Colorado State University walks back its language guide’s advice not to say “America” and “Americans”

A few days ago I reported on Colorado State University’s (CSU’s) “Inclusive Language Guide”, which apparently did not constitute official university policy but was still a rather draconian attempt to force language into a Woke Procrustean bed. As the guide’s introduction said:

What this document is: This is a living resource compiled by the Inclusive Communications Task Force at Colorado State University. The document is intended to serve as a best practices guide. It is provided and will be updated with the intention of sharing meaningful and useful language suggestions. It is worth noting that language is always evolving so this document will be updated periodically.

What this document is not: This is not an official policy or required practice. This document is intended as a resource to help our campus community reflect our Principles of Community particularly inclusion, respect, and social justice. The language in the guide may not apply to every individual and it is critical to take personal preference into account. The guide is not about political-correctness or policing grammar, but rather helping communicators practice inclusive language and helping everyone on our campus feel welcomed, respected, and valued.

But the guide got out somehow, and the conservative media had a field day with it (this kind of policing is common to the Left, and so I didn’t find much about it in the liberal media). Particularly galling to many was the deep-sixing of the terms “America” and “American” according to these guidelines:

I’ve since been told that many people from North and South America, including Canadians and Hispanics, refer to the U.S. as “America” and its inhabitants as “Americans” (in the local language, of course). You can see how this Newspeak would raise the hackles of conservatives, but it also bothered people like me because these terms are already in common usage by people who aren’t U.S. citizens. It also had an air of Pecksniffishness about it.

At any rate, there is a report at 9 News from Denver, an NBC site and station, that CSU is walking back its guide, claiming first that it was leaked, second that it was an “outdated” draft and not a final copy, and third, that the “America/American” warning was removed before the final draft of the document was issued. You can read about the kerfuffle in the 9 News report below (click on screenshot):

Burned by the mocking and derisive media exposure, the Chancellor of CSU issued the following statement:

Well, I’m not that impressed by this walk-back. Just because it’s not official policy doesn’t mean it doesn’t reflect the ideology and political opinions of the university’s administrators. And, frankly, I don’t believe that the “America/Americans” bit was deleted before the guide was ever “finalized or circulated to campus.” I’m betting that if there was such a deletion, it came from media exposure.

Finally, CSU defending itself by claiming that “we have not seen any evidence that this brief guide has had a chilling effect on the climate on our learning environment.” Of course not! What kind of evidence could there be for such a chill, given that many college students say that they feel intimidated about saying certain politically unpopular things, but keep quiet about it? The claim that there’s been no chilling effect is simply disingenuous.

The administration is arguing that this is just a guide, not meant to dictate language to anyone. But surely it’s meant to recommend language usage:

Mary Ontiveros, CSU’s vice president of Diversity, said this was included in the draft of the guide because “America” might mean something to different to different people, depending on where they’re from.

“The Americas encompass a lot more than the United States,” she said. “There is South America, Central America, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean just to name a few of the 42 countries in total. That’s why the word “Americano” in Spanish can refer to anything on the American continent. Yet, when we talk about “Americans” in the U.S., we’re usually just referring to people from the U.S This erases other cultures and depicts the U.S. as the dominant American country.”

In his statement, Frank said the inclusive language guide was never meant to be used by students and is not an official policy.

This was seconded by Ontiveros, who said, “we’re not dictating anyone to use it one way or another, any of the words on that list.”

“If you’re going to use a particular word, it’s probably good to know what that word means and you can choose to use it or not use it understand that it might strike one person a particular way and others another way,” she added.

I just finished re-reading Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, in which Newspeak—a totalitarian revision of language—features largely. There’s even an appendix in which Orwell explains the principles of Newspeak and how it was meant to control thought. The CSU guide, though motivated by sentiments that largely align with mine—liberal sentiments—is similarly authoritarian, for it uses the authority of the college to urge students to say one thing rather than another. And that’s an abrogation of free speech.


h/t: Leon


  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    … the deep-sixing of the terms “America” and “American” …

    WTF, man, if it’s good enough for Mellencamp, it oughta be good enough for these college snots:

  2. prinzler
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Waidamminit. The Chancellor’s statement says:

    “As a university system whose campuses strenuously advocate for First Amendment rights, we will defend someone’s right to try and avoid offending someone inadvertently. . . .”

    We have to defend the right to AVOID offending someone? Is this a Freudian slip?

    • CJColucci
      Posted July 22, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Apparently we do these days. At the risk of using an outdated term, a gentleman is someone who does not give offense except when he means to. That sometimes requires work and thought.

  3. prinzler
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Waidamminit. The Chancellor’s statement says:

    “As a university system whose campuses strenuously advocate for First Amendment rights, we will defend someone’s right to try and avoid offending someone inadvertently. . . .”

    We have to defend the right to AVOID offending someone? Is this a Freudian slip?

  4. Posted July 21, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Most of the coverage of this issue missed the most absurd item in the list: “Preferred pronouns” is unacceptable!

    We’ve reached a point where even a term that was literally invented by the social-justice Left in order to accommodate the sensitivities of their gender neutral brethren is itself not inclusive enough!

    It’s like watching a linguistic ouroboros.

  5. C.
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    The left wants to tell ya what words you’re allowed to use and the right wants to tell ya what language you’re allowed to speak.

    • Glenda Palmer
      Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink


    • Deodand
      Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Nice One!

      I much preferred, the right is man stealing from his fellow man, the left, that’s the other way round…

  6. GBJames
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    If most of the suggestions are common sense and have been in use for decades, as the Chancellor claims, what is the point of creating the document in the first place?

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I generally try to avoid using America in writing and instead use U.S. I’m not even sure why but it probably has something to do with the fact that America as a term is more than just the U.S. and to use U.S. is a more specific definition. If in fact, you were in Alaska, they would be referring to us as – The Lower 48. The military would us the term CONUS (continental United States). In government writing they often refer to CONUS.

    I hope I haven’t hurt any feelings…

    • Jan Looman
      Posted July 21, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      As a Canadian I have always referred to the country as the U.S. and the people as Americans. I don’t know any Canadian that refers to the country as America, I think for the very reason you state – that America is a terms for more than just the U.S.

    • mfdempsey1946
      Posted July 21, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      For whatever it is worth:

      A few years ago two students of mine, twin teenage sisters from Venezuela, at a Los Angeles school that teaches English to foreign learners insisted that two continents called North and South America really do not exist.

      Only one does — America — and so all inhabitants of this continent can properly be called Americans, however else they are also named.

      The twins stated that all students in Venezualan grammar schools are taught this.

      But they also did not consider it a big deal that only citizens of the United States (now the late lamented) are commonly and exclusively referred to as “Americans”.

      Of course, back then Venezuela was not suffering from today’s real problems.

      • pablo
        Posted July 21, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        America is part of the name of the country. It’s not the United States, it’s the United States of America. There are many countries that have united states in them, Belgium, Brazil, VENEZUELA.

        There’s nothing wrong with calling the country America, or its citizens Americans. Anyone who can’t tell when you’re referring to the continent and not the country is an idiot.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted July 21, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I have heard lots of people referring to Belgium and Venezuela as the U.S. And they refer to it in writing as well… Confuse them with the lower 48 all the time. Sarcasm

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted July 21, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          This will make you feel better…

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted July 21, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

            My mistake on where I inserted this. It was suppose to go down in #9. Makes absolutely no sense here.

        • Posted July 22, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          Belgium is the Kingdom of Belgium, not the United States. Brazil is the Federal Republic of Brazil, not a United States. Venezuela is the Republic of Venezuela, not the United States. I’ll give you Mexico, though.

          There’s also nothing wrong with calling the United States of America, the US or the United States. Nobody else ever shortens the name of their country to that. There’s no ambiguity.

          After all, which United States do you think controls the navy that owns this ship – Mexico or America?

          I think the only possible point of contention is that there are parts of America that are not in the USA. There’s no greater land mass called Mexico of which the US countries are a part. The US of Mexico is all of Mexico.

          That said, the use of America by itself is common in English and not ambiguous in most contexts.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted July 21, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        I’m pretty sure that North America and South America are defined as two different continents *in most cases*. A majority of people would agree with the Venezuelan sisters.

        There’s probably a stronger case to call Europe and Asia one continent ‘Eurasia’, certainly geologically. Apparently Russians do that, understandably since their country occupies a large part of both ‘continents’.

        But the take-away I get from it is that nobody is entitled to claim that their definition is the only correct one, or that someone else’s is wrong.


      • Posted July 22, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Only problem is that there are two continents. North America and South America are on different tectonic plates.

  8. Charles Sawicki
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    “Inclusive Communications Task Force at Colorado State University”
    Faculty wasting their time on this sort of crap should count against them in tenure reviews.

  9. phoffman56
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Well, as people here may have noticed, if they have come to tolerate my old fart language (length), it seems to me that ‘USian’ is:
    1/ the same number of syllables;
    2/ fewer letters;
    3/ the beginning of a decent geographical education for the vast majority of USian youngsters (and oldsters) for whom political/geographical education was largely non-factual and akin to religious education in its propagandian aspects; and, finally (to your relief),
    4/ helpful to put an end to some kind of leftover from the era of the common Monro/Monroe/Munro/Munroe doctrine misreading.

    But I agree 100% with Jerry on the stupidity of the woke wobbleheads.

    Rather than making me feel unjustifiably inferior, the ignorance about South (and much of North) America just makes me feel the likely effect has been to make these youngsters feel utterly unjustifiably superior, in addition to not knowing in which direction to point their cars when trying to visit Canada (perhaps to purchase some psychological medications).

    My wife has also long been a Canuck now, was a Brit, and worked briefly for a USian military man in Norway before we met. Within minutes of work-start, he was saying quite explicitly (with no motivation and much to her horror) that if she was a real good worker, then she could come back to live in Texas when the time had come for his family’s return. He was much taken aback to learn that there were some Europeans even in those days who would probably rather move to, say, Afghanistan or Nigeria or Chile, than to god’s country.

    • XCelLKen
      Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      I moved to Houston, Texas in 1984. Since that time, the population has increased from 1.6 million, to 2.4 million. The Houston Metropolitan Area has increased from 3.4 million, to over 6 million. Apparently, not everyone agrees with you lol

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted July 21, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        One word – Immigration

        • XCellKen
          Posted July 22, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          Really??? I hadn’t noticed. I just thought that everyone here was breeding like bunnies???

          Seriously, I get very tired of all of the “Texas sucks so bad because its a Red state”. Like we are one huge monolith. I suppose our host wouldn’t care if people made comments about Chicago based on nothing more than its gun problem, and assuming the entire city was one big gun zone. BTW, while Houston is gaining population, Chicago is losing population. Just sayin’

          I guess its ok to judge the entire state of California based on the antics of people in Berkeley ???

          And I’m not sure if the video you posted was condescending or not. BTW, not everybody in Texas likes Country Music. Some of us don’t even wear cowboy boots and hats

          How about this video about Houston:

      • phoffman56
        Posted July 21, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Understanding the difference between

        ‘Not everyone wants to be a USian’
        ‘Everyone does not want to be a USian’

        does require having a decent education in something additional to what I mentioned earlier. Whether it is logic or geography that is worse could be a long discussion.

        • XCellKen
          Posted July 22, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          Sorry I’m such a moron. I’ll try better next time.

          BTW, please educate my ignorant self about people who would rather live in a Third World country than Texas ???

          • phoffman56
            Posted July 22, 2019 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

            Firstly to answer Jeremy immediately below as well:
            I myself am a person (right now at least, but not in Pinochet’s day) who would, if forced to live in either U.S.A. or Chile, definitely opt for Chile without a moment’s thought. It is not just Trump, or worse, the shock of realizing support for the man could amount to 100 million adult USians, most of them seriously xenophobic. One of several other reasons is the fact that statistically my probability of being murdered would be much less, about half. I did live briefly in Newark in 1961 as a pretend actuary, and in Chicago in 1967 and 1968 as a research mathematician, but not as an immigrant.

            The Texan military man’s surprise in 1964 was that there was anyone elsewhere in the world who did not want to immigrate to the US, if my not-yet-wife understood, which I’m sure she did. She happens to be the author or co-author of 5 full length (non self-published!) books, so comprehends the language rather well, to say the least.

            To further help educationally the above, here’s a hint: The true statement is ‘Not everyone wants to be a USian’. And that’s a simple answer to your misguided objection, which I can only understand to be pointing out that some people have surely immigrated and settled in Houston. The other statement is false. If it had been true, it would have been a reasonable objection to my earlier.

            The statements are thus certainly not logically equivalent. But I would bet that 95% of USians, in trying to state the true one, would logically incorrectly say the other, ‘Everyone does not want to be a USian’. And they would be logically incorrectly understood by almost all USians to be saying, or trying to say, the earlier.
            So it is a matter of logic, a very primitive and unfortunate misuse of language in US, but also not uncommon elsewhere in English at least, but far less often. You’d never hear it on BBC, but would unfortunately at times on ‘my’ CBC. I blame the Yanks and their pervasive dumb-dumb culture, but maybe someone can convince me it was also common here in Canada 100 years ago.
            It is also completely obvious to me that, for example, a major reason that well above average students often have difficulty understanding very basic calculus is the general sloppiness in handling logical quantifiers, particularly in the presence of negations.

            I’ll send the bill for the tutorial at the end of the month.

        • Posted July 22, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          You asserted that there are Europeans who’d rather live in Afghanistan, Nigeria, or Chile than in Texas. I would be pretty much as surprised as your wife’s Texan employer if any European asserted a preference for any of those countries over Texas.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      An executive at a company I worked at was from the US with several of his colleagues. He actually told my friend, “you should move the US. Canadians are lazy”. This was an executive in the company. One of the workers there told me something similar. “Canadians are lazy and don’t know how to work like Americans”. And it is actually pretty hilarious to me because I don’t see that at all and I don’t think they did ether….they just thought we were like northern Mexicans and to them all Mexicans were lazy. I think I said something like, “it takes all 30 million of us spread out all over a massive land mass to give us a standard of living on par with any other western democracy. We are hardly lazy”.

  10. DrBrydon
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    . . . because “America” might mean something to different to different people, depending on where they’re from.

    Yes, shocking, words mean different things to different people. People in the UK also use America to refer to the United States. Also, wouldn’t the recommended substitute, “US Citizen”, be more exclusionary in today’s immigration climate?

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted July 21, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      As a Brit, I find that if I’m talking or writing about the country, I say ‘the US’. If I’m talking about the people, I say ‘Americans’.

      Canadians are ‘Canadians’. South Americans are ‘South Americans’. Central Americans are ‘Central Americans’. Mexicans are ‘Mexicans’. Sorry to be non-woke, but it works for me (and everyone I know).

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        And when we visit, we usually say, “I’m going to the States”.

        • Martin Levin
          Posted July 24, 2019 at 3:01 am | Permalink

          Yes, I say the same thing, though I am avoiding the place these days. There’s much about the US I enjoy and admire, but don’t want to support a regime that’s so mendacious, ugly, corrupt, and one that cages people.

  11. DW
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    “The guide is not about political-correctness or policing grammar, but rather helping communicators practice inclusive language and helping everyone on our campus feel welcomed, respected, and valued.”

    Wow. “This is not political correctness, but is instead political correctness.”

  12. Kenneth Webb
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Have lived in Canada for nearly fifty years. No one here thinks the word “Americans” refers to us, though it is a matter of mild annoyance that it has been so completely appropriated by the people that we always call “the Americans”. “U.S. person” in any event is a barbarism of the sort Orwell held should be avoided even at the risk of illogic or inconsistency.

    • phoffman56
      Posted July 21, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      I’m a Canadian, a North American, an American, and a member of the human species. So your “No one here” is at least just slightly an exaggeration!
      ‘USian’ perhaps avoids Orwell’s strictures.
      Someone(s) decided around 1776 to name a certain country using 21 letters plus 3 spaces. So having made that bed, maybe they should sleep in it for a bit.
      Besides, if, say, 4 states of Brazil decided to break away and form a (united!) country, that naming above will have created an ambiguity!
      Why didn’t they just use


      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        You need to be abundantly clear what country you have citizenship in when they ask at the border. If you say something weird or confusing, prepare for a lot of hassle, especially if you’re at a land crossing. The accepted answers for Canadians and Americans is “Canada” or “America”.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

          Or of course all the different names for America like “United States”. But say North America and prepare for follow up questions and hassles.

    • John Conoboy
      Posted July 21, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      I can’t tell you how many times I have been told that people in Canada are Americans too and that the Canadians hate it when folks in the US are called Americans. Of course, this has never been someone from Canada who said it, always another US resident.

      There was a professor here in New Mexico that made a big thing about America and said that folks from the US should be called United Statens, or Estado Unidensis (my Spanish might be a tad off here). This ignores of course that the full name for the country of Mexico is Estado Unidos Mexicanos, so how are we to differentiate people from the United States of Mexico and the United States of America? How about the terms Mexican and American? That might work.

      • Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Hello John Conoboy. I can tell you that my Canadian relatives have more than a few times made the point clear to me. To them education mattered and the bad education system in US not teaching the proper names of the continent mattered to them. Hugs

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes, as a Canadian all my life, I have never once heard or told or felt offended that the United States of American is called “America” and if anything, I want people to know that no, I’m not an American, I’m a Canadian. I come from Canada. And this is especially important because there are Americans who ask things like, “why do you celebrate the 4th of July on July 1st?” and “What state is Canada in” and other embarrassing things. So, yes. I’m not American. I don’t mind that my neighbours to the south call themselves “Americans” and I don’t want to be called “American” because I’m “Canadian” and have my own cultural identity – and water. Don’t touch our our water!

        • Martin Levin
          Posted July 24, 2019 at 3:07 am | Permalink

          When I was about 17, we were visiting L.A. I went to a Wells Fargo bank to cash some travelers cheques. The teller asked for ID. I showed her my Manitoba driver’s license. She said: “What state is that.” I said: “It’s Massachusetts.” “Okay,” she said, and cashed my cheques.

          • phoffman56
            Posted July 24, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

            Were we back in the bad old days of traveler’s cheques (sorry, ‘checks’ in USian), we might want to create a ‘dictionary’, starting with
            Manitoba——> Massachusatts,
            maybe continuing with
            Ontario——> Ohio or Oklahoma.
            The rule for the game is clear.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted July 24, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

            Ha ha. My dad had a friend from East Germany back in the days when there was an East Germany. When crossing the border, they told her to say she was from Moose Jaw or something because if they thought she had a funny accent, they could just say that’s how everyone talks there. Of course, she said East Germany & they got formally deported.

    • Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Hello Kenneth Webb. My Canadian relatives always referred to the US as “the States”. They hated that the US thought they were the entire “Americas”. Hugs

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        Sure, we know it’s technically wrong but more importantly, we know that Americans DON’T know it’s wrong and that amuses and annoys us. You see, it’s more important to us that we point out it’s wrong to show you that again, you ignored us, and again, you thought it was all about you. Canadians don’t care what you call your country, but it’s a sliver in our toe that you always ignore us. It’s so bad that we actually have a major issue with our own self esteem (having heard how inferior we are from the US all our lives) and when we go to other parts of the world we are shocked that people know where Canada is, what we do here and they actually like us! So, we don’t walk around cringing at the word “America” thinking it’s wrong. Most of us never think about the word at all.

        • Posted July 21, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

          Hello Diana MacPherson. It was my point that it is the arrogance of the US public and the bad educational system that so many people in the US think they are the entire America(s). I know I may be going against the least educated in my country to keep pointing this out but it pains me that my fellows do not understand the difference. I worry that if such a simple thing as this geography error can become an accepted “fact” then what next will be distorted or totally lied about?
          As for not most of the people thinking about the word America, an entire segment of the population is chanting it at every tRump rally.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted July 21, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

            Well you ain’t going to teach geography by changing a well established name. No Canadian in Canada would think that Americans would suddenly learn where Canada was. In the meantime, calling your country American isn’t upsetting us.

            • Posted July 21, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

              Hello Diana MacPherson. So education is worthless? So using the correct term means nothing? At no time did I say it was upsetting you, I did say it was a correction my Canadian relatives made to me. So I would ask again if you speak for all Canadians? If you are not speaking for the entire Canadian population what is your argument when I have stated that my Canadian relatives have a problem with the people in the US thinking they are the entire Americans? Hugs

          • John Conoboy
            Posted July 21, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

            Scottie, people in the US do not think they are the entire “America.” There is no arogance, nor was I taught in school that here in the US we are the entire “America.” Tt is historical usage. It is a result of the structure of the name of the country and has been in use around the world for a long, long, time.

            Are there any other countries in the Americas that use the term United States? Not that I am aware of. All the countries have a clear country name and thus are Brazilians, Ecuadorians, Canadians, Hondurans, etc. The logical way to differentiate a country that begins with United States of…is to use what follows, i.e. Mexico or America. Say there was a country called the United States of Brazil. What would you call people who came from that country? I would imagine that they would be called Brazilians.

            I have been to 5 continents so far and many countries, and everywhere I go if I say I am an American, people know that I mean the US, and so do I.

            • Posted July 21, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

              Hello John Conoboy. I disagree. Ask most people in the US where they are from and they will tell you America. While I have not been as well traveled as you, I do have a wide subscriber base and they all seem to feel that we are the US not America. I will add this. When I was a soldier in Germany no one referred to the US as America.

              As for other countries forcing the “Americas” into their names, why should they? They are part of the Americas! They need to prove nothing! That is the point. How egotistical of us to assume we are the entire Americas.


              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted July 21, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

                When I visited Germany many years ago as a young person all the Germans I met referred to America as America.
                And some even said that because my American was so good it would help me get by in the world.
                American in that context being English, spoken by me an Australian.

                Over here America is America. I like it that way too.
                And Hawaii is America and I like that too.

          • Posted July 21, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

            … the arrogance of the US public and the bad educational system that so many people in the US think they are the entire America(s)

            On what do you base that assumption?

            Using “American” to describe oneself does not mean one is ignorant of the existence of the Americas.

            • Posted July 21, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

              Hello Matt. Great question. I base my opinion on my life time of talking to people in the US, my time in the US military, and my interaction with people in my area. I can tell you I have asked those people around where I live what country they are in, and they all answer America very proudly.

              If you ask the majority of the people in the US what American means they will tell you it means the country they are a member of . Along with all sorts of stuff about freedom and rights. Sadly most people in the US are under educated. They really believe their country is called America! Hugs

              • Posted July 21, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

                That only means that they considered “America” and “Americans” the proper terms.

                I’ve never seen “American” used to describe a resident of the New World. “North-“, “Central-” or “South American” yes, in the proper context.

                What adjective would you have us use to describe ourselves?

              • Posted July 21, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

                Hello Matt. I am not sure what you are asking as to

                What adjective would you have us use to describe ourselves?

                As for the word American I have already explained in my 56 years of life I have heard people in my communities use it to describe their citizenship or country they belong to. I am not understanding your issue. Go out to any supermarket and ask people what country they are in and they will say “America”. What more is there to say. Hugs

              • Posted July 21, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

                You’re killing me, Smalls.

                ‘I am an American. I live in America, a.k.a., the USA.’ What word do you want me to use in the above sentence instead of ‘American’?

  13. Jon Gallant
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    In the early 1970s, the idiocies of Bernardine Dohrn & Co. made Richard Nixon look relatively good, by contrast, to many Americans (oops, I mean USians). Having accomplished this own goal, players of what was called the New Left then decided to abandon politics and retreat to campus enclaves, where they continued the struggle entirely in regard to words. This is undoubtedly the origin of Wokespeak. It is probably also the reason for the various grievance studies departments and their peculiar vocabularies, and for the mysterious amalgamation of postmodernism with the campus pop-Left. This history may turn out to be a huge new own goal in the making.

  14. Posted July 21, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on myladygiselle and commented:
    No damn way –

  15. Posted July 21, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    As others have posted already, as a Canadian, I call the Country the United States or US, and the people Americans. I have only met one person (online in this case) who had a problem with calling you Americans. United Statians doesn’t really roll off the tongue. Eh? 😉

  16. Posted July 21, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m amused by the way Americans refer to “the” United States, apparently unaware that on their southern border is a country called Estados Unidos de Mexico.

    [Just joking]

  17. Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Hello Jerry. I was told by Canadian relatives way back in the late 1970’s that the calling the US America was offencive. They explained that it was not correct by pointing out that Canada of America, Mexico of America, and the United States of America are the correct names.
    Seems to me we should use the correct name and not be so egotistical as to push for calling our country by the entire western hemisphere. The country is the United States of America. Or US for short. Hugs

    • BJ
      Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      The “correct” name is in the eye of the beholder, not necessarily what your relatives think. I’ve never heard to the two American continents referred to in any other way but “The Americas,” which makes perfect sense and everyone knows what it means. And the most important thing in language is that people are communicating effectively, so, in my opinion, we already are already using the “correct” terminology.

      • Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        Hello BJ. I disagree with the idea the majority of the US including the current president is using the incorrect terms makes it right. Regardless of who uses America to refer to the US is wrong and misleading. It is not OK to say well you are wrong but we will give you a pass because it is the way you believe. The US is not the entire Americas and to assert so is beyond wrong it is egotistical. This points out a huge failure in the educational system. Hugs

        • Posted July 21, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          Scottie, you don’t have to make so many comments. Read the Roolz for guideliness

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 21, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      I explained this up here. I’ve been Canadian all my life. I live in Canada with all the other Canadians. We don’t care what you call your country. We just want you to know that this is our country. It’s called Canada.

      • Posted July 21, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Hello Diana MacPherson. I didn’t realize you spoke for all of the Canadian of America populations. I shall inform my Canadian relatives they are incorrect. Hugs

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted July 21, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the snark. Very typical for a Canuck to hear from an American – please tell me more about what my country likes.

  18. davelenny
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Would I be insulting someone if I meditate on this issue while listening to the New World Symphony Symphony Number 9?

  19. Posted July 21, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    I work at CSU, and I was unaware of this document. I can’t speak for my colleagues, but I have never felt constrained in my speech, other than the fact that the generally upper middle class culture of the professorate has a set of expectations that isn’t always the same as other cultures (for instance, swearing in a faculty meeting would be considered pretty bad behavior, but swearing in other work settings is far more common in my experience).

  20. Posted July 21, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Since citizens of the US are incapable or too arrogant to find a collective word to describe themselves without appropriating that of others, I’ll continue to simply refer to them as Yanks.

    • Posted July 21, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Talk about arrogance–here you are dismissing every citizen of the US as arrogant or stupid! In fact, you are instantiating the very arrogance you decry. Sorry, pal, but your rudeness and incivility have barred you from this website, though I’ll let your comment go through this one time so people can see how rude some people are.

  21. Michael Waterhouse
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    There seems to be a glitch at the moment where some of my comments aren’t going through.

    Any hoo, many years ago when I was young and travelling the world I visited Germany.
    Everyone I met, if it came up called America America.
    I guy even said that with my good American I could do well in my endeavors.
    American meaning English, spoken by me an Australian.
    And over here America is America. And I like it that way.
    Hawaii is America and I like that too.

  22. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted July 21, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    The tacit assumption that ‘Merica is the only country of significance (as evidenced by the use of ‘World Series’ et al in sporting codes that nobody else plays) mildly niggles or amuses almost everybody else in the world, I think. They regard it as a stereotypically American symptom, along with wanting to shoot people all the time. 🙂

    That said, adjectives of nationality and location are notoriously illogical and inconsistent. In Britain, visiting ‘Europe’ or ‘the Continent’ universally means ‘that place across the English Channel’, even though every British schoolchild knows quite accurately that Britain is part of the continent of Europe. I think we all know that Canadians and Mexicans are North Americans but not ‘Americans’. We know that ‘West Indians’ come from the Caribbean and not Bombay (Mumbai). And so on.

    So I really don’t see much point in CSU’s attempted policing of the language. ‘USAnian’ sounds hopelessly contrived (yes it could catch on if pushed very hard for a long time but I don’t see that happening) so I think ‘American’ will continue and it’s really the least of anyone’s linguistic crimes.


  23. JB
    Posted July 22, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Ok, now can someone explain the difference between Britain, Great Britain, England, the United Kingdom, and the British Isles?

    • GBJames
      Posted July 22, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      My friend Mr. Google, can help you.

    • Posted July 22, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      The British Isles is the archipelago of islands in the North Sea near mainland Europe. Great Britain is the largest island in that archipelago. The word “Great” does not mean super or brilliant in this context, it means big.

      The British Isles are currently divided into two sovereign states:

      – the Republic of Ireland which controls most of the second largest island in the British Isles and some of the smaller islands around its edge;

      – the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which controls the rest of the second largest island (Northern Ireland), the island of Great Britain and all the other islands around the edge e.g. the Scottish Isles and the Isle of Man. The Isle of Wight is, for some reason, considered to be part of Great Britain.

      Historically, Great Britain was divided into two kingdoms and a principality: England, Scotland and Wales. Wales was annexed by England in medieval times. Scotland was annexed by England… sorry, Scotland and England formed a union in the early 1700’s. So England is a constituent country in the United Kingdom as are Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

      Do not refer to the UK as England in the presence of a Scotsman. Some of them are still a bit sore about the annexing… sorry, the union.

  24. Steve
    Posted July 22, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Proof positive that, at times, people on opposite sides of the political spectrum can still find common ground. My child is a student at CSU, and I believe that any attempt to influence or coerce an individual’s right to speak (even under the altruistic pretense of “not offending”) is the opposite of “progressive”, and becomes totalitarian bordering on fascist. Shall we see if Canadians will refer to themselves as “Far North American Citizens”? After all, that would go a long way to help establish the geographical boundaries of our northern neighbors, since we share the same continent.

  25. Bobb
    Posted July 22, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Here’s an update from CSU.

    Dear CSU Campus Community,

    Three weeks ago, I arrived on campus to your warm welcome. At that time, I sent you a brief note to thank you. I am reaching out now to provide context and clarity regarding recent media mischaracterization of a language guide requested by CSU faculty and staff. This guide recommends inclusive language usage; none of its recommendations are required.

    Information about work on the guide was reported by the Collegian in October 2018, at which time the student newspaper published a preliminary version. That draft version of the guide included a suggestion to consider using “U.S. citizen” in place of “American” in reference to citizens from the United States. This suggestion was ultimately deleted – many months ago – and is not in the current guide available to faculty and staff today. Nonetheless, some media republished the draft document last week and claimed it was proof that CSU is unpatriotic and restricts free speech, even falsely asserting that the word “American” had been banned from campus.

    These characterizations of CSU could not be further from the truth. Chancellor Frank has already said it powerfully in his public response: “We consider the First Amendment the foundation of any great American public university.”

    As your President, I assure you: I unequivocally share this belief. We do not place prohibitions on language on our campus.

    What we do at CSU is engage in rigorous critical thinking, and critical thinking teaches us that our words matter. I applaud all who seek to select their words thoughtfully, whether to explain a complex scientific process or address our diverse, inclusive community. This commitment to communicate our ideas with one another and with the world defines us as an institution of higher education with the highest standards.

    Finally, I believe it is important to note that many organizations whose professional staff engage with diverse populations have developed inclusive language guides for their staff. The Associated Press Stylebook has been including inclusive language principles for several years, and the American Medical Association offers similar guidance in their published Manual of Style for those in medical and scientific publishing. Another example is the U.S. Government Agency F18, which is housed in the General Services Administration and defines its role as partnering “with agencies to improve the user experience of government.” F18 has its own inclusive language guide, which addresses nationality, gender identities and race, among other topics.

    It is unfortunate that a draft version of our inclusive language guide was mischaracterized by some media outlets through either shallow reporting or intentional misrepresentation of the document and its stated purpose. As other media outlets reported, after conducting best-practice fact-checking, the guide is simply intended to be useful information for internal communicators on campus to consider, and it is absolutely consistent with our commitment to the free exchange of ideas in service of an excellent education for our students.

    Wishing you all a wonderful rest of your summer,


    Joyce McConnell


    Colorado State University

  26. CJColucci
    Posted July 22, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Language policing is annoying, and so is whining about it. There is no right or wrong of the matter, just usage. Usage is King — or Queen — or ruler — maybe “Usage rules” solves the problem. If you’re sufficiently annoyed at suggestions about how things should be called, then — at the risk of using politically-incorrect language — grow a pair and use what language you prefer. Just don’t whine if usage eventually turns against you and people draw adverse inferences based on your choices.

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