Tuesday, August 16, 2005
For whatever it's worth: The 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America
In the U.S.A.:
America = United States of America
For the rest of us:
America = The continent of America.
The continent of America was named after Americo Vespucio thanks to the writings of the German chartographer Martin Waldseemüllers Weltkarte
- He wrote about it and the name just stuck.
You would think that Columbus would have had something to say about it, since he was the one that "discovered" the "new to him" lands. I guess America just sounded right - Sorry Cristobal.
But then again, imagine a "United States of Cristobal" or "Cristobal the Beautiful" or "Make no mistake about it, Cristobal is at War."
America = the continent of America?
North or South? or Both?
in the US - North America = the continent, as is South America. The two continents combined are called the Americas, and the U.S.A. is America.
In truth the term America refers to the whole continent of America (Like I said, outside of the U.S.A.) I.e. North, Central and South America: From Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. I.e. One whole continent.
BTW, Central America is NOT part of South America. Hence the name: Central America. At some point in history (from 1823 to 1840) it was actually called "United States of Central America." We can probably guess why the name didn't stick :)
I'd think it's similar in Europe: there is an idea of "Western Europe" and "Eastern Europe." However, there is no country appropriating the name of "Europe," per se.
It's all in the marketing, really - What's in a name, anyway?
This is actually not true. In English speaking countries (at least USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and I'm almost certain England as well), "America" by itself means the USA. "North America" is a continent.
Someone said: "History is written by the winners." And the History and Geography taught in (and exported from) the U.S.A. is written by U.S.A. writers. It's not bad or good, it's just a fact.
Incidentally, that was the point of my America comment - To see if anyone noticed.
Ask anyone outside of the U.S.A. about this "America" business. You may be surprised to hear what other people know or have been taught or think about it.
Of course, whatever anyone else thinks doesn't change the fact that in the U.S.A. everyone knows that America = U.S.A. - Even if it's wrong - Or right, for that matter :)
After all, 2 + 2 = 5...
What I find amusing is when I hear other Americans (Canadians, Mexicans, ...) say something like "I'm not an American, but..."
Regarding Columbus, he did not end up empty-handed: Colombia was named after him.