User:John FitzGerald/Links

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--- To be posted eventually:

Okay, here's another issue. You write:
What Im trying to tell you from day one is that this use is inapropriate, equivocal and misleading, let alone offensive to everyone else in the continent of America. It is you that seem to not understand that. If you take the word "american" to mean a native of the continent of America, then theres no reason at all for canadians to be offended.
The point is that this usage of American is neither equivocal nor misleading in English. Everyone understands it. Whether it's offensive is an empirical question – and the only place I've ever heard the idea is at Wikipedia.
The idea which seems to be implied that it's offensive because it doesn't coincide with usage in other langages is irrelevant. Languages develop to a large degree independently and there's no reason every language should use the same terms the same way. Dialects within the same language don;t even use the same terms the same way. In fact, standard American and British English, which are not separate dialects, don't even use the same terms the same way – billion is an example. There seems to me to be more reason to standardize the use of billion, but on the whole we anglophones prefer to cope.
I'm not going to "take the word 'american' to mean a native of the continent of America" because in English there is no continent of America. I realize that makes English inconsistent, but languages are inconsistent. We consider North and South America to be separate continents, and a look at a map provides support for that. They are two distinct landmasses separated by an isthmus. Maybe in time we will adopt the idea of a continent of America, but we're not about to at the moment.
I of course am not offering these opinions as an attempt to vanquish yours. I think we've reached the point where we know what we're not going to agree about. If we can clarify our disagreements, though, I think that will help discussion of the issue. John FitzGerald 14:42, 7 December 2005 (UTC)


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