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--- On Sat, 1/12/13, BPJ <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> > And how would you call people reserving the term "American" for
> > "US-American"?
>
> 
> Narrow-minded and/or chauvinist. 

At the risk of going all NCNC, this is just silly. Stupid even. There is
no good reason why two people, one from the US and one from Chile can't
both use the same word (American) to mean two different things. I was
born in the US and can say with 100% confidence and 0% chauvinism that I
am "an American", and I expect that every educated and most uneducated
people in any country in the world will know this means "US American".

I can also respect the Chilean who says, with equal confidence and equal
non-chauvinism, that he too is "an American". And I would expect any
educated person in the world (and perhaps a smaller number of uneducated
persons) to understand the broader (and indeed older) application of the 
same word, i.e., person native to the American continent (in either its 
northern or southern aspects).

> But it may be a simply linguistic thing -- the alternatives are mostly 
> verbose or not very well-formed.  I have confronted some people
> who used "Europe" as synonymous with "EU" and most of them had simply 
> not considered the implications or the semantics.

I too have met with "European" used with such different meanings. I
honestly don't see the issue. Just because these words have ancient and time-honored meanings doesn't mean that those definitions must be frozen 
and preserved to the exclusion of all other definitions. Meanings evolve 
and change. Sometimes new meanings accrete  to old words. That's how
language works, as folks around here are so fond of saying!

> /bpj

Padraic