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On Fri, Jan 18, 2013 at 2:42 PM, Mathieu Roy <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> <<Moreover, I would sooner stick a fork in my own hand than to suggest that
> anyone "should" learn any particular language -- although I will go so far
> as to suggest that everyone who is going to regard themselves as educated
> should make an effort to learn at least one other language (and, in my
> fantasy university, every single student will learn two languages, one
> living and one dead).  But I'm not going to say "everyone must learn
> Latin!" or "Everyone should learn English!"  I won't even say that everyone
> in America should learn English.
>
> As far as I'm concerned, there is precious little room in linguistics, or
> in conlanging, for shoulds.
>
> Other than as modals.>>
>
> Sorry for my badly phrased sentence. I agree that people should learn a
> language only if they want to (while on the other hand it kind of hurts to
> stick a fork in one's own hand ;) ). That's why I reformulated my though in
> a latter email asking for advantages of less logical languages because
> that's what I really wanted to know in the end. So I apologize.
>
> <<(Hmm, although I will go so far as to suggest that anyone who wishes to
> study in an American university should probably know enough English to
> understand the lectures, and anyone who doesn't shouldn't be admitted to
> that university unless the University is willing to provide translators.
> So I guess that's my prescriptive line.)>>
>
> I am American too, and there are plenty people that do not speak English in
> my university. Yes people from Quebec, Mexico, and South America are also
> Americans; what they are not is US-Americans. I would sooner stick a fork
> in
> my own hand than to suggest that my country is America.
>

One of the meanings (the primary one, now, I'd say) is that America is just
the USA. It's one part of the Americas, but USA and America are synonyms to
most people.

stevo