Stupid liberal idea of the day

And, as I keep annoyingly pointing out, has for centuries.

Nah, because there exists a demonym that is specific to denizens of the United States of Mexico. Mexican has no ambiguities. It’s just American that can be ambiguous, so sometimes using something like “USian” (or, yes, Unitedstatesian) is more specific.

Oh, and literally doesn’t mean “figuratively”. It just can be used as an intensifier in a non-literal construction. This always is the case with words that mean “in reality.” See also “really” and “actually.” And, just like with those words, there is generally a way to make it clear what meaning you want.

That’s literally forever!

In purely theoretical terms, this argument makes sense.

I guess I’d be more convinced by it, in practical terms, if anyone could show me even a single example of anyone, EVER, being confused by the use of the term “American” to describe someone from the United States.

In addition to my undergrad history major, I also majored in Spanish and Latin American Studies. I spent years in grad school in the United States, where a bunch of my colleagues were students of Latin American history. I have lived in the US for 20 years, I’ve read hundreds of books and articles on the history of the United States, and on the history of Central and South America, and I also spend a bunch of time reading about politics and other issues online.

I cannot recall a single instance, in all of my experience, where there has been any ambiguity whatsoever in the use of the term “American.” The whole USian thing is a solution in search of a problem.

Maybe the ultimate goal of the constant language-policing is to make communication impossible without buying into the left-wing diploma scam. I’m a USian, you’re a Latinx, and anyone who didn’t go into $200k debt to get a PhD in semiotics has no idea what the fuck anyone is talking about.

Is it really that hard?


I perfectly understand what those terms mean, and I haven’t a degree of any kind. $200K saved! Guess I’ll treat myself to lunch today.

No, it’s not. I tend to agree with you there.

The question is not whether it’s hard; the question is whether it’s necessary. In my 20+ years of university education, university teaching, and living in the United States, I’ve never heard a single person express confusion about the use of the word “American” to describe someone from the United States.

What’s more, despite the fact that my friends and acquaintances and colleagues have included people from Argentina and Brazil and Mexico and Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and Cuba and Peru and Venezuela, I have never heard a single person from south of the Rio Grande insist that they should properly be referred to as Americans. For the most part, those people identify with their own nations, and refer to themselves as Argentinians and Brazilians and Mexicans, etc., etc.

I concede that it’s entirely possible that there are some people from Latin America who insist on being called American, and who dislike the way that the term has become a shorthand for people from the United States. What percentage of people do you imagine constitute that group? Would it be greater than one-tenth of one percent?

It’s often the case, in talking about terms like this, especially when they have political and cultural implications, that the pressure to adopt and use the newer or more unusual term comes from a very small percentage of very loud people. Take the term LatinX, or Latinx, mentioned above by @ZosterSandstorm. According to a Pew Research study released this year, only 23% of Hispanics/Latinos in the United States had even heard of the term, and only 3% actually use it to describe themselves.

I teach at a university that is designated by the US Department of Education as a Hispanic-serving institution. About one-third of our student body identifies as Hispanic or Latino or Latinx. I’m also happy to use the term Latinx if that’s how a student would like to be identified. But even on our campus, among the younger generation of college-educated Latinos (the people who, according Pew, are most likely to embrace the term Latinx), most students from Spanish-speaking backgrounds still use the terms Latino and Latina to refer to themselves.

None of this means that Latinx is wrong, in any meaningful sense. But it doesn’t mean that it’s the only acceptable term, and it doesn’t mean that Latino or Hispanic are wrong either. And the same could be said about USian/American.

My sense is that USian, as expressed in the post to which D_Anconia took exception, was intended whimsically/facetiously.

my sense is that D’anconia is just piece of shit fuckwit troll. His posts are my cite.

Well, yeah, that too.


I don’t know exactly how I feel about USian, especially since I’m not sure how it should be best pronounced. But I’m certainly not offended by it, I wouldn’t correct someone on it, and I don’t think that it’s wrong.

I can’t tell you what you’ve seen, but I’ve seen it, specifically because someone from the Americas was saying they should be able to call themselves an American, so the other person used USian to avoid the ambiguity.

That said, I didn’t claim it was popular. Just that it was an existing term that I’ve seen online before. And that it’s not generally considered offensive.

I actually suspect it comes from the existence of the Spanish word Estadounidense, which is literally “United Statesian,” and a word I learned in Spanish class (though I understand that most say Americano or Norteamericano–the latter being even weirder to use for only USians.)

There’s a few citations documenting it’s use going back to at least 2003.

I absolutely don’t consider it offensive. More like silly and unnecessary.

I think somethig like ‘US American’ could alternatively be used if ‘American’ is for some reason too ambiguous (or if USian is too weird).

It’s used to antagonize Americans the same way Republicans use Democrat Party to antagonize adherents to the Democratic Party.