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BS: US or USA ?

McGrath of Harlow 21 Oct 03 - 06:28 AM
Allan C. 21 Oct 03 - 08:16 AM
artbrooks 21 Oct 03 - 08:38 AM
Rapparee 21 Oct 03 - 09:09 AM
Mark Clark 21 Oct 03 - 01:20 PM
SeanM 21 Oct 03 - 01:44 PM
Mrs.Duck 21 Oct 03 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,James 21 Oct 03 - 02:03 PM
SeanM 21 Oct 03 - 02:34 PM
GUEST 21 Oct 03 - 02:36 PM
Wolfgang 21 Oct 03 - 03:16 PM
mack/misophist 21 Oct 03 - 04:20 PM
GUEST 21 Oct 03 - 05:01 PM
Burke 21 Oct 03 - 05:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Oct 03 - 05:23 PM
NicoleC 21 Oct 03 - 10:47 PM
GUEST,John Gray in Oz 21 Oct 03 - 11:39 PM
mack/misophist 21 Oct 03 - 11:46 PM
mg 22 Oct 03 - 12:45 AM
Coyote Breath 22 Oct 03 - 01:09 AM
GUEST 22 Oct 03 - 09:32 AM
artbrooks 22 Oct 03 - 10:20 AM
mack/misophist 22 Oct 03 - 12:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Oct 03 - 01:14 PM
mack/misophist 22 Oct 03 - 08:06 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 22 Oct 03 - 10:23 PM
Stewie 22 Oct 03 - 10:51 PM
toadfrog 22 Oct 03 - 11:29 PM
Kelly 03 Nov 03 - 11:40 PM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 04 Nov 03 - 04:35 AM

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Subject: BS: US or USA ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 06:28 AM

Which do Americans prefer, US or USA? And does using one abbreviation rather than the other have any significance?

Then there is "US of A" which somehow seems to have some different resonance that I've never worked out. A sort of in-your-face quality.


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: Allan C.
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 08:16 AM

I can't speak for all of us; but I use both US and USA interchangeably. I can't recall the last time I heard someone use, "US of A" but I'm sure it still crops up occasionally. Whenever I have been abroad I've referred to it as "back in the States". Strange that while we call ourselves Americans, we rarely ever refer to America except in old, patriotic songs or on formal occasions when we use the full name of "The United States of America". I suppose most of us have figured out that there is more than one America.


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: artbrooks
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 08:38 AM

I mostly use US...a throwback to my time in the army, maybe. The post office prefers that people use USA of mail to and from "abroad." US of A seems to be a construction preferred by people whose musical tastes involve big trucks and loose wimmin.


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 09:09 AM

I use both, but us "USA" when I want to be clear. "US" could be confused with something else: "...all of US in the USA...".

I don't see that it makes any difference as long as your meaning is clear. I might use "US of A" if I'm fooling around and want to sound a bit "country" but otherwise I don't use it.


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 01:20 PM

I generally prefer U.S. but I do use USA occasionally. I don't really like using America by itself because there are two continents and over twenty-five nations with an equal right to that name. (Of course now they'd be embarrased to use it. <g>) Sometimes I just use States.

Were I in Congress I'd have to get used to saying “these grrreaaat You-nighted States” all the time, probably followed by several sentances of over-the-top superlative crap, every time I referred to this country in public.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: SeanM
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 01:44 PM

As a reasonably politically aware individual, I really couldn't give a singed possum's ass fur.

Much the same as the GDR was known popularly as "East Germany", the Koreas have their own specific identity beyond North and South, etc., it really doesn't matter all that much. To me, it really doesn't matter what you call something, what matters is what it is, and what the intent of the person naming what have you is.

M


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 01:54 PM

Colonies (runs and hides quickly!!!!)


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: GUEST,James
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 02:03 PM

Why do so many people refer to the USA simply as America ? Is "America" correct ? I have often wondered about this ?


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: SeanM
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 02:34 PM

OK. Depends on where you're from.

Technically, the greater mass is known as "The Americas". This includes everything in North, Central and South America.

Understandably, some folks get vexed when the US is referred to as "America". We're ALL Americans on the continents covered. However, with the US world view being by far the dominant one that gets put out to the world at large, the term's been more or less coopted to just mean "US citizen" to a large number of people.

M


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 02:36 PM

I'm not an American...am I. Canuck from Canada.


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 03:16 PM

My observation how it is usually (but by far not always) done:

When used as an adjective, by far the most common use is US: the US team, the US spirit, the US government,...

When used as a noun, USA is the most frequent use.

So I'd expect to read:

The USA plans to invade Iran has been announced today by a White House spokesperson, but:
The US plans to invade Iran have not been sanctioned yet a White House spokesperson has announced today.

The use of US as a noun still feels awkward to me.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 04:20 PM

McGrath: Your spot on in thinking that 'US of A' has a certain 'in your face', aggressive quality. In my recollection, that's how it used to be said. Also, 'in the good ole US of A'. I don't think most Americans give a damn about the other two, one way or another. As for 'America', it's wrong but it's what we say.


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 05:01 PM

By international standard all countries have two and three character abbreviations of their names. In this case US and USA so either has full official status.

I don't know if the story about the UK is true but the abbreviations are GB and GBR, the story is that the civil servant at the standards meeting didn't realise that his brief included Northern Ireland.


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: Burke
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 05:19 PM

Our founding fathers just didn't realize the ongoing problem they were creating when they adoped a name. At the time there was not real combined identity or name. So we ended up with USofA & forever wonder what to call ourselves. Others don't know what to call us either. I try not to call myself American, but there's no good alternative & I notice people abroad will call us Amercans anyway.

As others have noted there's not really much difference in US or USA for writing. I'm more likly to say United States alone; US if it's a modifier--US Hockey team, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 05:23 PM

"the story is that the civil servant at the standards meeting didn't realise that his brief included Northern Ireland. "

Or he might just have been thinking a few years ahead...

I much prefer the sound of USA than US, which always sounds clipped off, with a dying fall on the S. "USA" has a lot more of a ring to it with the open A at the end.

I just though I'd open this thread to find out if there are any pitfalls around this because there easily can be, and using one name for a country rather than another can significantly change what people hear you as saying. (As if abundantly well demonstrated within the islands where I live.)

Wolfgang's distinction, with US as the adjective and USA as the noun makes a lot of sense. I think that's the way I'll use the two names.


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: NicoleC
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 10:47 PM

If one is to believe boring and unimaginative sports cheers, it's

YOU ESS AY! YOU ESS AY!


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: GUEST,John Gray in Oz
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 11:39 PM

In our navy we write on ,or label, machinery as "US" to denote that it is un-serviceable.
This always brought on dark looks when we dropped of equipment to be repaired in US navy workshops at Subic Bay and Da Nang. The connotation the American sailors drew was, being unserviceable - US - it doesn't work. It took some explaining to convince them that it wasn't a term we conjured up to piss them off.
We had plenty of other terms for that !

JG/FME


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 11:46 PM

When I was a boy, collecting stamps, it amused the hell out of me that the Union of South Africa was also the USA. Not only that, but they had bi-lingual stamps. Two identical connected stamps, one in English and one in Boer.


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: mg
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 12:45 AM

I call it America and everyone from Guatamala, Chile, Canada etc. is more than welcome to call their country America or themselves American by me. We can all be Americans...it's way cool. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 01:09 AM

US or USA it's the same place, ain't it? US of A is more "corny" than "in your face" but I use it once in a while.

I kinda like the way Merriwether Louis referred to us as the "U. States". If you DO use US of A then you can also use "Amurrican".

I once teased a former Sinn Fein representative from North Belfast by asking him if he was "from the British Isles". My daughter (a friend of his) had to intervene. She explained to him that I had an odd sense of humour.

CB


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 09:32 AM

bUT HE is FROM THE bRITISH iSLES..ISN'T HE ?


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: artbrooks
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 10:20 AM

I understand that the politically correct term is East Atlantic Archipeligo


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 12:47 PM

When I'm feeling theatrical, I like to use the form popular with Clay and Webster: "these united states".


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 01:14 PM

So if we say "those United States", would that be OK?


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 08:06 PM

Try is and see. Notice, however, that I didn't yse capitals because they didn't mean it that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 10:23 PM

I always use "US". "USA" has lately become loaded with "patriotic" connotations that I want nothing to do with.


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 10:51 PM

Don Lange uses 'US of A' in his song 'Allende'. Sounds 'in your face', even menacing, in this context rather than Coyote Breath's 'corny'.

The good doctor lies with the blood in his eyes
And the bullets read US of A

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: toadfrog
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 11:29 PM

Wolfgang has it right. I had never thought of it that way before. US is an attributive adjective, USA a noun. And "US of A" is normally jocular, and not much used, as far as I'm aware. What sounds correct to me, as a US denizen, is "United States." And it's actually easier to say than "USA."


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: Kelly
Date: 03 Nov 03 - 11:40 PM

*pipes in as an unfortunate representative of the Federal Govt*

At work, we use U.S. and I believe that's the official deal because our letterhead reads U.S. Department of Labor, as opposed to American Department of Labor, or Dept of Labor, USA.

I don't think I've ever used USA except on international mail, cause like artbrooks said, the post office prefers it.

USofA is something I hear quite often though, living in Texas. But yeah, it's got a fairly backwater, 'god's country' kinda connotation to it.

Its often used as an education identifier. The most educated opting for US, the moderately educating choosing USA, and the uneducated employing USofA or America. (And recent immigrants often use America, from what I've seen.)

But mostly, the whole deal is up to personal taste.


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Subject: RE: BS: US or USA ?
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 04 Nov 03 - 04:35 AM

Some French-speakers, probably wishing to emphasise the fact that America comprises more than the USA, have lately taken to using the scarcely readable or pronounceable adjective "étatsunisien". Makes the US(A) look almost like Tunisia.


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