I probably should just keep my mouth shut, but I've always disagreed with people who have a problem with citizens of the United States of America calling themselves Americans. Often they argue that Canadians, Brazilians, and Nicaraguans are also Americans. I think that Canadians and Nicaraguans (and Americans) are North Americans, and Brazilians and Ecuadorians are South Americans. There is no continent named America. Just as I wouldn't call residents of either North and South Dakota, "Dakotans" -- I would call them "North Dakotans" or "South Dakotans." (Of course, I may be shouted down by any "Dakotans" or "Carolinians" out there...) There is no other single word to define citizens of the United States of America (quiet, you in the back), so what is wrong with using the "America" part of the country's name and calling us "Americans"?

I always feel so stupidly jingoistic when I have to explain this to people, but it's a linguistic argument for me, not a patriotic one. If the word "American" is really so vague as to be a problem for everyone else out there, I suppose I will have to relent, but the few times I have been abroad, when I have told people that I am an American I can't remember being met with a perplexed stare. Also, if it really offends other North Americans and South Americans, I guess I will purge it from my lexicon as well, but I just don't like the sound of "I'm a US citizen" -- too official.

Anyway, I have to go read a report that some citizens of the UK who were visiting the US left in our office when they were here.