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Author Topic: superfluous "the"?
Elkhound
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Embra:
Slainey, do you mean that instead of saying "The University of Edinburgh" or "The Edinburgh University", we would say simply "Edinburgh University"?

Most older universities seem to refer to themselves officially as "The University of [Town]", whereas they become in popular speech "[Town] University".

I have sometimes seen British and Commonwealth papers apply that usage to American universities, and it doesn't work that way. It is New York University--not the University of New York. (New York University is a private institution; there is also the City University of New York, the State University of New York, and the University of the State of New York--distinct institutions.) One does not speak of Chicago University or Michigan University. And when one says 'Washington University' one means the private university in St. Louis, MO, not the University of Washington in Seattle.

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dewey
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Poguendorff Illusion:
It's Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, but The Bronx. Yet, it's Bronx County, not The Bronx County.

Pogue

Interestingly, I looked on Microsoft Streets and Maps and they refer to it as Bronx not as The Bronx. This could be carelessness on their part or a misguided attempt to standardize the names of the boroughs.

dewey

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Joostik
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by First Amongst Daves:
The Maldives.

That’s a plural; Maldives meaning something like “Million Islands”.
quote:


The Domincan Republic?

As in “The Republic”, just like the Czech republic, the Irish republic, the German or the Russian or the Chinese republic.

quote:

IIRC, the Netherlands is strictly The Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Yes, colloquially it’s nowadays just called “Nederland” but officially it’s still plural “Kingdom of The Netherlands”. Historically the region (including what’s now Belgium and even part of northern France) consisted of numerous autonomous provinces and posessions, which only gradually united – and in the case of Belgium, split off again.

Another one: The Gambia, which is short for The Gambia River.

In the case of Ukraine, it also has something to do with nationalistic sensitivities vis-à-vis Russia. The name Ukraine means something like “At the Border Land”, which Russians like to point out is not so much a name as a description of a region. Ukrainians insist it’s a bona-fide name and therefore should not need an article (which, as said, do not even exist in Slavonic languages anyway).

BTW, these rules (whether to use “the” or not) go for Germanic languages such as English, German or Dutch, but OTOH the French put “le”, “la” or “les” before every country name.

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dyfsunctional
I Saw Three Shipments


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Next year, I'll be spending a week in the Algarve, a region of southern Portugal. I have no idea what native Portuguese people call it.

And on the band names front:

Edie Brickell and New Bohemians
Ramones

...the latter sounding really weird in casual conversation. ("Last night I saw Ramones playing at CBGB's.")

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pocamumu
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Rehcsif Mit:
No, just a point of usage. Here in the US we would say "I went to school" or "I went to college" but rarely "I went to University". I have no idea why -- even though someone attended an actual university, they talk about


In Canadia (as my US born family likes to call it), if we go to a university, we say "I'm in university". If we attend a college, we say "I'm in college". A university being where you get an undergraduate degree, and a college where you get a diploma in a specialty.

I nevere understood why US-ans say college for any post-secondary institution. I find it quite annoying actually.

But now when I think about it, a student in the US will say "I go to college" if they're in university, and "I got to A college" is the are actually attending a college. Huh.

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mgbdriver
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by pocamumu:
I nevere understood why US-ans say college for any post-secondary institution. I find it quite annoying actually.

Here in the US, a college can be either an independant degree-offering institution or a sub group of a university.
A university is an institution consisting of more than one college, e.g., a college of Liberal Arts, a College of Engineering, etc.
Both a Colleges and a Universities offer undergraduate degrees.

OTOH, while listening to CBC, it sounds strange when an announcer says that a person is "in hospital" because in the US, we say "in the hospital". I guess which one's right depends on where you are.

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by pocamumu:
A university being where you get an undergraduate degree, and a college where you get a diploma in a specialty.

I nevere understood why US-ans say college for any post-secondary institution. I find it quite annoying actually.

Because in the United States the words are interchangable. I'm sorry if that annoys you.

Some post-secondary institutions call themselves colleges; most call themselves universities. But neither tells you anything about the degree-granting abilities of the specific institution.

Pogue

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Introducing, the Pogues:
Some post-secondary institutions call themselves colleges; most call themselves universities. But neither tells you anything about the degree-granting abilities of the specific institution.

Huh, I didn't know that. I thought colleges only grant undergrad degrees, while universities grant both undergrad and graduate degrees.

Four Kitties

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by Four Kitties:
I thought colleges only grant undergrad degrees, while universities grant both undergrad and graduate degrees.

Four Kitties

Just look in your own backyard.

Pogue

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Four Kitties
Layaway in a Manger


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Duh. [fish]

Except I think they're BC because there's already a BU, but I see your point.

Four Kitties

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by Four Kitties:
Duh. [fish]

Except I think they're BC because there's already a BU, but I see your point.

Four Kitties

Although it does seem that all places that call themselves colleges are private. I haven't found a public university that's officially called a college.

Pogue

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Gibbie
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Pogue writes:
quote:
Although it does seem that all places that call themselves colleges are private. I haven't found a public university that's officially called a college.
The College of William and Mary

There you go a College that's a University and has a The to boot. And my alma mater. [Big Grin]

Gibbie

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by Gibbie:
The College of William and Mary[/URL]

There you go a College that's a University and has a The to boot. And my alma mater. [Big Grin]

Gibbie

Well then. I think we can officially say that in the United States, there's no logical distinction between a college and a university.

Pogue

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GooglyEyes
The First USA Noel


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Definitely no distinction. I went to a College with "College" in the title that granted three types of degrees: Associates, Bachelors, and Masters.

If someone attends UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago) it will still be referred to as college around here.


And to add my own beef,
Another type of superfluous the:

The Jewel (for you northern midwesties)
The Walgreens
The Osco
The Dominicks

None of these need "the".

It always drove me nuts to hear my mom say "I am going to The Jewel" until I realised I said it too. Now I try to correct myself because it is a useless the. Like I am going to The Queen's Jewel and to go elsewhere would be treason. So now I just say "I am going to Jewel"

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Mr. Furious
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Near where I grew up, Wilkes College changed its name to Wilkes University for no discernable concrete reason.

From their website:

quote:
Designation as Wilkes University in 1990 capped an eventful and productive half-century of development and signaled the beginning of a new era of progress as an increasingly distinguished and prominent academic institution.
Translation? They wanted to sound like a more distinguished institution, so they changed their name. They've had graduate programs since 1959.

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Casey, making hot chocolate
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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The Medical College of Ohio (Toledo) did the same thing- they're now the Medical University of Ohio. I hate that. [Mad] I want to go to MCO, not MUO, dangit!

At UT, the colleges are a subgroup of the University. For mine, for example, a Bio major is in the Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences.

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chillas
Coventry Mall Carol


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In Columbus, Ohio Dominican College recently became Ohio Dominican University.

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FullMetal
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Googlyeyes, I disagree with that it's a useless "the" in those instances. becuase adding The to it you're specifying a specific one. where as I'm going to walgreens is non-specific and could mean any walgreens store. But if I were to say i'm going to the walgreens, it is implyed that i'm going to a specific one. usually the most commonly used one... also, changing the phrasing to, "I'm going to check out the walgreens" the is needed. becuase "I'm going to check out walgreens" can imply that you're checking out the company not the store.
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Grumpy
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Bad Ronald:
Some bands use the "the" (not to be confused with the band The The) and others don't. For instance, it's The Rolling Stones, but The Name of this Band is Talking Heads.

...Not to be confused with the Dr. Hook song "Cover of the Rolling Stone." Sometimes people just throw an extraneous "the" in there, for grins.

On a slightly related note, there's the question of maritime usage. Naval vessels are properly named without a definite article, as is my understanding. Yet I've heard naval authorities use "the" when referring to ships anyway. Shows what they know. [Razz]

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GooglyEyes
The First USA Noel


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FullMetal, I am more than sure it is regional.

Around here saying "I am going to check out Walgreens" implies I am going to stop at any one of the 7 Wallgreens near me, probably while I am out, and sounds perfectly acceptable.

Considering where I live there are 5 Jewels within 1 mile (in any given direction) and my family will shop at whichever one strikes their fancy. "The" is superfluous.

When I was visiting family down south, where the closest Walmart was 35 miles away (in one direction), they still say "The Walmart" despite it being the only one within a reasonable driving distance (the next closest is about 80 miles away). There was no confusion about which you were going to. Same with "The Food Lion" or "The Roadhouse". Only one. No confusion.

At home, I will say "I am going to Jewel" which can be followed up by someone asking "Oh, which one, if you go to the one at Irving and Naraganset, pick me up some Fanny May" Versus the one at Irving and Cicero where I would rent a movie next door. My mother however, ignores this concept and simply says "The Jewel" which does not imply anything as, I stated before, there are 5 within the exact same distance and she shops at all of them in rotation.

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zelyoni
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Jason thread DIV 0:
quote:
Originally posted by foxyleah3:
on a (possibly) similar note, my mom ALWAYS refers to the country Ukraine as "the Ukraine." is this unusual too?

Some Ukrainians find it insulting as it treats Ukraine as a region, not a country.
Well, we say "On the edge" not "in the edge." [Wink]
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Joostik
The First USA Noel


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Even Ukrainians themselves do not seem to agree. Just this week I saw an official transit permit for trucks, issued by the Ministry of Transport of the Ukraine.

It is in four languages, Ukrainian, English, German and French. It consistenly speaks of the Ukraine (der Ukraine in German, and l'Ukraine in French, but then the French always use articles before country names).

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HazyCosmicJive
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Rehcsif Mit:
quote:
Originally posted by resident deity:
Tim: Nearly, but not quite, I can think of a couple of examples where your rule doesn't work: "Black Sabbath", "Deep Purple", "Dark Tranquillity"

I think Diddy is closer with when the noun is plural form, hence the band name needs the definite article to fit context, but the real answer is probably "what sounds right"!

Yes you're right -- I explained the rule incorrectly (or rather, to simplistically. But the "whenever it sounds best in normal conversation" still works.

"What color is your sweater?" "Deep Purple" (not "The Deep Purple")

What day did that happen? "Black Sabbath" (not "The Black Sabbath")

I think adding the "plural" rule might make it work in most cases...

-Tim

What about The Band, The Call, The Who, The Clash...

I usually try to find out what the band's name actually is and go by that. [Big Grin]

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The Amazing Rando
Deck the Malls


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quote:
What about The Band, The Call, The Who, The Clash...
But those could sound right(to me anyway) with or without the "the." I think the question is about bands that don't sound right without a "the". It seems like unless the name is a singular made-up word (The Coldplay and The Radiohead don't sound right to me) a "the" can be added without a problem.
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Elwood
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Re: Colleges v Universities: I've seen three different colleges change to calling themselves Universities once they started offering post-grad degrees. I can only assume that its mostly standard practice to call that way.

Regarding band names, I too am curious about some. For example, in print you will normally see "The Dave Matthews Band has just completed their two year tour." While the same article might also say "The band is glad to be home. It seems to me that a band is a singular unit. They or their in reference to a band or company or network seems like it has to be incorrect.

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Rhea
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Joostik:

It is in four languages, Ukrainian, English, German and French. It consistenly speaks of the Ukraine (der Ukraine in German, and l'Ukraine in French, but then the French always use articles before country names).

It's die Ukraine, actually. Yes, according to the Germans, this country is female. [Roll Eyes]
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Vinnichanka
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Joostik:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by First Amongst Daves:
[qb] The Maldives.

That’s a plural; Maldives meaning something like “Million Islands”.
quote:

In the case of Ukraine, it also has something to do with nationalistic sensitivities vis-à-vis Russia. The name Ukraine means something like “At the Border Land”, which Russians like to point out is not so much a name as a description of a region. Ukrainians insist it’s a bona-fide name and therefore should not need an article (which, as said, do not even exist in Slavonic languages anyway).


As a Ukrainian (with a college degree), I agree - no articles. The name "Ukraine" has many alleged roots which many books have been written about, but there is the pesky nationalistic thing going on too. Hey, if they didn't think you were a country and had a distinct language and culture, how would you feel?
I always cringe when people say "THE Ukraine" - hey, it's a proper noun, so no article is needed. Unless I was taught a different version of English...
P.S. Yes, Ukraina is a girl.

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Mystara
I Saw Three Shipments


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Well, if you're looking for an "official" source on country names, the list provided below is the one that is supposedly standard across all US government agencies.

Independant States

Of course, popular references to other countries would seemingly be considered the "accepted" form.

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Vinnichanka
Deck the Malls


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Thank you, Mystara! Hehe, there's no article attached to Ukraine... I always thought that the country code was "UA", not "UP" (where did they get the "P"???), many people around here have a partiotic "UA" bumper sticker with the Ukrainian flag. Go figure.

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Unusual Elfin Lights
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quote:
Originally posted by Vinnichanka:
Thank you, Mystara! Hehe, there's no article attached to Ukraine... I always thought that the country code was "UA", not "UP" (where did they get the "P"???), many people around here have a partiotic "UA" bumper sticker with the Ukrainian flag. Go figure.

Some things to keep straight.

  • Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) uses UP as the 2 letter code for Ukraine (I believe it uses P because it is the first letter of the word republic in Cyrillic). FIPS is the standard we use when dealing with multinational militaries.
  • The 1968 UN Convention on Road Traffic established UA as the code for vehicles from (the) Ukraine.
  • The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) established UR as the code for aircraft from (the) Ukraine.
I am sure there are others that are out there that have been invented just to keep us guessing. [Smile]
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HazyCosmicJive
The First USA Noel


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It sounds very wrong to American ears when Brits/Scots/Irish/Welsh/Aussies/Kiwis say, "I'm going to watch THE football." On this side of the pond, we'll say either "I'm going to watch the football GAME" or "I'm going to watch football."

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ottercreek
The First USA Noel


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I heard something about "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" is one of the most incorrectly named places because the only part that is accurate is "Britain"


United - Well, in a technical sense but ask those outside of England and you hardly get a resounding "Oh were proud to be part of the monarchy!"
Kingdom - (presently a queendom), the Royal family is purely symbolic, at a low in popularity and has little to no function in practice
Great - Well, if you consider 98% of the population that was once under the Union Jack is now independent, as in they lost that much, and all you have left is an island give or take the size of California, hardly GREAT
Northern Ireland - Oh yeah...they like being part of the country, don't they?

Now toss out the now unnecessary words:
"The"..."of"..."and"...

All that is left is "Britian."
Heck, they might as well just settle for "England." That is what most people say anyway.

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Don Enrico
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I'm not british, and probably most of the British snopsters will be able to say something about this, too, but here's my comment:

quote:
Originally posted by ottercreek:
I heard something about "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" is one of the most incorrectly named places because the only part that is accurate is "Britain"


United - Well, in a technical sense but ask those outside of England and you hardly get a resounding "Oh were proud to be part of the monarchy!"

Well, it doesn't say "Proudly United", does it? And since the Act of Union it is the Union of two formerly seperate Kingdoms.

quote:
Kingdom - (presently a queendom), the Royal family is purely symbolic, at a low in popularity and has little to no function in practice

Nevertheless, it's a Kingdom, not a Republic or a Peoples Republic or something else - the Souvereign (King or Queen) is Head of State.

quote:
Great - Well, if you consider 98% of the population that was once under the Union Jack is now independent, as in they lost that much, and all you have left is an island give or take the size of California, hardly GREAT

The term "Great Britain" is used since 1707 (Act of Union, see above). The new, united Kingdom was bigger than the seperate Kingdoms of England (including Wales since 1543) and Scotland.

quote:
Northern Ireland - Oh yeah...they like being part of the country, don't they?

Some actually do - that's what all the trouble is about. Apart from that, it doesn't say "... and Northern Ireland, which is happily part of it", does it?

quote:
(...)
Heck, they might as well just settle for "England." That is what most people say anyway.

Now, that would be something the Scottish, Welsh and Irish would like very much...!

Along the same lines, you could question the "United States of America" as well:

"United" - wasn't there a war about some of the States not wanting to be united any more?

"States" - these so-called States don't even have an army of their own. You can't call that a State, can you?

"America" - there are a lot of States on the continent that are by no means part of that Union - you can't claim America for you alone!

"of" - is now unnecessary.

That leaves: " "!

[Wink]

Note: I understand that what ottercreek posted might not be his personal opinon. No offence! [Smile]

Don Enrico

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My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling, but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. - Pooh Bear

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Northern Ireland - Oh yeah...they like being part of the country, don't they?

Well, my family all have British passports and we're more than happy, thank you oh so very much! [lol]

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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Lunasa
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Don Enrico:

.....

"America" - there are a lot of States on the continent that are by no means part of that Union - you can't claim America for you alone!

....

Don Enrico

One of my pet peeves, that United Statesians call themselves 'Americans'. There's a lot of other people and countries that are in the Americas (that's not a superfluous "the" is it?) but they don't get the same recognition. Problem is the best alternative term I've come up with is United Statesian. Not a great term! [Smile]

As for the Great Britian and Northern Ireland, that's just asking for trouble. I dare you to wander around the various regions of Britian calling everyone English, and see how far it gets you.

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"England and America are two countries divided by a common language." - George Bernard Shaw

Posts: 555 | From: Ireland | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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