Ever since I traveled to Panama, which is in Central America but also technically part of North and South America, the phrase “Americans” referring to United States citizens has bugged me. It only got worse when I really thought about it in my EDS class last semester. The thing is, US citizens are not the only Americans. It’s pompous to assume that someone is talking about USA when saying American, because there are several Americas. Since I can’t think of what else to call myself than American, I can let that slide most of the time. I am American, but I realize that covers a vast amount of space. What really bugs me is when people say I am from America and mean the United States.
This has happened to me numerous times and numerous times I have had to bite my tongue. It’s a mixture of questions I receive; sometimes they ask “are you from the States?” or “Are you from the United States?” but when they ask “Are you from America?” my response is always “Yes I am from the United States.” It’s a picky detail, but it’s one I want to be clear about. I want to be respectful of those other countries who also recognize that they are from America as well, just a different America.