Doug and I were tossing around ideas for the team shirts for the Masters' Worlds in Canada and wondered …
US or USA - which is proper?
United States or United States of America
Hmmm ... United States of America. There are lots of theories as to the origins of the name "America" but it appears its first use on a printed map (America's Birth Certificate) was in 1507 and the map was of present day Brazil. When the United States of America was first named in 1776 replacing the name the United Colonies, there were only 13 colonies occupying a small portion of the northeast portion of present day US.
How does the term "American" come to mean a citizen of the United States? Why am I an American and not a USican? Why aren't Canadians and Brazilians also Americans? Technically, they are, aren't they? It's not like the US even occupies the largest portion of North America, let alone America. How can the the citizens of the US essentially claim ownership of the entire continent by just declaring that they are Americans?
In consulting my USA passport, I discovered that nowhere am I called an "American" … on one page I am a "citizen/national of the United States" and under "Nationality" it says "United States of America." However, on Doug's Canada passport, under "Nationality" is says "Canadian/Canadiennne."
I think the Aussies nailed it. I spent a few days on the Race Committee finish line boat at the Brisbane Masters' Worlds and thoroughly enjoyed everyone on board. I can't remember what I said or did but I jokingly earned the name 'Damn American.' In hindsight, I realize that in the minds of many, that pretty accurately narrows it down to a US citizen.