Padu

Central America is the interesting one.  Some talk about it as only
North and South with the southern end of Panama as the dividing point
while others talk about a central America that is less clear in my mind.
Is Mexico north or central?  How about Guatemala?  Or how about Belize
if you accept its existence?

Some like to talk about Eurasia as opposed to Europe and Asia as well.
With Russia so large on both what really is the best division?




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2006\03\27@183059 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:

> How widespread is this? In Europe, if I say "I'm an American" is it
> assumed I mean I'm of the US, or that I'm of a country in the
> "Americas"?

For Germany: Depends a lot on the context. If you do it in Berlin on the
60th anniversary party of the Berlin Airlift waving a US flag, it is almost
with certainty understood to mean you're a US citizen. If a dark-skinned
black-haired round-faced woman says that in a discussion about US hegemony
in the Americas, it is quite possible to be understood to mean that she
considers America to be the whole continent, and that she, being from e.g.
Peru, considers herself an American.

The moral of the story is that in general, unless specified by the context,
"America" can mean many things, but mostly two: the continent and the USA.
In the USA, among US citizens, it almost always means the USA. Outside of
the USA, or among not only US citizens (like here), it is ambiguous, unless
specified by some other context. And a US citizen assuming that everybody
assumes that "America" means "USA" is sometimes perceived as arrogant.
(Because it discards the geographical meaning in favor of a US slang
meaning.)

And when a Brazilian writes about "America" in an international mailing
list, that should not be assumed (IMO) to be a "USA" context. (Even if the
reader is a US citizen :)

Gerhard

2006\03\27@183355 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 27, 2006, at 1:17 PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

>>>> [capitols]
>>> Geographical ignorance is hardly less significant than these other
>>> things you mention.
>>
>> Find me a "real" application for that knowledge.  Just one.
>
> How about being able to read and understand news (in the wider
> sense of the word) from and about other countries?

I'm not sure I understand the importance of national capitols in
understanding the news from those countries.  Maybe it's the
reverse of my previous message about the size of the US; knowing
that something happened in the US capitol vs Los Angeles doesn't
mean a whole lot.

Perhaps it's a growth and reaction thing.  Apparently memorization
of the US state capitols used to be a common grade-school task.
Back in the 60s.  About the same time respect for US government
was waning.  About the same time changes in the business climates
were making New York City more important than Albany, and Los
Angeles more important than Sacramento.  Some time ago I visited
the capitol buildings in Wisconsin (Madison, right?), and I was
SHOCKED at the excessive nationalism of it all.  Talk about
"conspicuous consumption!"  It had the kind of architecture I
expect to see in places of worship, or some palace commissioned
by a vain and selfish ruler...  So, obviously, at some time in
the past, people placed more importance on their state capitols
than I do now.  Perhaps some people still do.  Perhaps in other
countries such importance is more prevalent.

This is pretty cool (and the linked pages as well):
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/
Especialy http://www.sasi.group.shef.ac.uk/worldmapper/

BillW

2006\03\27@183729 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Danny Sauer wrote:

> Gerhard wrote:
>>>> it's a state of a *neighboring* country -- one of the only
>>>> two of the USA.
>>> I've always thought of there being three.
>> Care to name the third? So far, I only know of Canada and Mexico. (BTW,
>> the CIA seems to agree with me; check out "Land boundaries" in
>> http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html.)
>
> Cuba, perhaps?  

I was talking about "neighboring" in the sense of "sharing a land border".
I'm not sure this is generally understood when using that word, but I
thought so.

> It's fairly large, awfully darned close (what, 100 miles or so?), and I
> sure think of it as a neighboring country.  The other islands in the
> area aren't involved in cold war movies, and therefore don't come up so
> often. :)  I mean, who worries about being invaded by residents of the
> Bahamas or Jamaica?

If we take the border concept to include "sea borders" (not sure this
concept exists), then you have far more than three. And you have far more
important ones than Cuba -- Russia for example.

(Not sure why you would be concerned about being invaded by Cuba, other
than a lack of general "foreign stuff" knowledge and too much picking up
pseudo knowledge from Hollywood :)

Gerhard

2006\03\27@184047 by William Killian

flavicon
face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesEraseMEspamspam_OUTmit.edu [@spam@piclist-bouncesRemoveMEspamEraseMEmit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Gerhard Fiedler
> Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 6:08 PM
> To: EraseMEpiclistspam@spam@mit.edu
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
{Quote hidden}

Yes America is often ambiguous.  I American for both meanings at times.
A resident or native of any of the countries on the continent[s] and as
a resident or native of just the US.

Fundamentalism rears its ugly head when it becomes 'wrong' to use one or
the other because the other usage is wrong.

Lots of English words have two meanings; including the word English.  Is
it a language or someone from England? Oh heavens lets fight about that!




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2006\03\27@184456 by William Killian

flavicon
face
> (Not sure why you would be concerned about being invaded by Cuba,
other
> than a lack of general "foreign stuff" knowledge and too much picking
up
> pseudo knowledge from Hollywood :)
>
> Gerhard

They'll put pontoons on all those old '40s Fords and chase us all down.

No?

Oh.



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2006\03\27@185625 by olin piclist

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Care to name the third? So far, I only know of Canada and Mexico.
> (BTW, the CIA seems to agree with me; check out "Land boundaries" in
> http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html.)

Well you can't walk there with dry feet, but the US and Russia come very
close in the Bering Straight.  Close enough that they had to agree on an
official dividing line.


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consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\03\27@185719 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Mar 27, 2006, at 1:33 PM, Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Maybe knowing sub-national capitals is more for trivia, but broader
> geographic knowledge and the historical and cultural knowledge that
> goes with it is pretty important if you want to vote, understand the
> current world news, or not come off as arrogant self-centered baffoon
> when communicating with a foreigner.
>
> I can't come up with specific examples right now...

The main one I can think of is in regards to natural disasters.
It's worthwhile to know that a major earthquake in Beijing is
unlikely to affect Taiwan.  Or that a Los Angeles area quake
won't hurt silicon valley (the latter is unknown by many USians,
BTW...)

The second one is in regards to ease of commerce.  It's nice
to think of the world being a global economy, but you still
don't travel from San Jose to Hollywood to have lunch with a
movie star, or even up to Sacramento to have lunch with the
Governor.

Alas,  mere geography without much history gives one a distorted
picture of the world, leaving out much of critical importance.
An USian would be tempted to lump together Japanese, Taiwanese,
and Chinese under one label due to their geographic and racial
"nearness" without ever noticing their ... conflicts.  (*I* learned
about Japan/China "racial tensions" from watching bad Kung Fu movies.)

I would guess that the US is currently doing BETTER than it used
to at teaching about other cultures, and worse at plain geography.
(heh.  Pun unintentional.)

BillW

2006\03\27@190318 by olin piclist

face picon face
Danny Sauer wrote:
> Cuba, perhaps?  It's fairly large, awfully darned close (what, 100
> miles or so?),

About 90 miles if I remember right.  That's a lot more than the 7 miles
between little and big Diamede islands in the Bering straight (again, if I
remember the 7 miles figure correctly).


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\03\27@191124 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

> On Mar 27, 2006, at 1:17 PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>
>>>>> [capitols]
>>>> Geographical ignorance is hardly less significant than these other
>>>> things you mention.
>>>
>>> Find me a "real" application for that knowledge.  Just one.
>>
>> How about being able to read and understand news (in the wider
>> sense of the word) from and about other countries?
>
> I'm not sure I understand the importance of national capitols in
> understanding the news from those countries.  Maybe it's the
> reverse of my previous message about the size of the US; knowing
> that something happened in the US capitol vs Los Angeles doesn't
> mean a whole lot.

When I think that national capitals (am I allowed to use this spelling,
after "capitol" seems to have been popularized here? :) are important, I
don't mean that other cities are /not/ important. When talking (or reading)
about California, one probably should know about LA and SF, in addition to
Sacramento. When talking (or reading) about Brazil, it doesn't hurt to know
that Brasilia is the capital and that São Paulo is the biggest city (and
arguably the most important one in terms of industry and finance).

> Apparently memorization of the US state capitols used to be a common
> grade-school task. Back in the 60s.  

I think this whole thing got focused too much on memorization, as in
stupidly memorizing stupid facts. I didn't like that when I went to school,
and I didn't do it. And I don't do it now, unless I really have to. But
/knowing/ is important -- and reading about related issues will make
knowing a side effect. Not knowing prominent capitals is possibly a side
effect of not reading enough about any international issues.

Gerhard

2006\03\27@191344 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 27, 2006, at 3:37 PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> If we take the border concept to include "sea borders" then you
> have far more than three. And you have far more important ones
> than Cuba -- Russia for example.
>
I know a guy who rode a snowmobile to Russia...  Some of those
oceans can get pretty land-like some of the time...

BillW

2006\03\27@191528 by olin piclist

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> (Not sure why you would be concerned about being invaded by Cuba,
> other than a lack of general "foreign stuff" knowledge and too much
> picking up pseudo knowledge from Hollywood :)

Worrying about that didn't seem so silly in 1963 (I could be off a little on
the year, didn't look it up).


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\03\27@191746 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William Killian wrote:

> Some like to talk about Eurasia as opposed to Europe and Asia as well.
> With Russia so large on both what really is the best division?

Not sure what's the "best", but 20 years ago it was common to place the
geographical separation at the Ural. Current publications seem to agree:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europe#Geography_and_extent

But you are right in the sense that Europe is not really a clearly
separated land mass, it's not a "geographical continent", so to speak, more
a cultural one (if that exists). And as such not as clearly defined.

Gerhard

2006\03\27@224512 by Rich Graziano

picon face
Haven't you heard?  Cuba has already invaded us :-) And they even brought
Salsa!

----- Original Message -----
From: "William Killian" <william.killianspamBeGonespamvgt.net>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <RemoveMEpiclist@spam@spamspamBeGonemit.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 6:45 PM
Subject: RE: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)


{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\03\27@225042 by Sergey Dryga

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler <lists <at> connectionbrazil.com> writes:

>
> William Killian wrote:
>
> > Some like to talk about Eurasia as opposed to Europe and Asia as well.
> > With Russia so large on both what really is the best division?
>
> Not sure what's the "best", but 20 years ago it was common to place the
> geographical separation at the Ural. Current publications seem to agree:
> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europe#Geography_and_extent
>
> But you are right in the sense that Europe is not really a clearly
> separated land mass, it's not a "geographical continent", so to speak, more
> a cultural one (if that exists). And as such not as clearly defined.
>
> Gerhard
>
Theree is an actual physical marker (a post) in Ural mountains which is said to
be located on the border of Asia and Europe.  If one bases division on cultural
parameters, Siberia (that big chuck of land north of China, East of Ural
mountains, the size of about 3x Europe's) should be clearly not in Asia.  

Sergey Dryga




2006\03\27@225410 by Rich Graziano

picon face
If you can get the kids to stop pushing, fighting in class, acting like
idiots out of control so that the few self disciplined children have an
opportunity to learn, then a handful of students may pass the math and
science tests and some may actually learn how to THIMK!

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\27@230121 by Sergey Dryga

face picon face
Herbert Graf <mailinglist2 <at> farcite.net> writes:

>
> On Mon, 2006-03-27 at 14:22 -0800, Padu wrote:
> > {Original Message removed}

2006\03\28@073738 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> (Not sure why you would be concerned about being invaded by Cuba,
>> other than a lack of general "foreign stuff" knowledge and too much
>> picking up pseudo knowledge from Hollywood :)
>
> Worrying about that didn't seem so silly in 1963 (I could be off a little on
> the year, didn't look it up).

I'm not sure, but I'm almost sure that people weren't that concerned with
being invaded by Cuba at the time, more about the USSR stationing nukes in
Cuba. Being afraid of being invaded by Cuba is only possible with a severe
lack of basic knowledge about Cuba. There was no point in history where
Cuba had any chance of invading the USA, with or without nukes from the
USSR.

(Well, in the meantime they have managed to invade Miami. But only because
the US helped them with that... :)

Gerhard

2006\03\28@075347 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> How come that both Olin and Danny immediately assumed that "all
>> capitals of America" means "all capitals of the states of the USA",
>
> Because he said "of America", not "of the Americas".

Just thought about something, hm, strange in the context of using "of
America" for "of the continent of America".

"USA" does not mean "United States of the Americas", neither "United States
of North America", it means "United States of America".

Of which I conclude that the name of the USA supports the notion that
"America" means or may mean "the continent of America". Which makes it a
bit strange that many citizens of the USA, of all, don't seem to be aware
of this "other" meaning -- as if they had forgotten what the name of their
country actually means.

I guess as long as the "USA" are the "United States of America" one cannot
really support the opinion that the use of "America" in the meaning of "the
continent of America" is not common in the USA :)

Gerhard

2006\03\28@080109 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

> I would guess that the US is currently doing BETTER than it used
> to at teaching about other cultures, and worse at plain geography.

Which I think is more important (the cultures) -- if one has to choose. But
a bit of geography is often necessary for understanding the culture.

Gerhard

2006\03\28@081133 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Sergey Dryga wrote:

>> But you are right in the sense that Europe is not really a clearly
>> separated land mass, it's not a "geographical continent", so to speak, more
>> a cultural one (if that exists). And as such not as clearly defined.
>>
> Theree is an actual physical marker (a post) in Ural mountains which is said to
> be located on the border of Asia and Europe.  

Which is not a geographical mark, but a cultural one (placed by humans).

> If one bases division on cultural parameters, Siberia (that big chuck of
> land north of China, East of Ural mountains, the size of about 3x
> Europe's) should be clearly not in Asia.

Why is that? I thought it was originally (up until some hundred years ago)
mostly inhabited by people related to the Mongolians. Later of course the
USSR changed the demography there.

Gerhard

2006\03\28@081809 by Walter Banks

picon face


Olin Lathrop wrote:

>
> > (Not sure why you would be concerned about being invaded by Cuba,
>
> Worrying about that didn't seem so silly in 1963 (I could be off a little on
> the year, didn't look it up).

If Bayes is correct Cuba fears being invaded by the US, it has happened
before.




2006\03\28@081932 by Lindy Mayfield

flavicon
face
That reminds me of when I was in a German class and there was a Canadian there.  And we were saying where we were from.  The other Americans in the class had trouble when the Canadian would say, in German, I am American. Hehe.



{Original Message removed}

2006\03\28@084343 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Gerhard wrote regarding 'Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)' on Mon, Mar 27 at 17:39:
> If we take the border concept to include "sea borders" (not sure this
> concept exists), then you have far more than three. And you have far more
> important ones than Cuba -- Russia for example.

Russia borders Alaska, and Alaska isn't part of the contiguous 50
states.  So, in my mind, I don't generally think of that border.
You're right, of course, in that Russia's even closer - but it's still
closer to a state that itself doesn't border the rest of the
country.  That, and there's not a lot of news about Russians building
crude boats to float over to the US, so it's not "on the public mind"
as much as Cuba.

> (Not sure why you would be concerned about being invaded by Cuba, other
> than a lack of general "foreign stuff" knowledge and too much picking up
> pseudo knowledge from Hollywood :)

Cold war-era Hollywood's concerned with it, not me. :)  Though, to
play devil's advocate, I do seem to recall a chunk of a history book
involving things like "the Bay of Pigs" and "the Cuban Missile
Crisis".  Luckily the same leader the US tried to overthrow isn't
still in power, right?  What?  Castro's still alive and President?
Well, he probably doesn't hold a grudge...  And Castro's the same guy
who sent Cuban troops to Angola in 1975, Ethiopia in 1977, or
Nicaragua (where they actually overthrew the government) in 1979.
Cuba's still Communist, and the USA's still making it clear that
anything but Democracy is the wrong choice.  Then there's that talk
about building a wall between the USA and Mexico, which could be seen
as offensive to Cuba as well (the whole "we don't want people from
South of the US" attitude).  So, while I don't actually think Cuba's
gonna attack the USA anytime soon, I think a better case could be made
based on actual history... :)

Besides, just visit Miami and tell me a non-violent Cuban invasion is
not something anyone thinks about. ;)

--Danny, hoping there's adequate smilies in that last part...

2006\03\28@085414 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 04:19 PM 3/28/2006 +0300, you wrote:
>That reminds me of when I was in a German class and there was a Canadian
>there.  And we were saying where we were from.  The other Americans in the
>class had trouble when the Canadian would say, in German, I am American. Hehe.

That's rather odd because I think no Canadian native English speaker would
say that in English, and Canada is almost the same in German (Kanada), as is
America (Amerika).

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
.....speffRemoveMEspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com




2006\03\28@085714 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Gerhard wrote regarding 'Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)' on Tue, Mar 28 at 06:55:
> I guess as long as the "USA" are the "United States of America" one cannot
> really support the opinion that the use of "America" in the meaning of "the
> continent of America" is not common in the USA :)

I read that as "America is a country made up of states in unity". ;)
Never mind that Vespucci never actually ended up in what's now the
USA, or even North America, IIRC...

--Danny

2006\03\28@090829 by Lindy Mayfield

flavicon
face
Really?  Well our German teacher was saying that it was correct to say "Ich bin Amerikana" if we are from "America" and she said that Canada was part of America.



{Original Message removed}

2006\03\28@095155 by Sergey Dryga

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler <lists <at> connectionbrazil.com> writes:

>
> Sergey Dryga wrote:
>
> >> But you are right in the sense that Europe is not really a clearly
> >> separated land mass, it's not a "geographical continent", so to speak, more
> >> a cultural one (if that exists). And as such not as clearly defined.
> >>
> > Theree is an actual physical marker (a post) in Ural mountains which is
said to
{Quote hidden}

Only southern part was inhabited by people related to the Mongolians.  Northern
part was inhabited mostly by nenetzs and yakuts, which are close to aleutians.  
Of course it depends on how far back in time we are going.  At one point, most
of Asia, India and part of Europe was under mongol rule, and as such
most "indigenous" people in the area have some of mongol blood. BTW, Chingis-
Khan is the most prolific person known today, with some 3 million direct
descendants traceable by DNA.  

If we go further back in time, we are all africans, I remember reading
somewhere, probably in Nature or Science, that all humans can be traced to 2-3
women who lived in Africa.

Sergey Dryga




2006\03\28@101105 by Peiserma

flavicon
face
piclist-bounces@mit.edu wrote:
> Really?  Well our German teacher was saying that it was
> correct to say "Ich bin Amerikana" if we are from "America"
> and she said that Canada was part of America.

She's definitely wrong on that! And it's spelled "Amerikaner" (or
"Amerikanerin" if you're female)

"America" generally refers to the political entity aka USA. At least in
the USA (I presume your teacher is in the USA). In
other languages, it may well refer to "The Americas", which is the
combination of the North American and South American continents. But no
matter how you interpret the geographic distinction, if you're from
Canada, you'd refer to yourself as "Kanadier" and not "Amerikaner"

2006\03\28@102321 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Tue, 2006-03-28 at 09:04 -0500, Spehro Pefhany wrote:
> At 04:19 PM 3/28/2006 +0300, you wrote:
> >That reminds me of when I was in a German class and there was a Canadian
> >there.  And we were saying where we were from.  The other Americans in the
> >class had trouble when the Canadian would say, in German, I am American. Hehe.
>
> That's rather odd because I think no Canadian native English speaker would
> say that in English, and Canada is almost the same in German (Kanada), as is
> America (Amerika).

I agree. Unless the person didn't know the German word for Canada it is
very unusual for a Canadian to say they are an American, unless of
course they ARE American and just live in Canada (which is very common).

TTYL

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2006\03\28@102650 by William Killian

flavicon
face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: .....piclist-bouncesSTOPspamspam@spam@mit.edu [piclist-bouncesEraseMEspam@spam@mit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Gerhard Fiedler
> Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 7:53 AM
> To: RemoveMEpiclistspamspamBeGonemit.edu
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
{Quote hidden}

aware
> of this "other" meaning -- as if they had forgotten what the name of
their
> country actually means.
>
> I guess as long as the "USA" are the "United States of America" one
cannot
> really support the opinion that the use of "America" in the meaning of
> "the
> continent of America" is not common in the USA :)
>
> Gerhard
>

When 'we' took the name 'United States of America' people did not so
much think of themselves as 'Americas' but as citizens of separate
little countries allied together.  Virginians were Virginians first and
'Americans' second.  Hence less than 100 years later the nation had a
war to settle that point.




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2006\03\28@104449 by Lindy Mayfield

flavicon
face
Sorry, Amerikaner.

No, she was German and the class was in Heidelberg.  Worse class I ever had.

-----Original Message-----
From: piclist-bouncesspam_OUTspam@spam@mit.edu [spamBeGonepiclist-bounces@spam@spammit.edu] On Behalf Of RemoveMEpeisermaEraseMEspamKILLspamridgid.com
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 6:11 PM
To: spamBeGonepiclistspam_OUTspamRemoveMEmit.edu
Subject: RE: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)

.....piclist-bouncesspamRemoveMEmit.edu wrote:
> Really?  Well our German teacher was saying that it was
> correct to say "Ich bin Amerikana" if we are from "America"
> and she said that Canada was part of America.

She's definitely wrong on that! And it's spelled "Amerikaner" (or
"Amerikanerin" if you're female)

"America" generally refers to the political entity aka USA. At least in
the USA (I presume your teacher is in the USA). In
other languages, it may well refer to "The Americas", which is the
combination of the North American and South American continents. But no
matter how you interpret the geographic distinction, if you're from
Canada, you'd refer to yourself as "Kanadier" and not "Amerikaner"

2006\03\28@113348 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 28, 2006, at 4:53 AM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> as long as the "USA" are the "United States of America" one cannot
> really support the opinion that the use of "America" in the
> meaning of "the continent of America" is not common in the USA :)
>
I suspect that dates back to a time when USA was even more US-centric
than they are now.

Everyone agrees that North and South America are TWO continents, right?
The "continent of America" usage really bugs me because it's two
separate continents.  I wouldn't be continental-istic enough to want
"America" to refer to "North America" only, leaving me wanting to
distinguish between the two continents. (Both continents together
are "the western hemisphere" or "the New World" or something like
that...)  That leaves only the incorrect-but-common usage as a
synonym for USA...

BillW

2006\03\28@115420 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Mar 28, 2006, at 7:43 AM, Lindy Mayfield wrote:

> No, she was German and the class was in Heidelberg.

Some people seem to think Canada IS part of the united states.
I have ... mixed feelings about that attitude extending beyond
clueless "americans."  People from other countries are supposed
to be smarter than that in such areas, because geography is more
important when you share the nearest 5 million km^2 with more
countries :-)

Of course, some people think "new mexico" is part of Mexico, too.

BillW

2006\03\28@122739 by Padu

face picon face
----- Original Message -----
<snip>
> Of course, some people think "new mexico" is part of Mexico, too.
>
> BillW

I thought "new mexico" was the region comprised by California-Arizona-Texas
:-D

Padu

2006\03\28@134001 by William Killian

flavicon
face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: piclist-bouncesspam@spam@mit.edu [EraseMEpiclist-bouncesRemoveMEspamSTOPspammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Padu
> Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 12:24 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
{Quote hidden}

Its scary how many 'Americans' think New Mexico isn't a state.  Maybe if
that evil rote memorization was done early on that wouldn't be a
problem.

And it is a problem because often folks from NM move to another state
and have trouble because low level government civil servants treat them
as foreign nationals.

Sure us embedded engineers aren't those civil servants but it is a real
world example of where this "well you could just look it up" information
is actually better learned than treated as extraneous.



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2006\03\28@150503 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Bill,

On Mon, 27 Mar 2006 18:27:21 -0500, William Killian wrote:

> Central America is the interesting one.  Some talk about it as only
> North and South with the southern end of Panama as the dividing point
> while others talk about a central America that is less clear in my mind.
> Is Mexico north or central?

I'd always thought of Central America being the narrow bit, so Mexico would be inlcuded, but I think most
definitions say that North America comprises Canada, USA and Mexico.

> How about Guatemala?  Or how about Belize if you accept its existence?

(There's a doubt about the existance of Belize?  Someone ought to nip down there and check! :-)

> Some like to talk about Eurasia as opposed to Europe and Asia as well.
> With Russia so large on both what really is the best division?

I've never understood the division of continents.  The Americas look like one continent to me (you can walk
from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego) and Antarctica and Australasia are pretty conclusive, but Europe & Asia?  You
can walk from Gibraltar to the Bering Strait, so what is the dividing line?  Europe and Asia are more
political and cultural divides, than actual geographical continents IMHO.  You could also walk from the
Barents Sea coast to Cape Town, but the Eurasia/Africa divide is a bit more of a visible entity, a bit like
those for South/Central/North America.  Incidentally, a number of large international companies have a
division called EMEA - "Europe, Middle East, Asia" and deal with all of them as one market.  Strange!  :-)

Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\03\28@152145 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Gerhard,

On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 09:53:11 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>...
> Just thought about something, hm, strange in the context of using "of
> America" for "of the continent of America".
>
> "USA" does not mean "United States of the Americas", neither "United States
> of North America", it means "United States of America".

You can't really judge much from the name - I am from the "United Kingdom" even though for the whole of my
life (so far!) we've had a Queen.  I think the name of the USA was decided when things were very different
from now, and you can't really use today's situation to justify it.

Anyway, why didn't they name it after Christopher Columbus, rather than Amerigo Vespucci?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\03\28@153343 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Bill,

On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 08:54:18 -0800, William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

> Of course, some people think "new mexico" is part of Mexico, too.

...and that Baja California is part of the USA!  (Unless they just call it "Baja", which doesn't make much
sense :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\03\28@170916 by David VanHorn

picon face
Maybe some will find this easy, but without googling it, where is the only
royal palace on american soil (US)?

2006\03\28@171843 by Rolf

face picon face
Howard, perhaps you can settle something for me....

... I replied in this thread earlier, expressing the thought that people
really should have a basic understanding of things..... but... I am
completely flummoxed by the place you live.

Firstly, The United Kingdom is really "The United Kingdom of Great
Britain". A "British" passport cover says "British Passport - The United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

Now, Scotland and England are actually considered to be countries, Wales
is considered a principality, and Northern Ireland is a province. They
are also called "Home Nations", except if you are a rugby player in
which case Ireland is a nation which includes Northern Ireland!

Politically, there is the UK Parliament which sits in London, but
Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland each have governments and
parliaments that answer to the UK Parliament. Bizarrely, England does
not have it's own parliament, and thus, the affairs of England are
dictated by the powers of the whole UK, and there is no forum for just
the English.

Now, to confuse things further, Scotland has it's own currency! You get
"Scottish Pounds" and also the currency issued by the "Bank of England"
which I hesitate to call English pounds...!!!

In another twist, the ISO code for the United Kingdom is "GB". This is
not used as the top level country domain name, but UK is used instead.

Heaven forbid, it gets worse... dum dum dum!! The Channel Islands and
the Isle of Man!!!

These are independant countries (actually Bailiwicks, but I don't
understand that). They are protected by the UK, but are not governed by
it. They each have their own currencies, and governments. Even more
strange, the UK is part of the EU, but not these three "Crown
Dependencies". To confound things even further, the governments in these
micro-nations issue British Passports!

So, Howard, tell me... what country are you from?

Once you figure that out, tell me, why is your passport representative
of your country?

Now, once you figure all that out, tell me why I, as a Canadian Citizen,
am not also a British Citizen given that we both have the Queen as our
head of state?

Rolf

Howard Winter wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\03\28@172403 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Danny Sauer wrote:

> Gerhard wrote:
>> I guess as long as the "USA" are the "United States of America" one cannot
>> really support the opinion that the use of "America" in the meaning of "the
>> continent of America" is not common in the USA :)
>
> I read that as "America is a country made up of states in unity". ;)

I also read of this surprising reading. But I don't think it makes sense,
unless you want "America" to mean only the area occupied by the USA.

That then would make that "South America" means "the south of the area
occupied by the USA" -- I don't think we want to go there, do we? :)

Gerhard

2006\03\28@173205 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Howard Winter wrote:

>> "USA" does not mean "United States of the Americas", neither "United
>> States of North America", it means "United States of America".
>
> You can't really judge much from the name

I disagree -- I can judge from the name that the use of the terms in it are
common knowledge. Every citizen of the USA hears and reads often enough
about the "United States of America". I didn't say that this use is the
only one, but it definitely /is/ a common use; so much I can judge from the
name.

> I am from the "United Kingdom" even though for the whole of my life (so
> far!) we've had a Queen.  

But anybody trying to convince me that the use of the word "kingdom" is
rare in the UK would have a difficult stand :)

> Anyway, why didn't they name it after Christopher Columbus, rather than
> Amerigo Vespucci?

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_continent#Naming_of_America

Mainly because Columbus, up to his death, was convinced that what he had
found was part of India. So he wasn't even in the race of giving the new
continent a name.

Gerhard

2006\03\28@174107 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

> Everyone agrees that North and South America are TWO continents, right?

I humbly disagree :)  Ever since I heard about America (the early
references were all German), it was considered one continent with two
sub-continents.

Here's a German reference to that effect:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amerika_%28Kontinent%29


> The "continent of America" usage really bugs me because it's two
> separate continents.  

Only since they digged the Panama canal :)  Seriously, it is one land mass,
right? There are a number of reasons to consider that mass two or three
continents (three tectonic areas, for example), but it is considered one
single continent in many contexts.

You still can drive (more or less, 4WD recommended, and some parts will be
on ferries crossing rivers or canals for which no bridges exist) on a
single highway (at least in numeration) from the southern part of South
America to the northern part of North America.


> I wouldn't be continental-istic enough to want "America" to refer to
> "North America" only, leaving me wanting to distinguish between the two
> continents.

When you want that, you just use "North America" and "South America". These
two seem to be relatively clear and unambiguous.

> (Both continents together are "the western hemisphere" or "the New World"
> or something like that...)  

Both of these terms have their problems when you want them to mean North
America and South America together and nothing else:
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_world
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Hemisphere


> That leaves only the incorrect-but-common usage as a synonym for USA...

See also
 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_the_word_American
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_continent#America_vs._Americas

Basically, it is common as synonym for USA in certain contexts but not in
all, and in any international setting it is at best ambiguous. So it's just
sensible to keep the ambiguity in mind and not assume automatically that
everything American is related to the USA.

Gerhard

2006\03\28@174419 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Dave,

On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 17:09:14 -0500, David VanHorn wrote:

> Maybe some will find this easy, but without googling it, where is the only
> royal palace on american soil (US)?

Off the top of my head I can only think of Ceasar's Palace, but surely that doesn't count, as he was an
emperor so it would be Imperial rather than Royal.  And anyway, it's just the name of a casino...

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\03\28@180155 by Rolf

face picon face
Having travelled a fair bit .... anywhere in the world other than the
USA, if you say:

"I am going to America", you mean the USA
"He's American" you mean a citizen of the USA
"He's got an American accent" means he's not from Mexico (it probably
means everywhere except "the Southern States" in which case you would
hear "he's got a southern drawl").

I can not think of any instance where America or American would be used
except to refer to the USA (unless you are American, it appears). George
Bush is always referring to the "American Way", "American Soldiers",
"American Freedoms", etc. He believes that America is the USA unless
there has been some radical changes in Central America! People very
seldom (never - at least not in Africa, Europe, and Canada) refer to the
combined North and South American continents as "America". They *may* be
referred to as "The Americas", but would more normally be referred to as
"North and South America".

There really is no alternative understanding of the common use of "America"

Rolf

Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\03\28@180202 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
>
> ... I replied in this thread earlier, expressing the thought that people
> really should have a basic understanding of things..... but... I am
> completely flummoxed by the place you live.



It's a simple question of the normal functioning of government.  Theirs has
been working on it longer than ours has.

:)

2006\03\28@181100 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> > Anyway, why didn't they name it after Christopher Columbus, rather than
> > Amerigo Vespucci?


I think it should be named after the discoverer, but the Indians don't seem
to remember his name..

2006\03\28@181658 by Jinx

face picon face
> That then would make that "South America" means "the south
> of the area occupied by the USA"

I'd always recognise 4 areas -

USA - the 50 states
Mexico
Central America - between Mexico and (including) Panama
South America -  south of Panama

There's also "The Continental US", which refers (perhaps usually
and only ? by advertisers) to 48 states, ie not Alaska and Hawaii

2006\03\28@182025 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> Off the top of my head I can only think of Ceasar's Palace, but surely
> that doesn't count, as he was an emperor so it would be Imperial rather than
> Royal.  And anyway, it's just the name of a casino...


Nope, not a phony, an actual royal palace what held a reigning king and
queen, and NOT by any proxy, I mean their very own royal tushies on the
throne.

2006\03\28@182522 by Rolf Levenbach

picon face
Guam?

Rolf Levenbach
spamBeGoneplatypus3spam@spam@verizon.net


On Mar 28, 2006, at 10:09 PM, David VanHorn wrote:

> Maybe some will find this easy, but without googling it, where is the
> only
> royal palace on american soil (US)?
> --

2006\03\28@182715 by Marcel Birthelmer

picon face
Isn't/Wasn't Hawaii a tribal monarchy of sorts?

On 3/28/06, David VanHorn <RemoveMEdvanhornspam_OUTspammicrobrix.com> wrote:
>
> >
> > Off the top of my head I can only think of Ceasar's Palace, but surely
> > that doesn't count, as he was an emperor so it would be Imperial rather
> than
> > Royal.  And anyway, it's just the name of a casino...
>
>
> Nope, not a phony, an actual royal palace what held a reigning king and
> queen, and NOT by any proxy, I mean their very own royal tushies on the
> throne.
> -

2006\03\28@185047 by Rolf

face picon face
Jinx wrote:
>> That then would make that "South America" means "the south
>> of the area occupied by the USA"
>>    
>
> I'd always recognise 4 areas -
>
> USA - the 50 states
> Mexico
> Central America - between Mexico and (including) Panama
> South America -  south of Panama
>
> There's also "The Continental US", which refers (perhaps usually
> and only ? by advertisers) to 48 states, ie not Alaska and Hawaii
>
>  
I'm in Canada, where do I fit in to the system ... ;-)

Rolf

2006\03\28@190124 by Jinx

face picon face
 
> I'm in Canada, where do I fit in to the system ... ;-)

US Jnr ?

Which part of Canada ?

"There's no Canada like French Canada !
It's ze best Canada in ze land !
Ze other Canada is bullshit Canada !
If you live there for a day you'll understand !"

2006\03\28@191320 by David VanHorn

picon face
On 3/28/06, Marcel Birthelmer <marcelb.listsspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
>
> Isn't/Wasn't Hawaii a tribal monarchy of sorts?


It was a monarchy, and you win.  I used to drive past iolani palace every
day.
King Kamehameha, and Queen Lili`uokalani
http://www.iolanipalace.org/

If you watch Hawaii 5-0, the building McGarret's office was supposed to be
in, is the palace.
The interior of the office was in a studio on the other side of the island.

2006\03\28@191702 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Danny Sauer wrote:

>> (Not sure why you would be concerned about being invaded by Cuba, other
>> than a lack of general "foreign stuff" knowledge and too much picking up
>> pseudo knowledge from Hollywood :)

> Though, to play devil's advocate, I do seem to recall a chunk of a
> history book involving things like "the Bay of Pigs" and "the Cuban
> Missile Crisis".  

None of the two is related to Cuba trying to invade the USA. Bay of Pigs:
US-supported paramilitary troops invading Cuba. Cuban Missile Crisis: the
USSR trying to station missiles on Cuba and eventually aborting the
mission.

BTW, the USA tried something similar some 20 years later in Germany (there
known as the "Pershing-Krise"). The outcome was a bit different in that the
missiles were actually stationed, despite a public outcry in Germany. In
both cases, one could argue that the attempt to station or the stationing
of the missiles was an essentially defensive move -- for the stationing
nation. In both cases, it also can be seen as aggressive towards the people
in the countries that should serve or served as launch pads.


> And Castro's the same guy who sent Cuban troops to Angola in 1975,
> Ethiopia in 1977, or Nicaragua (where they actually overthrew the
> government) in 1979.

If you were to come up with a "who's who" of sending troops to other
countries or overthrowing governments since WW2, Cuba probably plays a
minor role compared to other unnamed nations.

BTW, that it's been Cuban troops that overthrew the Nicaraguan government
doesn't seem to be supported by any sources I know of. Most sources seem to
attribute that to the FSLN. And whether the US-supported Somoza
dictatorship in Nicaragua was any better than the US-supported and later
US-defeated Hussein dictatorship in Iraq is not obvious. What's good for
the goose is good for the ganter?


> So, while I don't actually think Cuba's gonna attack the USA anytime
> soon, I think a better case could be made based on actual history... :)

I'd really like to see that "better case based on actual history". Some
actual history would be nice, for a change, when talking about Cuba :)

For example about their military strength and focus:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/cuba/intro.htm

Gerhard

2006\03\28@192058 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Sergey Dryga wrote:

> If we go further back in time, we are all africans, I remember reading
> somewhere, probably in Nature or Science, that all humans can be traced to 2-3
> women who lived in Africa.

Which gives the customary "hey bro!" an unexpected meaning :)

Gerhard

2006\03\28@193105 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:

>>>That reminds me of when I was in a German class and there was a Canadian
>>>there.  And we were saying where we were from.  The other Americans in the
>>>class had trouble when the Canadian would say, in German, I am American. Hehe.
>>
>> That's rather odd because I think no Canadian native English speaker would
>> say that in English, and Canada is almost the same in German (Kanada), as is
>> America (Amerika).
>
> I agree. Unless the person didn't know the German word for Canada it is
> very unusual for a Canadian to say they are an American, unless of
> course they ARE American and just live in Canada (which is very common).

But maybe the person knew enough German to know that the German word
"Amerika" usually does mean the continent? :)

Gerhard

2006\03\28@194054 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
peiserma@ridgid.com wrote:

>> Really?  Well our German teacher was saying that it was correct to say
>> "Ich bin Amerikana" if we are from "America" and she said that Canada
>> was part of America.
>
> She's definitely wrong on that! And it's spelled "Amerikaner" (or
> "Amerikanerin" if you're female)

That about the spelling is correct, but I disagree on the judgment of the
meaning.

> "America" generally refers to the political entity aka USA. At least in
> the USA (I presume your teacher is in the USA).

That may be correct so far (at least for the USA). But don't forget, no
matter where the teacher is or was, that this was a German lesson, so the
usage of "America" in the USA is not relevant to the issue, but the usage
of "Amerika" in Germany very much is.

> In other languages, it may well refer to "The Americas", which is the
> combination of the North American and South American continents.

And it does so. Also in English, sometimes. (Not sure you consider that an
"other language" :)

> But no matter how you interpret the geographic distinction, if you're
> from Canada, you'd refer to yourself as "Kanadier" and not "Amerikaner"

Depends on the context, I'd say. If answering a question related to
geography ("Ich bin Europäer, und du?"), IMO a Canadian could very well, in
correct usage of German, answer "Ich bin Amerikaner." If he wants to both
answer the geographic question and make a distinction, he could say "Ich
bin ein Amerikaner aus Kanada."

A citizen of the USA, used to "occupy" the term "America" (and "Amerika" :)
for his country, may find that strange, but a German wouldn't. Maybe making
that point was part of that particular lesson -- so that the students would
think a bit before judging what "Amerika" means based on their experiences
with "America".

Gerhard

2006\03\28@202452 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 28, 2006, at 2:32 PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

>> Everyone agrees that North and South America are TWO continents,
>> right?
>
> I humbly disagree :)  Ever since I heard about America (the early
> references were all German), it was considered one continent with two
> sub-continents.
>
> Here's a German reference to that effect:
> http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amerika_%28Kontinent%29
>
>
Huh.  Well, that explains some of the confusion.  I'm glad I asked
the question!  In geography as taught in the US, they're definitely
considered two continents.  They're on two separate continental
plates, even, which I thought was significant (but doesn't explain
the Europe/Asia separation.)

I always thought africa looked more connected to eurasia than
North/South America...  In any case, it seems a bit Naive to
talk about "walking from one to another."  There are formidable
natural barriers that were significant enough to allow/maintain
racial differentiation...  There seems to have been more traffic
between eurasia (russia) and North America over the ice than
between Africa and Europe...

BillW

2006\03\28@202915 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 28, 2006, at 3:01 PM, Rolf wrote:

> I can not think of any instance where America or American
>  would be used except to refer to the USA...

"Christopher Columbus discovered America."

The actual landing was in Cuba, wasn't it?

BillW

2006\03\28@203238 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 28, 2006, at 3:20 PM, David VanHorn wrote:

> Nope, not a phony, an actual royal palace what held a reigning
> king and queen, and NOT by any proxy, I mean their very own
> royal tushies on the throne.
>
Hawaii?

BilLW

2006\03\28@204129 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Mar 28, 2006, at 4:21 PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> But maybe the person knew enough German to know that the German
> word "Amerika" usually does mean the continent? :)
>
Is there a German word that DOES mean "someone from the USA" ?

BillW

2006\03\28@214045 by Rich Graziano

picon face
90 miles to Miami

----- Original Message -----
From: "Olin Lathrop" <spam_OUTolin_piclistspam_OUTspamspam_OUTembedinc.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <piclistspam_OUTspammit.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 7:03 PM
Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)


{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\03\28@214621 by Rich Graziano

picon face
Perhaps she is thinking of North America?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerhard Fiedler" <RemoveMElistsKILLspamspam@spam@connectionbrazil.com>
To: <piclistspamBeGonespam.....mit.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 7:34 PM
Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)


KILLspampeisermaspam.....ridgid.com wrote:

>> Really?  Well our German teacher was saying that it was correct to say
>> "Ich bin Amerikana" if we are from "America" and she said that Canada
>> was part of America.
>
> She's definitely wrong on that! And it's spelled "Amerikaner" (or
> "Amerikanerin" if you're female)

That about the spelling is correct, but I disagree on the judgment of the
meaning.

> "America" generally refers to the political entity aka USA. At least in
> the USA (I presume your teacher is in the USA).

That may be correct so far (at least for the USA). But don't forget, no
matter where the teacher is or was, that this was a German lesson, so the
usage of "America" in the USA is not relevant to the issue, but the usage
of "Amerika" in Germany very much is.

> In other languages, it may well refer to "The Americas", which is the
> combination of the North American and South American continents.

And it does so. Also in English, sometimes. (Not sure you consider that an
"other language" :)

> But no matter how you interpret the geographic distinction, if you're
> from Canada, you'd refer to yourself as "Kanadier" and not "Amerikaner"

Depends on the context, I'd say. If answering a question related to
geography ("Ich bin Europäer, und du?"), IMO a Canadian could very well, in
correct usage of German, answer "Ich bin Amerikaner." If he wants to both
answer the geographic question and make a distinction, he could say "Ich
bin ein Amerikaner aus Kanada."

A citizen of the USA, used to "occupy" the term "America" (and "Amerika" :)
for his country, may find that strange, but a German wouldn't. Maybe making
that point was part of that particular lesson -- so that the students would
think a bit before judging what "Amerika" means based on their experiences
with "America".

Gerhard

2006\03\28@215605 by Rich Graziano

picon face
Venezuela is planning to build an oil refinery in Cuba with the intent of
exporting gasoline to the U.S.A.  A firm schedule has not yet been
completed.  If that constitutes and invasion, I need to rethimk my lernin.
However, it will be interesting to see how that plays out and perhaps
discover just what IS meant by invasion.  Venezuela's official position is
to assume the prior role of Cuba in exporting communism to the "Americas."
The fuel sales to the U.S. will be of strategic importance in that endeavor.
If there are commerce restrictions regarding Cuba, this may change some
thinking.


{Original Message removed}

2006\03\28@220946 by Rich Graziano

picon face
Well, Now!  I agree that the sex life of the female Piss Ant may not elicit
an epiphany in everyone, but there is such a thing- is there not- of
collective knowledge which collectively benefits the general social order?
Who cares about the Peloponnesian War?  Well it does little in the way of
aiding circuit design but politicians today are studying it and learning
principles of negotiation.  There is merit to the idea that all knowledge is
useful.  It is just not immediately useful to every existential person.
What if no one knew the capital for each country or state?




{Original Message removed}

2006\03\28@222918 by Rich Graziano

picon face
Think it should be isn't...
----- Original Message -----
From: "David VanHorn" <spam_OUTdvanhornspamKILLspammicrobrix.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <RemoveMEpiclistRemoveMEspamEraseMEmit.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 7:12 PM
Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)


{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\03\28@223212 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Tue, 2006-03-28 at 21:21 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> >>>That reminds me of when I was in a German class and there was a Canadian
> >>>there.  And we were saying where we were from.  The other Americans in the
> >>>class had trouble when the Canadian would say, in German, I am American. Hehe.
> >>
> >> That's rather odd because I think no Canadian native English speaker would
> >> say that in English, and Canada is almost the same in German (Kanada), as is
> >> America (Amerika).
> >
> > I agree. Unless the person didn't know the German word for Canada it is
> > very unusual for a Canadian to say they are an American, unless of
> > course they ARE American and just live in Canada (which is very common).
>
> But maybe the person knew enough German to know that the German word
> "Amerika" usually does mean the continent? :)

Well I can't speak about Germany, but I can say that in Austria
"Amerika" means only one thing: the US. I've never been referred to as
an "American" by a native Austrian, they've always understood me ato be
"Canadian".

Even watching news on one of the German TV networks it's clear that the
common use of the word "Amerika" means the US.

TTYL

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2006\03\28@223258 by David VanHorn

picon face
> What if no one knew the capital for each country or state?


Presumably this would cut down on the number of lawmakers showing up for
work.
Which would be a good thing, overall.

2006\03\28@223936 by Rich Graziano

picon face
I wonder if borders are less important in today's rapid transit military
than they were in the past. Modern warfare, in a  manner of speaking, brings
along borders with the invasion.


{Original Message removed}

2006\03\28@224322 by Richard Prosser

picon face
OK,
In English - how do you (politely)  refer to someone who is a citizen
of the USA since "American" is incorrect?

A "USAan" just doesn't sound right.

RP

On 29/03/06, Gerhard Fiedler <listsspamspamconnectionbrazil.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2006\03\28@224851 by Rich Graziano

picon face
Well Said, Alexandre!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Alexandre Guimaraes" <KILLspamlistasspamBeGonespamlogikos.com.br>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <@spam@piclistSTOPspamspam@spam@mit.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 2:41 PM
Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)


{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\03\28@225250 by Rich Graziano

picon face
Ha, Ha. Good one, Dave :-)

----- Original Message -----
From: "David VanHorn" <spam_OUTdvanhornSTOPspamspammicrobrix.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <RemoveMEpiclistspamspammit.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 10:32 PM
Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)


>> What if no one knew the capital for each country or state?
>
>
> Presumably this would cut down on the number of lawmakers showing up for
> work.
> Which would be a good thing, overall.
> --

2006\03\28@230642 by Carlos A. Marcano V.

picon face
Herbert Graf escribió:
>
> Well I can't speak about Germany, but I can say that in Austria
> "Amerika" means only one thing: the US. I've never been referred to as
> an "American" by a native Austrian, they've always understood me ato be
> "Canadian".
>
> Even watching news on one of the German TV networks it's clear that the
> common use of the word "Amerika" means the US.
>
This common practice does not mean it is correct. "America" is a whole
continent, from North to South, and got its name from Americo Vespucio**
(or Amerigo Vespucci) an italian navigator like Cristobal Colon (or
Christopher Columbus) who explored part of the atlantic litoral of
"South" America and first proposed the idea that these recently explored
lands where part of a new continent and not a part of Asia as Colon
(Columbus) thought. Vespucio´s trips and ideas were written in a famous
letter to Lorenzo de Pier Francesco de Medici  and later edited under
the name Mundus Novus (New Worlds)  in 1502. The news of the discovering
of a new continent then spread quickly in Europe and then begins to get
bold the use of the name Americus (America) for the "continent" in honor
to Vespucio, as proposed by the famous german cartographist Martin
Waldseemüller. So as you can see, it is conceptually wrong to call
America just to the U.S of "America".


Regards,

Carlos Marcano
-Guri, Venezuela-


**  Vespucio also named my country, Venezuela, which means "Little
Venice" because he saw some constructions on water like there are in Venice.

2006\03\28@232511 by Rich Graziano

picon face
A United States citizen, or a US American citizen.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Prosser" <TakeThisOuTrhprosserspamspamRemoveMEgmail.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <KILLspampiclistspamspamspam_OUTmit.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 10:43 PM
Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)


OK,
In English - how do you (politely)  refer to someone who is a citizen
of the USA since "American" is incorrect?

A "USAan" just doesn't sound right.

RP

On 29/03/06, Gerhard Fiedler <listsRemoveMEspamconnectionbrazil.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2006\03\29@002450 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Gerhard wrote regarding 'Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)' on Tue, Mar 28 at 23:07:
> None of the two is related to Cuba trying to invade the USA.

But they're reasons for Cuba to be annoyed with the USA, right?

> If you were to come up with a "who's who" of sending troops to other
> countries or overthrowing governments since WW2, Cuba probably plays a
> minor role compared to other unnamed nations.

They've sent troops farther than the sub-90 miles it'd take to the USA

> > So, while I don't actually think Cuba's gonna attack the USA anytime
> > soon, I think a better case could be made based on actual history... :)
>
> I'd really like to see that "better case based on actual history". Some
> actual history would be nice, for a change, when talking about Cuba :)

Sorry, I forgot to fix the wording in that last thing before sending.
I meant "it's possible to make a semi-convincing case".  It's
conceivable, though it'd be incredibly surprising/stupid/etc... :)

> For example about their military strength and focus:
> http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/cuba/intro.htm

Bah, they're a sleeping tiger, just pretending to withdraw.  They could
strike at any moment!  Forget about that whole Korea thing and the
middle east!  Beware *Cuba*, USA! :)

--Danny

2006\03\29@002854 by Herbert Graf

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face

On Wed, 2006-03-29 at 00:07 -0400, Carlos A. Marcano V. wrote:
> Herbert Graf escribió:
> >
> > Well I can't speak about Germany, but I can say that in Austria
> > "Amerika" means only one thing: the US. I've never been referred to as
> > an "American" by a native Austrian, they've always understood me ato be
> > "Canadian".
> >
> > Even watching news on one of the German TV networks it's clear that the
> > common use of the word "Amerika" means the US.
> >
> This common practice does not mean it is correct. "America" is a whole

True, to a point.

However, when a "new" meaning of a word becomes so commonplace that the
"old" meaning is no longer remembered, at what point does the "new"
meaning take precedence?

All I'm saying is these days, if you say "America", very few people that
I've encountered will assume that means something other then the US. In
fact, until this thread I didn't even know there ARE some people out
there that consider the meaning of "America" differently.

-----------------------------
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2006\03\29@003340 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Rolf,

On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 17:18:26 -0500, Rolf wrote:

> Howard, perhaps you can settle something for me....

Probably not, but I'll have a go...

> ... I replied in this thread earlier, expressing the thought that people
> really should have a basic understanding of things..... but... I am
> completely flummoxed by the place you live.

As are most of the inhabitants!  :-)

> Firstly, The United Kingdom is really "The United Kingdom of Great
> Britain". A "British" passport cover says "British Passport - The United
> Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

The lattter is the correct name for the UK - I don't know where you got the first one.  Great Britain is the
name of the island that comprises England, Scotland and Wales.  There was a "Lesser Britain" - it's the
peninsula that juts out North-West from France, now called "Brittany", and at one time it was ruled
by one person - "Willliam the Conqueror", who was King over this side but only Duke over there.

> Now, Scotland and England are actually considered to be countries, Wales
> is considered a principality, and Northern Ireland is a province. They
> are also called "Home Nations", except if you are a rugby player in
> which case Ireland is a nation which includes Northern Ireland!

Nearly right - Ireland (the part that isn't Northern Ireland) is a completely seperate country and has been
since Partition.  They use Euros as currency, for example, while we are still using Pounds, and they are a
republic, not any sort of monarchy.  Each of the above places is a Nation, and Wales even has two official
languages, English and Welsh, so road signs there say both - when you go there you see signs: "Croeso y Cymru  
Welcome to Wales".

> Politically, there is the UK Parliament which sits in London, but
> Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland each have governments and
> parliaments that answer to the UK Parliament.

Yes-ish.  The Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly are new, introduced in the last 10 years if I remember
rightly (time flies so it may have been longer).  The Northern Ireland Assembly has been coming and going for
many years, as The Troubles have waxed and waned, sometimes making it impossible to operate.  I wouldn't say
the other institutions "answer to" the Westminster parliament, but they were granted powers by it and can do
what they like with them within those limits.  Scotland has *always* had a different legal system,
incidentally, for example it has three verdicts in criminal trials: Guilty, Not Guilty, and Not Proven (some
say this is "Not Guilty but don't do it again"! :-)

> Bizarrely, England does not have it's own parliament, and thus, the affairs of England are
> dictated by the powers of the whole UK, and there is no forum for just the English.

Indeed, something of a bone of contention with some people, me included!

> Now, to confuse things further, Scotland has it's own currency! You get
> "Scottish Pounds" and also the currency issued by the "Bank of England"
> which I hesitate to call English pounds...!!!

There are 4 issuers of banknotes (and coins) in the UK: The Bank of England, The Bank of Scotland, The Royal
Bank of Scotland, and the Clydesdale bank.  They all have the same value, and you can usually get shops in the
other countries to accept them, but strictly Bank of England notes are legal tender in England and Wales, and
the other three in Scotland.  The coins are all the same size and weight so will work in coin-operated
machines anywhere, but note-acceptors will only take the "right" ones.  I've never seen a note-acceptor
machine in Scotland so I have no idea if they accept all three varieties!

> In another twist, the ISO code for the United Kingdom is "GB". This is
> not used as the top level country domain name, but UK is used instead.

Yes, the country-plates on cars have GB but it's not used much elsewhere.  UK is logically more correct anyway
(because GB is an abbreviation for only part of the UK).

> Heaven forbid, it gets worse... dum dum dum!! The Channel Islands and
> the Isle of Man!!!

Never been to the CIs, but the Isle of Man is lovely!  They have their own parliament, the Tynwald, from
"Thing Wallr" (sp?), a norse term for "Open Field", where it used to meet.  No speed limits, a slow pace of
life except when the motorcycle races are taking place, a tax-haven if you can prove that you have enough
money to go and live there (Channel Islands are similar but with better weather).  They use Pounds Stirling
the same as us, but they have their own notes and coins.  They (like Canada, New Zealand, Australia) have the
same Queen as us, but their own government.

> These are independant countries (actually Bailiwicks, but I don't
> understand that). They are protected by the UK, but are not governed by
> it. They each have their own currencies, and governments. Even more
> strange, the UK is part of the EU, but not these three "Crown
> Dependencies". To confound things even further, the governments in these
> micro-nations issue British Passports!

It's only confusing because they are close - think of the others I mentioned that are further away and it is a
little clearer.  I'm not sure if you're right about passports - mine now says "European Community" at the top
above "United Kingdom..." and I'm sure Manx ones don't, but I don't know the details beyond that.

> So, Howard, tell me... what country are you from?

England.  In increasingly-small resolution: The county of Hertfordshire, the district of St.Albans
(there's also the City of St.Albans but I'm outside that), the village of Park Street.  The latter name
derives from the Roman Road "Watling Street" which runs through it, by the way.

> Once you figure that out, tell me, why is your passport representative
> of your country?

Because it covers people from "Great Britain", the island on which England is situated.

> Now, once you figure all that out, tell me why I, as a Canadian Citizen,
> am not also a British Citizen given that we both have the Queen as our
> head of state?

Because you are a Canadian Citizen!  :-)  The Queen is nominally head of state of a number of countries (she
nearly made it to "Empress of India" but we gave that back half a dozen years before she was crowned), but in
fact she has no say in the running of any of them.  She theoretically has Royal Prerogative to approve or
reject any laws, but she has never officially disagreed with parliament because it would probably result in
the fall of the monarchy.

Anyway, this is quite long enough and all but the most stolid will have given up reading several paragraphs
ago...

Cheers,

Howard Winter, Englishman



2006\03\29@010211 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
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> Maybe some will find this easy, but without googling it, where is
> the only
> royal palace on american soil (US)?

I'd guess S_ _ _ _ .
(More usually A_ _ _ _ _ _ _ S _ _ _ _.)



     RM

2006\03\29@010212 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
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> But maybe the person knew enough German to know that the German word
> "Amerika" usually does mean the continent? :)

Apropos of not much:

  What was the name of Adolph Hitler's private train?

:-)



       RM

2006\03\29@015035 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> In English - how do you (politely)  refer to someone who is a citizen
> of the USA since "American" is incorrect?

Dunno for UK, but in my country (Netherlands) there is simply no such
word. You can refer to the USA as "verenigde staten", but "amerikaan" is
ambiguous, either a USA citizen or resident, or someone from the
continent (or from the two continents). I think "amerikaan" means "USA
person" more often than not, but the ambiguity is always present.

Wouter van Ooijen

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consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\03\29@070840 by olin piclist

face picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
> "Christopher Columbus discovered America."
>
> The actual landing was in Cuba, wasn't it?

There is some disagreement exactly which island Columbus first landed on,
but I don't think any serious scientist is arguing it was Cuba.  Top
contenders are San Salvador and Samana Kay if I remember right.


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2006\03\29@071746 by olin piclist

face picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
> Is there a German word that DOES mean "someone from the USA" ?

Despite Gerhards insistance to the contrary, that's how "Amerikaner" is
generally understood.  I think Gerhard is confusing the way things should be
technically or the way he would like them to be with the way they really are
based on common usage.

>From Gerhard's many posts on political issues, you can see he has a clear
attitude against the US.  Everything we do here is stupid, wrong, self
centered, and arrogant.  He may be right on some counts and is entitled to
his opinion, but I'm getting real tired of hearing it all the time.


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2006\03\29@072406 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Rolf wrote:

> I can not think of any instance where America or American would be used
> except to refer to the USA (unless you are American, it appears).

I can think of many such instances. In fact, I live amongst people who
consider themselves "americanos" without ever having been US citizens.

> George Bush is always referring to the "American Way", "American
> Soldiers", "American Freedoms", etc. He believes that America is the USA

I'm not sure about GWB's relevance for what people outside the USA believe.
But at least /some/ inside the USA seem to have a different view...
http://tinyurl.com/lva5h

> People very seldom (never - at least not in Africa, Europe, and Canada)
> refer to the combined North and South American continents as "America".

I'm glad you enlightened me about how to properly use my mother tongue. Now
all that remains is that you convince the rest of the 82M Germans :)

Rest assured that (in German) "Amerika" as geographical location is usually
considered to be the whole shebang, including North America and South
America (which in German geography normally are considered sub-continents
of one continent).

This notwithstanding the fact that most Germans (and others) by now have
understood that for some time citizens of the USA themselves refer to them
as "Americans" and understand (and don't object to) that meaning, and in
many cases adopted this second meaning of "America" (or "Amerika") for
their own use.

But there is also the possibly not insignificant population of Latin
America, which in their majority refer to themselves as "americanos" (with
the understanding of "America" being the continent), just as the citizens
of the USA refer to themselves as "Americans" (with the understanding of
"America" being the "United States of America"). Now who's to say who's
wrong? The majority? Latin America: 560M. USA+Canada: 330M.

(This also notwithstanding the fact that "americano" /may/ be used as
shorthand for "citizen of the USA" or similar in most or all of Latin
America.)

> They *may* be referred to as "The Americas", but would more normally be
> referred to as "North and South America".

Not in German, at least. There's no German plural equivalent to "The
Americas". In German, that would be "der amerikanische Kontinent."

> There really is no alternative understanding of the common use of
> "America"

And here you are factually wrong. There are other understandings. I've
posted enough links. It seems to me that you posted your own (limited)
experience, without doing much, if any, research about what other people
think is common. And one person doesn't, by definition, define what's
common.

Gerhard

2006\03\29@073107 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

> Huh.  Well, that explains some of the confusion.  I'm glad I asked
> the question!  In geography as taught in the US, they're definitely
> considered two continents.  They're on two separate continental
> plates, even, which I thought was significant (but doesn't explain
> the Europe/Asia separation.)

One of the sources I looked up (in Wikipedia) talked about three tectonic
areas in the Americas. Which would make the (in the USA) common separation
into two continents just as arbitrary as looking at it as one continent,
tectonically at least.

There doesn't seem to be a clear definition of what constitutes a
continent. This has some strong historical content, and in this respect it
may make sense to look at the Americas as one continent. In the early
phases of the European discovery of the region it simply looked like one
continent between Europe/Africa and Asia. From a navigator's POV, at least.

> In any case, it seems a bit Naive to talk about "walking from one to
> another."  

It's been a project, since 1923:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panamerican_Highway (when "America" was still
considered to mean the continent :)

> There seems to have been more traffic between eurasia (russia) and North
> America over the ice than between Africa and Europe...

Any sources? That would surprise me.

Gerhard

2006\03\29@073944 by olin piclist

face picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:
> What was the name of Adolph Hitler's private train?

Mein Zug.

(Sorry, couldn't resist ;-) )

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2006\03\29@074405 by PY2NI TERRA

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   According to a site (googled) it was in 12th october 1492 - San Salvador Island (Bahamas), thinking he was reached  the INDIAS.

Horta


{Original Message removed}

2006\03\29@081118 by olin piclist

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> There seems to have been more traffic between eurasia (russia) and
>> North America over the ice than between Africa and Europe...
>
> Any sources? That would surprise me.

The strong consensus among archeologists is that the original people got
here by migrating from Asia accross the Bering Straight.  This has been
substantiated by DNA, cultural, and to a smaller extent liguistic evidence,
although some serious scholars do disagree.

The really interesting thing is that there's pretty good evidence (but not
overwhelming consensus) that this didn't happen just once, but two and
possibly three distinct times.  There is much disagreement over when these
migration(s) took place with various proponents arguing 12K to 25K years
ago.  There are also some that argue as early as 50K years ago, but peer
support for those ideas is rather weak.

When I was in elementary school, the standard answer was one migration about
12K years ago, but that seems to be the minority view currently.  It's
really interesting to watch this as more evidence is found and established
theories are toppled and agruments go back and forth.


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2006\03\29@081238 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
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> Russell McMahon wrote:
>> What was the name of Adolph Hitler's private train?

> Mein Zug.

> (Sorry, couldn't resist ;-) )


Amerika.


       RM

2006\03\29@083402 by Peiserma

flavicon
face
piclist-bounces@mit.edu wrote:
>> But no matter how you interpret the geographic distinction, if you're
>> from Canada, you'd refer to yourself as "Kanadier" and not
>> "Amerikaner"
>
> Depends on the context, I'd say. If answering a question
> related to geography ("Ich bin Europäer, und du?"), IMO a
> Canadian could very well, in correct usage of German, answer
> "Ich bin Amerikaner." If he wants to both answer the
> geographic question and make a distinction, he could say "Ich
> bin ein Amerikaner aus Kanada."

I understand your point, but I still disagree with you. And I still say the teacher was wrong. Let me illustrate by taking your interpretation. Pretend you live in Brazil :) Could you correctly say that you are an American? Yes from your point, but I'd say that was misleading at best.

Maybe in Europe some people intrepret "Amerika" as the whole North and South American continent, but none that I met while traveling. And I speak German without an accent (was born there), so it wasn't the language giving me away. People understood Amerika to mean the USA, not Canada, Brazil, or Argentina.

This thread was an interesting discussion, but that's definitely enough on this topic for me.

2006\03\29@085329 by Jinx

face picon face
> Pretend you live in Brazil :) Could you correctly say that you are
> an American? Yes from your point

A German could say that generally they are European, but specifically
German. I don't see how a Canadian (not Canadan ?) could honestly
say they are, or could be called, American. Unless you accept that the
land from Cape Horn north past the Arctic Circle is "America". But
Canada is separate country surely ? It just happens to be on the same
land mass as the US

2006\03\29@094341 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Maybe in Europe some people intrepret "Amerika" as the whole
> North and South American continent, but none that I met while
> traveling.

You must have missed me. And most of my relatives.

But note that for most people I know 'america' has multiple meanings. I
it very probably that when one of them is talking to you *and suspects
that you are from the USA* he will automatically default to the 'from
the usa' meaning.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2006\03\29@095106 by Peiserma

flavicon
face
piclist-bounces@mit.edu wrote:
>> Pretend you live in Brazil :) Could you correctly say that you are an
>> American? Yes from your point
>
> A German could say that generally they are European, but
> specifically German. I don't see how a Canadian (not Canadan
> ?) could honestly say they are, or could be called, American.
> Unless you accept that the land from Cape Horn north past the
> Arctic Circle is "America". But Canada is separate country
> surely ? It just happens to be on the same land mass as the US

Despite having said I was done:

I agree, it seems we have only one dissenter. And just out of morbid
curiosity, I've asked some of my German contacts this very question. May
not get responses until tomorrow due to time zones. But FWIW one German
ex-pat I asked says the phrase in question is definitely interpreted as
being from the USA. Person lived in Germany from birth until age 40-ish
before relocating across the pond, so it seems to have been interpreted
this way for some time.

I've spent way too much time on this (but am still curious what those
contacts who have never lived anywhere except in Deutschland say
tomorrow)

2006\03\29@095555 by David VanHorn

picon face
I bet THAT train ran on time!

2006\03\29@095920 by Dave Lag

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Russell McMahon wrote:
>
>>What was the name of Adolph Hitler's private train?
>
> Mein Zug.
>
> (Sorry, couldn't resist ;-) )

Scurries off to the internet...

german.about.com/library/definitions/bldef_04_0913.htm
German Word of the Day
Mein Zug fährt von Gleis 4 (vier) ab.
My train departs from track/platform 4 (four).

ahhh... clever
in a Fawlty Towers "don't mention the war" kinda way...
:)

2006\03\29@101502 by William Killian

flavicon
face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: spam_OUTpiclist-bouncesRemoveMEspamEraseMEmit.edu [TakeThisOuTpiclist-bouncesRemoveMEspam@spam@mit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of David VanHorn
> Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 6:20 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> >
> > Off the top of my head I can only think of Ceasar's Palace, but
surely
> > that doesn't count, as he was an emperor so it would be Imperial
rather
> than
> > Royal.  And anyway, it's just the name of a casino...
>
>
> Nope, not a phony, an actual royal palace what held a reigning king
and
> queen, and NOT by any proxy, I mean their very own royal tushies on
the
> throne.

The one I know of had a Queen at the end.  I fear I don't know if it was
matriarchal and that was normal or just like in the UK now it was less
common.  





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2006\03\29@102419 by William Killian

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: spampiclist-bounces.....spamspammit.edu [piclist-bouncesspam_OUTspam@spam@mit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Rich Graziano
> Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 9:56 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> Venezuela is planning to build an oil refinery in Cuba with the intent
of
> exporting gasoline to the U.S.A.  A firm schedule has not yet been
> completed.  If that constitutes and invasion, I need to rethimk my
lernin.
> However, it will be interesting to see how that plays out and perhaps
> discover just what IS meant by invasion.  Venezuela's official
position is
> to assume the prior role of Cuba in exporting communism to the
"Americas."
> The fuel sales to the U.S. will be of strategic importance in that
> endeavor.
> If there are commerce restrictions regarding Cuba, this may change
some
> thinking.

Hugo Chavez and Venezuela are not communist. So them exporting
communisism is akin to the United States exporting ... oh better not say
that ...  

There are ridiculously extreme restrictions on imports from Cuba into
the US.




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2006\03\29@111508 by William Killian

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: piclist-bouncesKILLspamspamEraseMEmit.edu [EraseMEpiclist-bounces@spam@spam@spam@mit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Richard Prosser
> Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 10:43 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> OK,
> In English - how do you (politely)  refer to someone who is a citizen
> of the USA since "American" is incorrect?
>
> A "USAan" just doesn't sound right.
>
> RP

The easiest is to use the term American.  But with the knowledge that in
another context American can also mean of or from the continent.

Using the same word where the meaning is contextual is well common.
Fighting over it is silly.



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2006\03\29@112300 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Rich Graziano wrote:

> I wonder if borders are less important in today's rapid transit military
> than they were in the past. Modern warfare, in a  manner of speaking, brings
> along borders with the invasion.

I think you are right, militarily speaking. But they haven't lost their
significance: Iraq tried to invade Kuweit, not Venezuela :)

OTOH, land borders still are important. Much of the illegal immigration
into most countries happens along land borders. Land borders constitute
"neighborship" (not really clearly defined, but I think there's /something/
:).

Gerhard

2006\03\29@113649 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Danny Sauer wrote:

>> None of the two is related to Cuba trying to invade the USA.
>
> But they're reasons for Cuba to be annoyed with the USA, right?

Maybe... a Cuban would have to answer that. If I were Cuban, I'd be glad
that the missile crisis went as it did (with the result of not stationing
the missiles). It's not a good feeling to be launchpad of a major nuclear
power: you have nothing to gain, and much to loose.

Regarding the Bay of Pigs incident, I'm not sure. Of course it's not nice
to know that one of the countries in your neighborhood supports people who
want to invade your country. OTOH, the attempt didn't succeed and it seems
it was pretty lame for the USA.

I think the embargo is the major annoyance. It's almost as if the various
governments of the USA had a secret pact with Castro to keep him in power
as long as possible, kind of as a "see how bad Communism is" case, to keep
the obsession alive. Without the embargo, I think it's likely that he'd be
gone by now...

> They've sent troops farther than the sub-90 miles it'd take to the USA

Definitely. But Cuba never sent troops strong enough to invade any country
(and haven't done so). They have taken sides in civil wars (or
revolutions), but not really invaded any country.

> It's conceivable, though it'd be incredibly surprising/stupid/etc... :)

I agree, except for the "conceivable" part :)  

Gerhard

2006\03\29@122634 by William Killian

flavicon
face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesRemoveMEspamEraseMEmit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesKILLspamspamRemoveMEmit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Olin Lathrop
> Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 8:12 AM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> >> There seems to have been more traffic between eurasia (russia) and
> >> North America over the ice than between Africa and Europe...
> >
> > Any sources? That would surprise me.
>
> The strong consensus among archeologists is that the original people
got
> here by migrating from Asia accross the Bering Straight.  This has
been
> substantiated by DNA, cultural, and to a smaller extent liguistic
> evidence,
> although some serious scholars do disagree.
>
> The really interesting thing is that there's pretty good evidence (but
not
> overwhelming consensus) that this didn't happen just once, but two and
> possibly three distinct times.  There is much disagreement over when
these
> migration(s) took place with various proponents arguing 12K to 25K
years
> ago.  There are also some that argue as early as 50K years ago, but
peer
> support for those ideas is rather weak.
>
> When I was in elementary school, the standard answer was one migration
> about
> 12K years ago, but that seems to be the minority view currently.  It's
> really interesting to watch this as more evidence is found and
established
> theories are toppled and agruments go back and forth.

That covers everyone but the Anastazi

There are some that like the native people of Japan have some traits
more akin to the Caucasian race than the mongoloid race.



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2006\03\29@122744 by olin piclist

face picon face
Dave Lag wrote:
>> Mein Zug.
>>
>> (Sorry, couldn't resist ;-) )
>
> Scurries off to the internet...
>
> german.about.com/library/definitions/bldef_04_0913.htm
> German Word of the Day
> Mein Zug fährt von Gleis 4 (vier) ab.
> My train departs from track/platform 4 (four).
>
> ahhh... clever
> in a Fawlty Towers "don't mention the war" kinda way...
> :)

It was meant to be joke in naming the train "my train", but also a vague
reference to the name of his book.


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consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\03\29@122926 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

> Is there a German word that DOES mean "someone from the USA" ?

Not a single word, and there really can't be, not in German and not in
English, due to a lapse of the Founding Fathers. They missed out on the
fact that a country needs a catchy name, and "United States of America" is
not catchy. Now something similar goes for most countries (like
"Bundesrepublik Deutschland"), but most other countries have a short form
that is unique to the country ("Deutschland") and doesn't use the name of a
whole continent that it shares with other countries. The USA don't have
such a short form, which lead to the adoption of "America" as short form
for "USA", with the already extensively discussed ambiguity problems.

Since that oversight of the Founding Fathers is not correctible (at least
it's not realistic to expect that there will be a change in the country
name of the USA), and "citizen of the United States of America" or "Bürger
der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika" is just too long for everyday use,
we're all stuck with "American" or "Amerikaner" as short form -- with the
extensively discussed ambiguity.

I've never wanted to say that this meaning is wrong -- but it is not the
only one, and when using it outside of Canada and the USA (and probably
also inside) one should probably be aware of this ambiguity.


Herbert Graf wrote:

>>> Even watching news on one of the German TV networks it's clear that the
>>> common use of the word "Amerika" means the US.

Let's make that "one common use". When the context clearly excludes the
meaning of the continent, it is generally understood to mean the country
USA. But the other use is still alive and well -- just not that common in
the news. Watching the news doesn't give you a broad view on language as a
whole.

>> This common practice does not mean it is correct.
>
> True, to a point. However, when a "new" meaning of a word becomes so
> commonplace that the "old" meaning is no longer remembered, at what
> point does the "new" meaning take precedence?

For me, there are two issues with this.

One is that I think the "old" meaning is alive and well, for example in
"United States of America". The ambiguity is also extensively commented on
in various current encyclopedias. So to say the old meaning is not
remembered anymore may be true in the sense that inside the USA few people
ever thought about this, but once you read what e.g. Wikipedia has to say
about it, it becomes obvious that "America" can mean more or other things
than "the USA".

The other is that it's not one or the other, it is that both are being
used. Just because one became more common than the other inside the USA
(and in some contexts elsewhere) doesn't mean the other meaning is out of
the world. And fact seems to be that most Latin Americans consider
themselves "americanos", and consider the whole continent to be "América".
Which to me means that when you put yourself into an international setting,
you should be aware of the ambiguity.

When I started this discussion with a simple question, the issue was not
that "America means USA" is wrong, but that "America means the whole
continent" is being used, too, and that the assumption that it always means
the first is wrong.

> All I'm saying is these days, if you say "America", very few people that
> I've encountered will assume that means something other then the US. In
> fact, until this thread I didn't even know there ARE some people out
> there that consider the meaning of "America" differently.

How's your Spanish? How many people from Latin America did you talk to
about this? After all, people with Spanish or Portuguese as main language
make up almost 2/3 of the inhabitants of the Americas, so their use of
these terms is probably not insignificant.

Gerhard

2006\03\29@122957 by William Killian

flavicon
face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesKILLspamspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu [EraseMEpiclist-bounces.....spamKILLspammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Jinx
> Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 8:54 AM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
{Quote hidden}

Canada is those old American colonies of the British Empire that chose
not to separate in 1776.  Plus Quebec.

Yup, they were called the American colonies.  So the older precedent is
that those from Nova Scotia are as American as those from Virginia.



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2006\03\29@124038 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Howard Winter wrote:

>> Howard, perhaps you can settle something for me....
>
> Probably not, but I'll have a go...

And you did quite well, at least for me :)

As always, if one knows (or knew) a little history, things start to make a
lot more sense. Which adds to the answers to the question "why know all
this stuff?": so that other stuff that's related to it makes sense.

Gerhard

2006\03\29@124232 by William Killian

flavicon
face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: piclist-bouncesSTOPspamspammit.edu [piclist-bouncesSTOPspamspamKILLspammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Howard Winter
> Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 12:34 AM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
[...]
> There are 4 issuers of banknotes (and coins) in the UK: The Bank of
> England, The Bank of Scotland, The Royal
> Bank of Scotland, and the Clydesdale bank.  They all have the same
value,
> and you can usually get shops in the
> other countries to accept them, but strictly Bank of England notes are
> legal tender in England and Wales, and
> the other three in Scotland.  The coins are all the same size and
weight
> so will work in coin-operated
> machines anywhere, but note-acceptors will only take the "right" ones.
> I've never seen a note-acceptor
> machine in Scotland so I have no idea if they accept all three
varieties!

I'll see if I can get an answer some time.  By coincidence I've just
started a project where I will be working closely with a Scottish
company that does work with (among other things) bill validators as they
are often called here or note acceptors as you termed it.



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2006\03\29@125135 by Dave Lag

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Yes, got that, hence my reference.

Dave- whose college film class instructor thought it important for the
class to sit though the entire "Triumph of the Will"

2006\03\29@125205 by William Killian

flavicon
face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: spampiclist-bounces.....spam.....mit.edu [piclist-bounces.....spammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Gerhard Fiedler
> Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 12:29 PM
> To: KILLspampiclistspam_OUTspammit.edu
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> William ChopsWestfield wrote:
>
> > Is there a German word that DOES mean "someone from the USA" ?
>
> Not a single word, and there really can't be, not in German and not in
> English, due to a lapse of the Founding Fathers. They missed out on
the
> fact that a country needs a catchy name, and "United States of
America" is
> not catchy. Now something similar goes for most countries (like
> "Bundesrepublik Deutschland"), but most other countries have a short
form
> that is unique to the country ("Deutschland") and doesn't use the name
of
> a
> whole continent that it shares with other countries. The USA don't
have
> such a short form, which lead to the adoption of "America" as short
form
> for "USA", with the already extensively discussed ambiguity problems.

Oh but it makes for a truly amazing (irritating?) chant at the Olympics
and elsewhere...

U S A    U S A    ....

It gets old for some of us here too.

> I've never wanted to say that this meaning is wrong -- but it is not
the
> only one, and when using it outside of Canada and the USA (and
probably
> also inside) one should probably be aware of this ambiguity.

That is my view of the discussion.

> When I started this discussion with a simple question, the issue was
not
> that "America means USA" is wrong, but that "America means the whole
> continent" is being used, too, and that the assumption that it always
> means
> the first is wrong.

Hence we have both the USA (United States of America) and the OAS
(Organization of American States) which both relate to a different
"America".  

We also have the Pan-American games - effectively an Olympics for the
Western Hemisphere.

These are cases that should be well known in the US of America referring
to the 'super' continent not one of two 'sub' continents.

America as "just us dangit" is not a universal usage here in the US.



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2006\03\29@125657 by olin piclist

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Now something similar goes for most countries (like
> "Bundesrepublik Deutschland"), but most other countries have a short
> form that is unique to the country ("Deutschland") and doesn't use the
> name of a whole continent that it shares with other countries.

So its a good thing that there was never another country with a name like,
let's say, "Deutsche Demokratische Republik", that might have made the term
"Deutschland" ambiguous.


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consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\03\29@125824 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 01:36 PM 3/29/2006 -0300, you wrote:
>Danny Sauer wrote:
>
> > It's conceivable, though it'd be incredibly surprising/stupid/etc... :)
>
>I agree, except for the "conceivable" part :)
>
>Gerhard

If some entity in the US wanted to pick a real fight with Cuba, a credible
threat would likely be necessary.

One possibility would be to claim a biological weapon capability*, since
Cuba has
a well developed pharmaceutical capability (including invention of some new
vaccines, IIRC) Incidentally, the Cubans have protested to the UN of the US
covertly using biological means to harm their agriculture (in 1996, and at
other times). It's certainly plausible.

The US Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan in 1962 to falsely
accuse Cuba of terrorism by faking a US passenger plane being shot down by
a Cuban MIG or a ship being attacked (by actually attacking it themselves
in a "false flag" operation and blaming it on the Cubans), but it was never
implemented.

"casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national
indignation"

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/doc1.pdf

One can only wonder at what stuff was so bad that it would have been rejected
at lower levels than the Joint Chiefs of Staff... or what might be aimed at
Hugo Chavez these days.

* yes, neo-con Bolton and now US ambassador to the UN has already done this.

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
.....speff.....spamRemoveMEinterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com




2006\03\29@130115 by Danny Sauer

flavicon
face
Gerhard wrote regarding 'Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)' on Wed, Mar 29 at 10:55:
> Danny Sauer wrote:
> > It's conceivable, though it'd be incredibly surprising/stupid/etc... :)
>
> I agree, except for the "conceivable" part :)  

I managed to concive it... ;)

BTW, I wonder we've managed to change James' list of "longest threads"
yet.

--Danny, building a bomb shelter this weekend, just in case the Cuban
invasion force makes it all the way to central Illinois

2006\03\29@130942 by John Pfaff

picon face
I may have missed some of this thread.  If this has been brought up
before I apologize.

If the "United Mexican States" or "United States of Mexico" (Estados
Unidos Mexicanos in Spanish - that's the official name - look it up) can
be shortened to "Mexico," why can't the "United States of America" be
shortened to "America"?  Looks the analogous to me.

William Killian wrote:

>  
>
>>{Original Message removed}

2006\03\29@134905 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> If the "United Mexican States" or "United States of Mexico" (Estados
> Unidos Mexicanos in Spanish - that's the official name - look
> it up) can
> be shortened to "Mexico," why can't the "United States of America" be
> shortened to "America"?  Looks the analogous to me.

It can, and is done, but it produces a name clash with the continent (or
super-continent). Such things happen all the time in language dynamics.

I used to work for a company ICT: Industrical Computer Technics. Slowly,
over a periode of 20 years, the term ICT got a different and very firm
meaning in my country: Information and Communication Technology. Hence
the company can no longer use its old full name, it is now ICT
automation.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\03\29@142912 by William Killian

flavicon
face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: spam_OUTpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspamEraseMEmit.edu [EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspamBeGonespamKILLspammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of John Pfaff
> Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 1:10 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> I may have missed some of this thread.  If this has been brought up
> before I apologize.
>
> If the "United Mexican States" or "United States of Mexico" (Estados
> Unidos Mexicanos in Spanish - that's the official name - look it up)
can
> be shortened to "Mexico," why can't the "United States of America" be
> shortened to "America"?  Looks the analogous to me.

<sigh>  And looks are deceiving.  America referred to more South America
almost two hundred years before the USA existed.

As I recall the term Mexicans use for us Gringos is or was 'Norte
Americano'.  Not just Americano.

We as a country do not really have a good name.  At the time of the
confederation that was okay as it really was just an alliance of
Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, et al.

There were Virginians, Pennsylvanians, et al.  They weren't really part
of a bigger country much more than we are part of a bigger country with
NATO or the UN.

But when that confederation failed and was replaced by the federation we
were sorta stuck with the name.

The Estados Unidos de Mexico did use the template of our name but
properly named themselves with a name that had been in use for their
whole country.

We just never had one for the British American colonies.  But it's
arrogant of us to take away the word for all of us on the western
hemisphere continent[s] and say it is our alone.



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2006\03\29@143414 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Olin,

On Wed, 29 Mar 2006 12:58:15 -0500, Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> > Now something similar goes for most countries (like
> > "Bundesrepublik Deutschland"), but most other countries have a short
> > form that is unique to the country ("Deutschland") and doesn't use the
> > name of a whole continent that it shares with other countries.
>
> So its a good thing that there was never another country with a name like,
> let's say, "Deutsche Demokratische Republik", that might have made the term
> "Deutschland" ambiguous.

ROFL!  In 1977 I was the driver when four of us drove to Warsaw (serious Iron Curtain time - this was even
before "Solidarity" was formed).  We had to drive through East Germany, of course, and at one border crossing
my sister, who was the linguist among us, couldn't remember which one "DDR" was to answer to a question, so
she asked: "Ost?" and the border guard was less then amused...  luckily I think that was a national holiday
for the STASI, so he let us through.  Interesting trip - I can easily fill an evening with stories about it!
:-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\03\29@165358 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>>> There seems to have been more traffic between eurasia (russia) and
>>> North America over the ice than between Africa and Europe...
>>
>> Any sources? That would surprise me.
>
> The strong consensus among archeologists is that the original people got
> here by migrating from Asia accross the Bering Straight.  This has been
> substantiated by DNA, cultural, and to a smaller extent liguistic evidence,
> although some serious scholars do disagree.

I've read that also, and have no reason to doubt it. My question was not
about whether there was traffic across the Bering Straight, but whether
that traffic was more than the traffic between Africa and Europe, which, if
I'm not mistaken, was substantial. Ever since the Phoenicians dominated the
Mediterranean Sea, there was lots of traffic between Africa and Europe;
from what I have read, more than between Alaska and Siberia.

> There is much disagreement over when these migration(s) took place with
> various proponents arguing 12K to 25K years ago.  

Of course, if you want to go that far back, when there probably were few
regular ship builders around, it's not surprising that there was little
traffic between Africa and Europe: they don't share a land border, not even
a "firm" border during the glacial ages like Alaska and Siberia.

Gerhard

2006\03\29@171639 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face

On Wed, 2006-03-29 at 14:29 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
> For me, there are two issues with this.
>
> One is that I think the "old" meaning is alive and well, for example in
> "United States of America". The ambiguity is also extensively commented on
> in various current encyclopedias. So to say the old meaning is not
> remembered anymore may be true in the sense that inside the USA few people
> ever thought about this, but once you read what e.g. Wikipedia has to say
> about it, it becomes obvious that "America" can mean more or other things
> than "the USA".
>
> The other is that it's not one or the other, it is that both are being
> used. Just because one became more common than the other inside the USA
> (and in some contexts elsewhere) doesn't mean the other meaning is out of
> the world. And fact seems to be that most Latin Americans consider
> themselves "americanos", and consider the whole continent to be "América".
> Which to me means that when you put yourself into an international setting,
> you should be aware of the ambiguity.

Well, let me throw one other issue into this:

To some people living in the American continents but not in the US, if
you were to say "you're an American" to them, they'd actually be
insulted.

Heck, even some of my fellow Canadians would feel slighted if you were
to call them American (not me personally, but there are many out there
that would quickly correct you if you were to call them American).

For this reason alone I would avoid the use of "American" in cases where
the person is not of the US and restrict it's use to only mean someone
of the US.

I'd personally recommend that if you want to refer to someone based on
their continent you use "North America/Central America/South America",
it's the safest course IMHO.

TTYL

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2006\03\29@171942 by Rich Graziano

picon face
Yes, You have a valid point there.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerhard Fiedler" <@spam@listsspamspamconnectionbrazil.com>
To: <TakeThisOuTpiclistKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 11:22 AM
Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)


{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\03\29@172458 by Rich Graziano

picon face
Many strange things are considered because it is a brainstorming session;
nothing, no matter how harebrained, is excluded.  But the accepted plan has
to be watertight.  Brain storming sessions are becoming more and more a part
of military planning than in 1962.

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\29@175627 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
peiserma@ridgid.com wrote:

> I agree, it seems we have only one dissenter. And just out of morbid
> curiosity, I've asked some of my German contacts this very question. May
> not get responses until tomorrow due to time zones. But FWIW one German
> ex-pat I asked says the phrase in question is definitely interpreted as
> being from the USA.

I don't disagree with that ex-pat, and never have. The only point I was
trying to make is that the term is ambiguous, and that what it means
depends on the context. And that IMO it would be nice from an American to
be aware of that. (But then, nobody has to be nice, and nobody has a right
to be treated nicely :)

The original post of mine that brought this all up was referring to the
post of a Brazilian list member. And for all I know, in Latin America the
use is more ambiguous (that is, the "continent meaning" more frequent) than
elsewhere.

Just to refresh some memories... the original phrase was posted by Padu and
goes like this: "I remember that when I was in middle school, we had to
memorize all the capitals of the main countries in the world, and ALL
capitals of America."

Two US members of this list immediately interpreted "ALL capitals of
America" to mean "all capitals of the states of the USA", whereas the
meaning "all capitals of the countries of the Americas" is quite possible,
is more logical in the context (once you accept the ambiguity, this is IMO
obvious), and was in fact the intended meaning.

I meant to make some people aware of this cultural difference. It exists,
period. (I'm not the only one who thinks that -- there are several pages in
the Wikipedia that talk about this ambiguity.) What people do with this --
ignore it, fight it, integrate it -- is not really my business.

Gerhard

2006\03\29@180342 by William Killian

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{Quote hidden}

Would they?  Are you sure context isn't important?

I can understand the context of South and Central Americans upset with the perceived bullying from the US but do they actually take exception to that English phrase?

My Spanish is weak but are both "Usted esta Americano" and "Usted es Americano" both offensive?  Or are both even meaningful?  Or how about "Tu estas Americano" or "Tu eres Americano"?

Be careful about projections of your interpretation of the words and imprecise translations.

I mentioned I'm used to Norte-Americano used for "US" American in Mexico but how that applies to Canadians I'm not sure.

Would a Chilean participant in the Pan-American games be upset if you told him that yes he is American and able to participate because he isn't African?



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2006\03\29@180452 by Gerhard Fiedler

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John Pfaff wrote:

> If the "United Mexican States" or "United States of Mexico" (Estados
> Unidos Mexicanos in Spanish - that's the official name - look it up) can
> be shortened to "Mexico," why can't the "United States of America" be
> shortened to "America"?  Looks the analogous to me.

I'm really surprised how it can be that one thinks that anybody has argued
against the use of "American" as short form for "citizen of the USA" or
against the use of "America" short for "United States of America".

The point was and is that "America" has multiple meanings, and when using
it (or reading it), one should be aware of them and look at the context --
and not blindly assume it always is short for USA.

There is no similar ambiguity with Mexico, as there is not continent of
Mexico or something the like.

Gerhard

2006\03\29@181103 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> Now something similar goes for most countries (like "Bundesrepublik
>> Deutschland"), but most other countries have a short form that is
>> unique to the country ("Deutschland") and doesn't use the name of a
>> whole continent that it shares with other countries.
>
> So its a good thing that there was never another country with a name like,
> let's say, "Deutsche Demokratische Republik", that might have made the term
> "Deutschland" ambiguous.

I'm not sure why you say that there was never a country with the name
"Deutsche Demokratische Republik", because there actually was one. Somehow
you hit the nail on the head... At that time, during the existence of the
DDR, the term "Deutschland" (and Germany et al, and all derived words)
actually /was/ ambiguous. And almost everybody -- at least in the two
Deutschlands, but mostly in other places, too -- was aware of that.

At that time, Germans were not from "Deutschland", they generally were from
West-Deutschland or BRD or from Ost-Deutschland or DDR, unless the context
made it clear which one was meant.

Not that different from the use of "Amerika" today: the context is
important.

Gerhard

2006\03\29@182114 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> William Chops Westfield wrote:
>> Is there a German word that DOES mean "someone from the USA" ?
>
> Despite Gerhards insistance to the contrary, that's how "Amerikaner" is
> generally understood.  I think Gerhard is confusing the way things should be
> technically or the way he would like them to be with the way they really are
> based on common usage.

I'm not sure where you take that from. As I repeatedly said, yes, it is a
common use of the word, but that doesn't make it the only one. It depends
on the context, and there are contexts (in German, English and other
languages) where it is ambiguous. You probably didn't find it worth it to
follow any of the many links of current and not so current publications I
posted; if you had, you probably wouldn't confuse what you think I think
with what I took from collective works like the Wikipedia and other
sources.


> From Gerhard's many posts on political issues, you can see he has a clear
> attitude against the US. Everything we do here is stupid, wrong, self
> centered, and arrogant.  

That's /your/ view, not mine, and you're pretty darn wrong as far as I'm
concerned. Just because I don't agree with some things that some people do
or say (in the USA and elsewhere), this does not mean that I think that
"everything" (really everything?) is this or that. Not sure this is
relevant for you, but I have some good friends in the USA. Couldn't be if
what you think was correct, could it?

I think nobody who doesn't want to read harsh judgment into my posts would
read in them what you seem to read. So maybe it's you who want to read
that, independently of what's actually written. (The "we vs them" attitude
from your phrase above comes from you, not from me. It's you who positions
himself against me; I don't think I ever wrote anything about you in this
thread.)

To me, it seems you're the only one who thinks that I think that I wrote
about anybody being stupid, wrong, self centered and arrogant. If I really
transmitted this to a significant number of people, I'm sorry -- it wasn't
my intention. But I'd like to hear where I have to work on expressing
myself better; so please let me know where and how I did transmit that.


> I'm getting real tired of hearing it all the time.

Put me on your kill list? Or start to actually talk about what I write and
maybe what I mean, instead of just complaining about something taken out of
thin air?

Gerhard

2006\03\29@183452 by Jinx

face picon face
> There is no similar ambiguity with Mexico, as there is not continent
> of Mexico or something the like.

Nor Canada. I would never regard a Mexican or Canadian as an
American. American in the popular usage that is. If I met someone
with an "American" accent I might ask where in America they were
from, if it wasn't really obvious they were from a specific region in
the US (eg had Texan drawl). I might be told indignantly that the
person was from Canada. It happens with Australians and New
Zealanders too. Australia is the bigger and probably better known
country, and so that's the first guess. An accent may be identifiable
as being from the general area of the South Pacific but could be
flat enough to be from either country, so you'd have to ask

2006\03\29@192249 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William Killian wrote:

>> To some people living in the American continents but not in the US, if
>> you were to say "you're an American" to them, they'd actually be
>> insulted.
>
> Would they?  

Some probably would -- you always find one, and then another one to make up
"some", for almost anything :)


> Are you sure context isn't important? I can understand the context of
> South and Central Americans upset with the perceived bullying from the
> US but do they actually take exception to that English phrase?

As you say -- it depends on the context. The single, simple phrase without
any context would probably not insult, but then, such a phrase without
context practically doesn't exist.

Even with context, to feel insulted is probably rare, but conceivable. For
example, in a discussion amongst young Brazilian leftist anti-imperialist
idealists <g> about US hegemony in the Americas, one could say to another:
"You've already become an American, you don't count" (in Portuguese), and
the addressed might feel insulted, by both the disregard for his opinion
and by the fact that he's considered "Americanized".


[[BTW, would it be possible for you to configure your mail or news reader
so that it adds the References header when replying? Your messages don't
contain that header, which causes them to not appear in the correct
location in the thread. Not a big deal, just facilitates reading.]]

Gerhard

2006\03\29@193328 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Jinx wrote:

>> There is no similar ambiguity with Mexico, as there is not continent
>> of Mexico or something the like.
>
> Nor Canada. I would never regard a Mexican or Canadian as an
> American.

Maybe not you, but what if a Brazilian (or Mexican -- not sure how common
that is there) considers herself an American (and says something to that
effect)? You'd have to know what she's talking about to be able to
understand her.

That was the origin of this whole discussion: Padu wrote something about
"America", two US members of this list interpreted that without further
thought as "USA", while it was meant to be "the American continent" or "The
Americas".

Being aware of the fact that both interpretations are possible may help
reading some stuff. Which may be of more or less importance to some :)

Gerhard

2006\03\29@200201 by Jinx

face picon face
> Maybe not you, but what if a Brazilian (or Mexican -- not sure
> how common that is there) considers herself an American (and
> says something to that effect)? You'd have to know what she's
> talking about to be able to understand her

Well, IMHO, if anyone from Brazil or Paraguay or wherever calls
themselves an American then they're in a minute minority and are
just plain wrong. I could call myself a Pacific Islander, which is
correct-ish in extremely broad terms (if you're on the East Coast
of NZ I guess) but that term is reserved **in common usage**
for people from the islands outside NZ territorial waters, generally
to the north

2006\03\29@211142 by Herbert Graf

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face
On Wed, 2006-03-29 at 18:04 -0500, William Killian wrote:
> > To some people living in the American continents but not in the US, if
> > you were to say "you're an American" to them, they'd actually be
> > insulted.
>
> Would they?  Are you sure context isn't important?

Yes absolutely. In fact I personally know some people that would be
insulted if you called them American.

In Canada there is no ambiguity: American means "of the US", without
question.

Now, if you called them "North Americans", that they'd have zero problem
with.


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2006\03\29@212623 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Jinx wrote:

>> Maybe not you, but what if a Brazilian (or Mexican -- not sure how
>> common that is there) considers herself an American (and says something
>> to that effect)? You'd have to know what she's talking about to be able
>> to understand her
>
> Well, IMHO, if anyone from Brazil or Paraguay or wherever calls
> themselves an American then they're in a minute minority ...

560M Latin Americans calling themselves Americans are a minute minority of
what?

> ... and are just plain wrong.

Why's that? Do you have any commonly accepted resources?

For example the editors of the Wikipedia seem to agree that at least both
meanings are possible -- which would mean that these Latin Americans are
not wrong in calling themselves Americans, plain or not. There are a few
pages for which I've posted the links before that discuss this: America,
Americas, Use of the word American, among others. All these are just plain
wrong?

Then there are a few other common expressions, like "Organization of
American States". This is not, as one would think following your definition
of "American", an organization of the states of the USA, it is an
international organization of the countries in the Americas. The name of
that organization, to me at least, indicates once more that "American" may
mean "of the American continent".

> ... but that term is reserved **in common usage** ...

So who defines "common usage"?

Gerhard

2006\03\29@214623 by Jinx

face picon face

> > Well, IMHO, if anyone from Brazil or Paraguay or wherever calls
> > themselves an American then they're in a minute minority ...
>
> 560M Latin Americans calling themselves Americans are a minute
> minority of what?

Can you say with authority that 560M people not in the USA call
themselves American ? Names please

> > ... and are just plain wrong.
>
> Why's that? Do you have any commonly accepted resources?

I don't have to - IMHO -> my opinion. Someone from Brazil is
Brazilian, not American. IMHO, but it's common sense surely ?

Look, if people from Chile want to call themselves Americans, well,
go for it. But expect me to get confused and ask questions. One of
which would be, why do you not call yourself a Chilean ?

===== slight diversion starts =======

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the President his daily
briefing, and concludes by saying: "Sir, yesterday
3 Brazilian soldiers were killed by Iraqi rebels"

"Oh no", the President exclaims. "That's terrible"

His staff sit there, stunned at this display of
emotion, nervously watching as the President slumps,
head in hands. Finally the President looks up and
asks quietly ...

"How many is a Brazillion ?"

===== slight diversion ends =======

> plain or not. There are a few pages for which I've posted the links
> before that discuss this: America, Americas, Use of the word
> American, among others. All these are just plain wrong?

IMHO, yes. I've never heard anyone from south of Panama call
themselves or be called American. They may say South American
(eg "South American dictator...." very popular phrase in the 70s)
or specify their country. The USA is one country, called America

I wouldn't address a letter to "Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, America"

These semantics are getting ridiculous, and there can't be much hair
left to split. IMHO

> that organization, to me at least, indicates once more that "American"
> may mean "of the American continent"

Nothing wrong with the term "The Americas" to describe both North
and South America collectively

> > ... but that term is reserved **in common usage** ...
>
> So who defines "common usage"?

The populace surely. If a white New Zealander called themselves a
Pacific Islander they'd get strange looks

2006\03\29@224817 by Jinx

face picon face
Russian and two Americans blast off

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=1784381

2006\03\30@003239 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 29, 2006, at 1:53 PM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> My question was not about whether there was traffic across the
> Bering Straight, but whether that traffic was more than the
> traffic between Africa and Europe, which, if I'm not mistaken,
> was substantial. Ever since the Phoenicians dominated the
> Mediterranean Sea, there was lots of traffic between Africa
> and Europe ... more than between Alaska and Siberia.

I was basing the claim on the racial similarities of the Inuit
and siberian natives (whereas I didn't think there was much
african heritage to European natives) but I guess there's a
fallacy involved there (or several!)
That could be more related to a difficulty in TRAVELING BACK;
the difference between colonization and mere commerce...

BillW

2006\03\30@003902 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Mar 29, 2006, at 5:02 PM, Jinx wrote:

> if anyone from Brazil

Congrats to Brazil on their first Astronaut!

BillW

2006\03\30@014107 by Enrico Schuerrer

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Jinx" <RemoveMEjoecolquittspamspamSTOPspamclear.net.nz>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <.....piclistEraseMEspammit.edu>
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006 4:46 AM
Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)


> I wouldn't address a letter to "Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, America"
>
> These semantics are getting ridiculous, and there can't be much hair
> left to split. IMHO

Normally it is not necessary to specify the continent in a postal address.
During my times in the USA I have learned that in fact it is essential to
make clear that Austria is a country in Europe and not down under.

In fact Brazil is a little bit larger and has more inhabitants than most of
the European countries so I assume that it is not necessary to specify the
continent - or is there a second Brazil in the world?

regards

Enrico
--
Vienna, Austria, Europe, World

2006\03\30@030847 by Jinx

face picon face

> > I wouldn't address a letter to "Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, America"

> Normally it is not necessary to specify the continent in a postal address

If you put the above address on a letter I can guarantee some Post
Office dimwit(s) would be looking long and hard to find out which
state Brazil is in

2006\03\30@073543 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

> I was basing the claim on the racial similarities of the Inuit
> and siberian natives (whereas I didn't think there was much
> african heritage to European natives)

Actually, there is. For example Portuguese, Andalusians and Sicilians do
have African heritage, due to both colonization and commerce. For example,
the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula was occupied by Arabs from North
Africa for a good time. They left some nice buildings there... and some
genes :)

Gerhard

2006\03\30@075136 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 30, 2006, at 4:35 AM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

>> s (whereas I didn't think there was much
>> african heritage to European natives)
>
> Actually, there is. For example Portuguese, Andalusians and
> Sicilians do have African heritage,

That would be one of the other flaws of my theory.  I realized
that I didn't really have a very good idea of the racial makeup
of good parts of europe.  I was just generalizing England and
Germany.  Bad billw...

BillW

2006\03\30@083815 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > Normally it is not necessary to specify the continent in a
> postal address
>
> If you put the above address on a letter I can guarantee some Post
> Office dimwit(s) would be looking long and hard to find out which
> state Brazil is in

Probably when posted in the USA. Very improbable when posted from (for
instance) my country. Which perfectly summarizes this discussion.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\03\30@085702 by olin piclist

face picon face
> If you put the above address on a letter I can guarantee some Post
> Office dimwit(s) would be looking long and hard to find out which
> state Brazil is in

Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky.

******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\03\30@092037 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Jinx wrote:

> http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=1784381

> Russian and two Americans blast off

Now here you mix different contexts, that's why it's... hm... not "plain
wrong", but easy to misunderstand.

Heck, why is this context thing so hard to understand? Is this a schooling
problem? :)

"Russian, Brazilian and American blast off": the context is "country".
"Eurasian and two Americans blast off": the context is "continent".

Both less easy to misunderstand than your version, because they maintain a
single context.

Gerhard

2006\03\30@101720 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Jinx wrote:

>> All these are just plain wrong?
>
> IMHO, yes.

Three more that are just plain wrong:
dictionary.reference.com/search?q=America
http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/America

(And before anyone thinks I can't count to three: the first link contains
two references :)

Note the frightening ambiguity present in these entries. Why can't there by
a dictionary that doesn't need 1. 2. 3. ... ?? :)

Gerhard

2006\03\30@110114 by Peiserma

flavicon
face
piclist-bounces@mit.edu wrote:
> spamBeGonepeisermaspamRemoveMEridgid.com wrote:
>
>> I agree, it seems we have only one dissenter. And just out of morbid
>> curiosity, I've asked some of my German contacts this very question.
>> May not get responses until tomorrow due to time zones. But FWIW one
>> German ex-pat I asked says the phrase in question is definitely
>> interpreted as being from the USA.
>
> I don't disagree with that ex-pat, and never have. The only
> point I was trying to make is that the term is ambiguous, and
> that what it means depends on the context.

That's the point we disagree on. It is not ambiguous. I joined the
thread when someone posted about a German teacher who said in the German
language a Canadian should say Ich bin Amerikaner. This is plain wrong
in the way the word is used in German. You said:

>That may be correct so far (at least for the USA). But don't
>forget, no matter where the teacher is or was, that this was
>a German lesson, so the usage of "America" in the USA is not
>relevant to the issue, but the usage of "Amerika" in Germany
>very much is.

Technicality is not relevant here. You said yourself it's the usage of
the word in German that is relevant to the issue. The word "Amerikaner"
*is used to mean* someone from the USA. Period. Notice the emphasis. You
can argue that technically, Amerikaner refers to all people living on
the American continent all you want. But no one uses it that way in
German. And I did ask several Germans and even a Schweitzer just to be
sure. To use the word *in that context* otherwise is going to get you
misunderstood in German (and I strongly suspect in Spanish as well,
despite your assertions to the contrary).

> I meant to make some people aware of this cultural
> difference. It exists, period. (I'm not the only one who
> thinks that -- there are several pages in the Wikipedia that
> talk about this ambiguity.) What people do with this --
> ignore it, fight it, integrate it -- is not really my business.

Yes, and people should be aware of it. Other cultures/people/languages
do use the word America to refer to the continent. But that's distorting
the picture IMO. When someone says "I am American" to a German, this is
understood to mean the USA. Not Canada, not Mexico, not Brazil. I
strongly suspect this holds true of Spanish-speaking people too.
Language is not about being technically correct, its about the meaning
and how the words are used.

2006\03\30@142214 by William Killian

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: .....piclist-bouncesEraseMEspammit.edu [spampiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspam@spam@mit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Herbert Graf
> Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 9:12 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: RE: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> On Wed, 2006-03-29 at 18:04 -0500, William Killian wrote:
> > > To some people living in the American continents but not in the
US, if
{Quote hidden}

problem
> with.

Sounds like a personal problem with ignorance.  And not mine.

They would literally freak if some Chinese national in broken English
asked if they were European or American?

Way too touchy.

Would they object to being called white even though they are pink?
(Guessing they aren't brown by playing the odds - I do work in casino
gaming after all)



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2006\03\30@144258 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2006-03-30 at 14:23 -0500, William Killian wrote:
> > Yes absolutely. In fact I personally know some people that would be
> > insulted if you called them American.
> >
> > In Canada there is no ambiguity: American means "of the US", without
> > question.
> >
> > Now, if you called them "North Americans", that they'd have zero
> problem
> > with.
>
> Sounds like a personal problem with ignorance.  And not mine.

Everybody can be insulted by something, for some being called American
is one of them.

> They would literally freak if some Chinese national in broken English
> asked if they were European or American?
>
> Way too touchy.

OK, now your putting words in my mouth. I said "personally insulted", I
NEVER said "literally freak". By personally insulted I mean they would
quickly correct the person. We're all adults here, and misunderstandings
don't mean "freak out".

> Would they object to being called white even though they are pink?
> (Guessing they aren't brown by playing the odds - I do work in casino
> gaming after all)

Well, you'd be wrong, one of the people I'm thinking of isn't white,
although I really don't understand what difference that would make? I'm
curious now how you think racism would enter this picture?

My point is in Canada there is zero ambiguity as to the meaning of
"American", the only meaning I've ever heard is "a person from our
friendly neighbour to the south".

Please stop putting words into my mouth.

Thanks, TTYL


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2006\03\30@144546 by William Killian

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesspamBeGonespam@spam@mit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesRemoveMEspamRemoveMEmit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Gerhard Fiedler
> Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 9:26 PM
> To: piclistKILLspamspamspammit.edu
> Subject: Re: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> Jinx wrote:
>
> > ... but that term is reserved **in common usage** ...
>
> So who defines "common usage"?

Or even define "reserved" in a language that has many homonyms.



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2006\03\30@145413 by Peter

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On Wed, 29 Mar 2006, William Chops Westfield wrote:

> Congrats to Brazil on their first Astronaut!

I think he's a Cosomnaut ;-)

Peter

2006\03\30@151035 by James Newton, Host

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I really think we have heard enough on this thread.

It's been dancing on the edge of rudeness, politics, and "the unknowable"
for a long time now.

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2006\03\30@151724 by Lindy Mayfield

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I was thinking about my German class.  Maybe I got it mixed up.  

Maybe it was the answer to the question: Wo kommen Sie her?  Ich bin aus Amerika.  

And that counted for Canadians as well, maybe?

She didn't want to get into the "den" so we didn't do United States till later.


-----Original Message-----
From: KILLspampiclist-bounces.....spamTakeThisOuTmit.edu [TakeThisOuTpiclist-bouncesEraseMEspamRemoveMEmit.edu] On Behalf Of Herbert Graf
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006 10:43 PM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: RE: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)


Everybody can be insulted by something, for some being called American
is one of them.



2006\03\30@151830 by Gerhard Fiedler

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part 1 4421 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset="big5" (decoded quoted-printable)

spam_OUTpeisermaRemoveMEspam.....ridgid.com wrote:

> Language is not about being technically correct, its about the meaning
> and how the words are used.

Exactly. You may have missed this, but this discussion didn't start out of
thin air, it started with some people not understanding the intended
meaning of a message.

Padu on March 27: "... ALL capitals of America."

Danny and Olin interpreted that as "all capitals of the states of the USA".
I interpreted it as "all capitals of the countries of the continent
America".

I then pointed out the ambiguity and probable misunderstanding, which was
IMO obvious for one who knew about the ambiguity. (Padu later confirmed my
interpretation of what he wrote.)

Then started what looked like a holy war about the word "America" and why
it can't be used to mean the continent (like Padu used it) -- despite the
fact that pretty much all encyclopedias (even so current ones as the
Wikipedia) explicitly mention this use and even official terms use it in
this meaning (e.g. the "Organization of American States" has not much to do
with the states of the USA, but a lot with the countries of the American
continent).

---------------------------------------

If the ones that say that "America" and "American" *always* means "USA" and
"of or from the USA", this initial misunderstanding wouldn't have happened,
or, if it had happened, I wouldn't have noticed. But it did happen, and I
did notice it. So there must be /something/ here, no?
Unluckily, from what this whole thread looks like, it will happen again,
because one of the fractions just doesn't accept that the term is ambiguous
and that they should consider the context when they read or use it. Kind of
sad. All I wanted is tell people "hey, here there's something that's
different between different cultures in the Americas. For good
understanding, just be aware of it and read and use it considering the
context."
It took close to 200 messages to discuss this so seemingly simple matter
(could have been "oh, interesting - I'll keep it in mind" :), with still no
mutual acceptance in sight. To make the point, otherwise accepted
encyclopedias are said to be just plain wrong, the use of close to 2/3 of
the inhabitants of the Americas is said to be not common because they are a
small minority, official use of the word is ignored... Hard to imagine a
reason for all this.
---------------------------------------

Here's a short section from the Wikipedia which IMO summarizes the issue
pretty well. I'd really like to know what it is that makes this so
unacceptable. The description matches my experience, in Europe, in the USA
and in Brazil.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americas#Usage :

America vs. Americas

Though America in the singular is often used as a shorthand name for the
United States of America, the plural Americas íV with an 's' íV is not and is
used to collectively describe lands of the Western Hemisphere. Conversely,
usage of America when referring to the lands collectively remains fairly
common outside of it.

[...]

American

Whether usage of America or the Americas is preferred, many people living
in the Americas refer to themselves as American. However, most of the
English-speaking world (including Canada), use the word to refer solely to
a citizen or resident of the United States of America. This may be due, at
least in part, to the fact that the phrase "United States" does not easily
translate into an adjective or descriptive noun in English. While
Spanish-speaking peoples in Latin America use the word estadounidense
(literally, "United-States-ian" or "of the United States"), calling someone
a "United States-man" or "United States'er" or other such constructions
sounds awkward in English. This has led to the use of the word "American".
Nevertheless, calling a U.S. citizen simply americano or americana in
Spanish is considered offensive in some areas of Latin America. Some Latin
Americans, however, will use "americano" or "americana" to refer to people
from the United States in colloquial speech while still considering
themselves "American", just as Germans or Spaniards would consider
themselves "European".

Gerhard



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2006\03\30@163836 by William Killian

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face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: spampiclist-bouncesKILLspamspamKILLspammit.edu [spampiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Herbert Graf
> Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006 2:43 PM
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: RE: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next
:)
>
> On Thu, 2006-03-30 at 14:23 -0500, William Killian wrote:
> > > Yes absolutely. In fact I personally know some people that would
be
> > > insulted if you called them American.
> > >
> > > In Canada there is no ambiguity: American means "of the US",
without
{Quote hidden}

English
> > asked if they were European or American?
> >
> > Way too touchy.
>
> OK, now your putting words in my mouth. I said "personally insulted",
I
> NEVER said "literally freak". By personally insulted I mean they would
> quickly correct the person. We're all adults here, and
misunderstandings
> don't mean "freak out".
>
> > Would they object to being called white even though they are pink?
> > (Guessing they aren't brown by playing the odds - I do work in
casino
> > gaming after all)
>
> Well, you'd be wrong, one of the people I'm thinking of isn't white,
> although I really don't understand what difference that would make?
I'm
> curious now how you think racism would enter this picture?

Did I say anything racist?  Hardly.

So change it for that one of the people to being called black although
they are really brown.  Or yellow although really lighter brown.  Or red
although really a different shade of brown.  I just played the odds,
there are more Caucasians in Canada than Negroes or Asians (or whatever
depending upon how you personally choose to divide into the rather
nebulous concept of human races)

And you decided to "put words into my mouth" rather than deal with the
concept of words having multiple meanings that might not seem accurate
but are accepted in many meanings.

These people of Canada of whom one is not white might object to being
called American although they clearly are as well as being more
precisely North American and more than that Canadian and even more
precisely from some province or territory and more precisely from ever
decreasing jurisdictional units.

Now how do they feel about being called Western?  I missed what province
if you stated it.  But they are western as opposed to eastern by living
in the western hemisphere.  But in both Canada and the US there is a
concept of western and eastern by set of provinces.

I live in both Virginia and Nevada for example and am thus both western
and eastern by US standards but always western when Asian is taken as
eastern.

But by your arguments that can't be so; the word can only have one
customary meaning.  A native Nevadan does not want to be confused for
being eastern.  While your typical resident of New York City does not
want to be confused with being western as in from the other side of the
continent.  That "insulted" you refer as probably somewhere between
taking umbrage and flipping out would apply sometimes but not sometimes
to the term western.

The fundamentalist point of view that it is plain wrong to acknowledge
hundreds of years of word usage as some small portion of people you
personally know having not used the other definition is actually amusing
and disturbing.

Words add meanings all the time.  Some times old meanings fall by the
wayside while sometimes they linger on if shadowed in usage by sheer
counts of times used.

I could launch into discussions about whether the US right to be secure
refers only to the standards of meaning of around 1800 when privacy only
referred to toilet activities and security referred to the current
meaning used by privacy.  Or whether language changes have to be
absolute so the right to be secure refers to the impossible right to be
tied down or the right to unpickable locks.

> My point is in Canada there is zero ambiguity as to the meaning of
> "American", the only meaning I've ever heard is "a person from our
> friendly neighbour to the south".

This is getting really.  Your relatively small circle of contacts
dictates to the rest of the world how they need to redefine their
language usage.

I am quite sure your assertions are false.  I am quite sure assertions
that your claiming that you are absolutely incorrect in using American
to refer to specifically people from the US would be equally false.

So...  Are those that call the "Indians" and "Eskimos" Native Americans
equally wrong?  I mean no disrespect to the various tribes including the
Inuits, Aleuts and others I don't recall off hand.  Since their tribal
boundaries didn't match the US/Canadian border are those from tribes
that spanned that border some weird hybrid "Native American" and "Native
Canadian"?  Weirder still if a village might have stood on a border and
a family could have literally lived in what is now two different
countries?

> Please stop putting words into my mouth.

I didn't.  Or at least no more than you did.

But you are trying to deny long standing meanings to words you
personally disagree with.

I think we are no longer going to make any progress since it is down to
"we say it is only one way" versus "we say it is both" with no ground
being made either way.


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2006\03\30@172230 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2006-03-30 at 16:39 -0500, William Killian wrote:
> But you are trying to deny long standing meanings to words you
> personally disagree with.

This will be my last post on this thread, and I'll keep it short, but I
must correct what you've written about my stance.

All I'll say is it seems you've COMPLETELY misunderstood pretty much
everything I've said.

I am not denying "long standing meanings to words you personally
disagree with". I in fact have acknowledged I NEVER KNEW that "American"
means anything other then "of the US", and for that simple reason this
thread was very enlightening and I'll keep it in mind in the future.

MY point was that there are parts of the world where the word "American"
is NOT ambiguous.

My second point is calling someone "American" may not always be a 100%
good choice. I gave what I consider a "safer" alternative of saying
"North American".

How race came into the discussion I don't know, and frankly don't want
to know since I see zero relevance.

Despite the disruption this thread may have caused to the list I did
learn a few worthwhile things.

TTYL

-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

2006\03\30@172744 by Danny Sauer

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William wrote regarding 'RE: [OT] CNNN Was: CNN street questionary: who to invade next :)' on Thu, Mar 30 at 15:41:
> So...  Are those that call the "Indians" and "Eskimos" Native Americans
> equally wrong?

Is that a Virginia thing or a Nevada thing?  I've never heard anyone
refer to Eskimos as "Native Americans", and I'm pretty sure that the
natives of the USA are the only group I've heard it applied to.  Or
are the Incas and Aztecs "Native Americans", too?

--Danny, who maybe just needs to travel more... :)

2006\03\31@001922 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 30, 2006, at 6:19 AM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>
>> Russian and two Americans blast off
>
> Now here you mix different contexts, that's why it's... hm...
> not "plain wrong", but easy to misunderstand.
>
Ah.  Perhaps I claim that in saying "I am an XXXX", the "context"
is always "countries."  After all, how often to people find it
useful or important to identify which continent they're from?

BillW

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