Have you ever really thought about the fact that South America isn’t?
Isn’t all that South, I mean. Nearly all of it is actually east of nearly all of North America. Most of it is east of Florida, although residents of Maine can safely refer to “south” America (especially if they mean Peru, Chile or Ecuador). And people on the USA west coast? The closest shores of Hawaii are just about as far west as the closest shores of South America are east.
And it’s nearly as far east from New York City (at 73 degrees west) to Rio de Janeiro (at 43 degrees west) as it is from Rio to Lisbon, Portugal (at 9 degrees west, so only four degrees further).
Perhaps we should rename it South-South-East America!
Perhaps today’s bit of trivia will invite you to spend some time with a map (it’s kind of fun knowing where everything is), but I did have a serious thought.
Many of my friends in South and Central America feel a bit left out when people refer to the United States of America (the good ol’ USA) as “America” or to the people who live there as “Americans.”
Because, you see, residents of the USA aren’t the only Americans.
They’re not even the only North Americans! Our Canadian and Mexican cousins (who so wonderfully bring us ice hockey, tequila, maple syrup and enchiladas) are also Americans and just as North as us.
This is why I try to use “United States” or “USA” when talking about this country. (And I’ve always liked the neologism, “USAnian” for the residents. It somehow sounds vaguely insulting, which I think is kind of funny given my extreme misanthropy and general views on the common USA lifestyle choices.)
So,… food for thought, a mind-expander perhaps? Just keep in mind, living in the USA, you’re not the only Americans on the planet!