23
   

Australia, we don’t know you, but we love you, say our American friends

 
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 02:09 pm
What I am about to tell is mostly hearsay. When I served in the Navy ('62-'65) the old salts always raved about the trip they made to Australia. - The one cruise I made did not get there. - But, more than one of the long timers told the same story - That girls waited on the pier, when an American ship came in. It was, so they said, common for a girl to latch onto a sailor and try to convince him to desert and hide out with them, until the ship was gone. I don't know how many, if any at all, tried that. Take it for what it's worth, which is, mostly, nothing.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 02:18 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
And if you told them you preferred not to be called Bob and they persist? What would you infer from that?


I've never seen anyone but you consider it offensive, but sure if it were something generally known to be objectionable to Americans I'd think that the average person using it intended to be objectionable. My point is that an accurately descriptive take on the term would be that it is largely just a linguistic expression of resentment at American cultural hegemony and while that will certainly appeal to people who dislike Americans that the general use of the term is much more innocuous, very similar to words like "herstory." I find them a bit obnoxious myself (purely because I find them gimmicky, like bastardizations of the "Micro$oft" ilk) but they really aren't slurs with the same linguistic weight.

I get and agree with your point about this being a very similar example of linguistic derogation but there is still a very large discrepancy in the matter of the degree to which this derogation is interpreted as such and that really does matter. "Yankee" or "yank" is still more derogatory than "USian" and even those words don't begin to approach the weight of the historical baggage that terms like "chink" and "gook" do.

Quote:
I know several Roberts who do not like to be called Bob. Should I call them Bob and tell them the they "are overreacting" since Bob is a very common shorthand for Robert?


I don't like being called Bob. This may be the first time I've ever said so to anyone, so yes I would consider it an overreaction. I don't want to give people simple keywords to push my buttons so while I don't like it I can do what I can not to dislike it inordinately and would consider getting upset about it a bit silly (not that I'll never overreact about something stupid like that).

If you did that to me I'd probably like interacting with you less, but would have to weigh my reaction against the benefit I got from talking to you. On the balance I find talking to you edifying enough that I'd probably not bother mentioning it.

I will give you this, even though I've not mentioned that I don't like being called "Bob", the people who generally call me that tended to be trying to irritate me and I understand how it could get under someone's skin. I just think that everyone should try to let things get under their skin as little as possible if they want to be happy.
wandeljw
 
  4  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 02:26 pm
I also do not see anything derogatory about USian. I have only seen it on A2K and merely assumed that it was to make a distinction between citizens of Canada and the U.S.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 02:41 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
Usian is just starting its journey.


i've only seen it here and only a few times

it's got a long journey to get to me
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:05 pm
@djjd62,
How is it pronounced?

I think I give it a different pronounciation in my head each time I see it.
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:05 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Calling people from the US Americans is like calling everyone from Europe French.


More like calling American Indians "Indians", in that it is widely accepted nomenclature despite its less-than-accurate naming convention, or like using "Ayers Rock" even though Uluru is now considered more culturally appropriate. Those are very different examples but what they have in common is that the "misnomer" is a strong part of the lexicon, whether or not it makes much sense. By the way, remember this thread? WTF Kiwis are not australian

I was reminded of it again because geography is a fickle creature, and fundamental axioms about it (like how many continents there are in the first place, much less what the best names for them are) actually differ from place to place and there is plenty of nonsense to go around, even for the folks who object to calling Americans "Americans". Here I introduce myself as "North American" (in Spanish, not in English where this convention would sound ridiculous), which is how they would correct me if I were to introduce myself as "American" and it doesn't make any sense either.

Hell, the other day someone was arguing to me that "Central America" is a continent. I didn't have much to say other than "that is not a part of a content model that I am familiar with." This is all very arbitrary stuff and I just tend to favor the "when in Rome" approach. Where I am they want USians to be called "North Americans" and that is what I use when speaking Spanish in this region, in English I'd just say I'm an American.

All languages are chock-full of stupidity, illogic and inconsistency, but when using them I just go with what communicates my point, even if I don't agree with what they've agreed upon as the keyword for the term and even if the illogic boggles the mind (such as in some languages where using a double-negative is the colloquially accepted way of saying things).

When in Rome...
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:07 pm
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

engineer wrote:
Usian is just starting its journey.


i've only seen it here and only a few times

it's got a long journey to get to me


I have known about it for at least 10 years. It is kind of equivalent to the genuine, official Spanish word Estadaunidense really, isn't it?
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:08 pm
@ehBeth,
That's why it will never catch on. It has a "radio misspelling" problem.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:08 pm
Never heard of Usian before but unless someone intends it to be an insult, it wouldn't bother me.

It's pretty silly though.

Last time I checked, Canadians and Mexicans weren't pissing about Usians grabbing "American" for themselves, and if they want to call themselves Americans they're free to. Usians won't invade their nations to take the moniker back.

"America," after all is part of the official name: The United States of America.

I certainly prefer "American" to "Usian," and I bet most Aericans do as well, but if anyone calls me the latter, based on the explanation I've seen here, I'm just going to think of them as a tiny bit of a jerk, for giving a damn what Americans prefer to call themselves.

"Seppo" on the other hand is clearly an insult, and anyone who uses it in referring to or addressing Americans is a very large bit of a jerk. It no different than Chinks, Gooks, Beaners, Wops, Frogs etc.

@Builder: I really have to laugh at the pugnacious arrogance that drips from your post justifying using Seppo because Yanks are arrogant. I guess you and your mates show 'em.

Don't mind being called a Yank or a Yankee.

I call the British "Brits," the Australians "Aussies," and the Candadians "Canuks," because they are more convenient, more casual, and because I've heard them call themselves the same thinks. If however, a Brit, Aussie or Canuk told me they were offended by me using the terms, I would .

So if you are a Brit, a Canuk, or an Aussie and those terms offend you, let me know.

Engineer has already explained that he is offended by Usian, and I think just about any 'Merican would, like me, be insulted by Seppo.

It's good to have information when we make choices.



djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:11 pm
@ehBeth,
i've read it as you-see-an
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:13 pm
@wandeljw,
Necessary because whenever "American" is used people don't know if you mean US citizens, Canadians, Mexicans, or anyone living in Central or South America?

The word has no real utility.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:14 pm
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:

I also do not see anything derogatory about USian. I have only seen it on A2K and merely assumed that it was to make a distinction between citizens of Canada and the U.S.


And if you are Spanish, people from Argentina and Mexico are "Americans" too.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:16 pm
@contrex,
actually they're Argentinians or Mexicans in my book (the book of canada speak that is)
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:18 pm
@dlowan,
Actually it would be like the French calling themselves "Europeans"

Who would care?
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:21 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Sorrry, Finn, but for some Canadians I know, the appelation 'Canuk' is fightin' words.
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:24 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
we prefer Caknucklehead actually
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:26 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

I just think that everyone should try to let things get under their skin as little as possible if they want to be happy.

That's especially true on the Internet where you know that some people will goad you for a response. For those who prefer not to offend, I state my preference. I'm sure someone who was unaware of your preference for Robert would be upset to know that they'd been irritating you all these years out of ignorance.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:35 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

You are free to persist happily in your delusion as it clearly one that gives you pleasure.

As you are free to persist in using a term that various posters on multiple threads have told you is unappreciated, but at least going forward you do it knowing that it offends.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:43 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
I'm sure someone who was unaware of your preference for Robert would be upset to know that they'd been irritating you all these years out of ignorance.


So far in all these years I only remember a few people who call me "Bob" but right after posting that kuvasz took it up, while ranting about how I'm "on a mission to prove I'm an asshole" (while his seems to be to demonstrate proof positive that irony does not exist).

Like I said, the few people who ever call me Bob usually seemed to be doing it on purpose for a reaction anyway, and within a short time of talking about it I have new trolls latching onto it. <shrugs>

Such is life, this is the Barbara Streisand effect and by saying I don't like the name "Bob" I've ensured a steady stream of half-witted uses of it in my future.
engineer
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 03:44 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

Now that people have told you that they didn't know it was possible that it had a negative connotation and did not use it in a derogatory way, will you be willing to consider that some people might not mean it to be derogatory in future exchanges, or will you continue to assume it's always meant to be derogatory?

Now that people have told me that they intended no offense, I will assume they meant no offense in previous postings (although all the people who said they did not intend to offend did not use it.) If they continue to use it knowing that it offends, then I will assume that is their intent. No different than people calling Robert Bob. It's not WWIII as this is the Internet and people try to provoke all the time, but at least everyone is clear on where they stand.
 

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