1472: "Geography"

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keithl
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby keithl » Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:42 pm UTC

KarenRei wrote:However, given that the volcano is erupting lava, it's unlikely to be Washington. Do you get any lava eruptions there?
I am near Portland Oregon, 100 km southwest of Washington's Mount Saint Helens, which in 1980 blew about 3 cubic kilometers of rock and incandescent gas as high as the stratosphere. A bit more frisky than Eyjafjallajökull in 2010, though fortunately our ash plumes did not cross major air routes. That series of eruptions deposited a centimeter of ash on my apartment.
Saint Helens is active, and is rebuilding inside the huge crater left by the blast. No incandescent liquid lava visible - it pushes up slowly but persistently under the pile of rocks and ash that rained down from the first explosion. As it builds and consolidates, liquid lava may break the surface.
The lava around here is pahoehoe, like that currently oozing out of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Large flows make lava tubes, and there are many on the south flank of Mount Saint Helens and Mount Adams - some are larger than rail tunnels inside. So, no rivers of incandescent lava recently, though lava vented from sides of Saint Helens and made lava tubes as recently as 400 years ago.
There are three dormant volcanic vents within the city of Portland, and sulfur fumes have vented from Mount Tabor in recent years. My house is on a ridge running down from the cindercones on the west side of Portland. Old sediment-filled lava tubes run 100 meters below me. Deep below, the Juan De Fuca plate grinds eastward underneath the North American plate, pulling down water-laden seafloor sediment that melts and expands and eventually finds its way back to the surface along the line of volcanos that make the Cascade mountain range.
The question is not if the volcanos will go again, but when. Portland and southwest Washington could be under 30 meters of lava 10,000 years from now, or 10 years from now. Portland is more likely to be leveled by a moment magnitude 10 earthquake first; these happen about every 300 years, and the tsunami from the 1700 AD earthquake killed people in Japan. Geology does the darndest things. As disasters go, at least we do not have to eat lutefisk.
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby Sprocket » Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:02 pm UTC

<3
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby mathmannix » Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:30 pm UTC

KarenRei wrote:
Looks like Washington to me.


Looks like Iceland to me

I was thinking New Zealand... never been there, though; mostly just thinking about LOTR. Any Kiwis here to comment?
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:06 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Needs more fjords.

Can't believe nobody said that yet.

Also some tar pits.
Are you pining for the fjords?

-

So here's a map that does have a Swamp:
http://imgur.com/xTaOIdE
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby Mikeski » Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:43 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:Mere days ago I learned of the existence of the Dublin Mountains.

Wow, those sound huge.

I grew up south of the Turtle Mountains: "2,000 ft (600 m) above sea level, 300 ft to 400 ft (90 m to 120 m) above the surrounding countryside, extending 20 mi (32 km) from north to south and 40 mi (64 km) from east to west."

I suppose that sounds huge when you're near the Red River (of the North) "Valley", which is so ruler-flat that you can look west and see the back of your own head.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby Keyman » Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:48 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:I suppose that sounds huge when you're near the Red River (of the North) "Valley", which is so ruler-flat that you can look west and see the back of your own head.
Except for all those Bison Championship flags in the way in that direction... :|
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby harryjohnston » Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:50 pm UTC

The house is too far from the river. He won't be able to build a Garden or a Water Mill.

Yeah, it's possible I've been playing too much Civilization recently.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby dtobias » Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:57 pm UTC

Springfield on the Simpsons seems similar to this place, with just about all possible geographical features turning out to be nearby as needed for different plotlines.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:14 pm UTC

Reminds me a little bit of the area where I live: 6000ft-high forested mountains an hour inland from a beach, with islands an hour's boat ride offshore (which are visible even from the mountains). A river running from those mountains through a valley with a lake down to the ocean, and another river (not from the mountains or a valley) with a proper delta hitting the ocean half an hour down the coast from there. An hour north up the coast and you hit vast expanses of plains or prairie (still between ocean and mountains), while an down south down the coast and you're in the middle of one of the world's major metropolitan areas.

There's no volcano or peninsula, and we call the "strait" between the islands and mainland a "channel" instead. But my old university just up the coast was technically built in a swamp (it's not really anymore), and then built its own lagoon off the beach it's next to.
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby harryjohnston » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:29 pm UTC

I was thinking New Zealand... never been there, though; mostly just thinking about LOTR. Any Kiwis here to comment?


No mesas, as far as I know. I don't think we have any lagoons either. Oh, and probably no glaciers that close to a desert; I think the glaciers are all in the South Island and the deserts all in the North Island.

Then again, geography is not my strong suit.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:31 pm UTC

Eternal Density wrote:
cellocgw wrote:Needs more fjords.

Can't believe nobody said that yet.

Also some tar pits.
Are you pining for the fjords?


Well, they do add such a lovely baroque feeling to a continent, don't you think?

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby 30>Length(Name)>3 » Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:01 pm UTC

The place you want, Randall, is Southern California, 60-80 years ago. (Its map now would have to be largely overlaid with ASPHALT and SUBDIVISION.)

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:03 pm UTC

30>Length(Name)>3 wrote:The place you want, Randall, is Southern California, 60-80 years ago. (Its map now would have to be largely overlaid with ASPHALT and SUBDIVISION.)

The place I was just describing is in Southern California.

Oh yeah, we also have a mesa. I wouldn't actually call it a mesa myself from looking at it, but it's called "The Mesa" so I guess it counts.
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby brenok » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:06 am UTC

To me, it looks like Tokyo:
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby KarenRei » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:52 am UTC

keithl wrote:
KarenRei wrote:However, given that the volcano is erupting lava, it's unlikely to be Washington. Do you get any lava eruptions there?
I am near Portland Oregon, 100 km southwest of Washington's Mount Saint Helens, which in 1980 blew about 3 cubic kilometers of rock and incandescent gas as high as the stratosphere. A bit more frisky than Eyjafjallajökull in 2010, though fortunately our ash plumes did not cross major air routes. That series of eruptions deposited a centimeter of ash on my apartment.
Saint Helens is active, and is rebuilding inside the huge crater left by the blast. No incandescent liquid lava visible - it pushes up slowly but persistently under the pile of rocks and ash that rained down from the first explosion. As it builds and consolidates, liquid lava may break the surface.
The lava around here is pahoehoe, like that currently oozing out of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Large flows make lava tubes, and there are many on the south flank of Mount Saint Helens and Mount Adams - some are larger than rail tunnels inside. So, no rivers of incandescent lava recently, though lava vented from sides of Saint Helens and made lava tubes as recently as 400 years ago.
There are three dormant volcanic vents within the city of Portland, and sulfur fumes have vented from Mount Tabor in recent years. My house is on a ridge running down from the cindercones on the west side of Portland. Old sediment-filled lava tubes run 100 meters below me. Deep below, the Juan De Fuca plate grinds eastward underneath the North American plate, pulling down water-laden seafloor sediment that melts and expands and eventually finds its way back to the surface along the line of volcanos that make the Cascade mountain range.
The question is not if the volcanos will go again, but when. Portland and southwest Washington could be under 30 meters of lava 10,000 years from now, or 10 years from now. Portland is more likely to be leveled by a moment magnitude 10 earthquake first; these happen about every 300 years, and the tsunami from the 1700 AD earthquake killed people in Japan. Geology does the darndest things. As disasters go, at least we do not have to eat lutefisk.


Hmm, so while the Pacific Ring of fire is predominantly ash, you do get the occasional lava eruption? That's fair then, you might match the map. :) Do you have mesas too? We have a type of mesa that's common here but rare elsewhere in the world called a tuya - they form when a volcano grows underneath an ice sheet.

I believe your Mt. St. Helens data is wrong. The landslide was 3 cubic kilometers, but the ash was only 1 cubic kilometer, and the total amount of magma involved estimated to be only 0,25 cubic kilometers.

Eyjafjallajökull was a little eruption - just a little eruption that happened to be a perfect storm - fine ash size, sufficiently lofted, bad wind direction, and a long, slow steady rate of release. But we get eruptions bigger that that once every 4 years or so, and sometimes orders of magnitude bigger (the current Bárðarbunga eruption, for example, is over an order of magnitude bigger... although past eruptions of Bárðarbunga have 1 1/2 orders of magnitude even bigger and have unleashed floods larger than all of Earth's major rivers combined. Bárðarbunga has also caused the largest lava flows on Earth in the past 10k years; Iceland as a whole is estimated to account for 1/3rd of Earth's total in the past 500 years). Until recently, the current ("little", comparatively) eruption of Bárðarbunga was too intense to allow for lava tunnels; only recently have they started forming.

We don't eat lutefisk here, at least not traditionally. Now, harðfiskur (fish jerky), that's really commonly eaten here as a snack. If you're feeling bold, you can get hákarl (rotten greenlandic shark). Andrew Bourdain called it the worst food on earth. Andrew Zimmer didn't react any better. Gordon Ramsey vomited after trying it. ;) The strong ammonia smell is hardest part for most people to get past. But that's not exactly daily food. At the grocery store you can also pick up fermented skate and whale, whole sheep heads, and other such foods. ;) But again, don't misunderstand - the most commonly eaten food here is probably pizza.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby PhilHibbs » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:23 pm UTC

brenok wrote:To me, it looks like Tokyo:
Image

Any desert? But yes, it's a good match for the layout.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby orthogon » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:24 pm UTC

PhilHibbs wrote:Any desert?

Not until you eat up your main course.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:58 pm UTC

All this volcano talk. The US-Americans probably win (or lose, depends on how you look at it) all that once Yellowstone erupts.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby azule » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:50 pm UTC

US-Americans? As opposed to the Canadian-Americans? Is this redundancy for a purpose? Or it is USA with the A spelled out?
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby San Fran Sam » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:58 pm UTC

I think you are going to a LOT of paint for all of those labels.
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby keithl » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:11 am UTC

azule wrote:US-Americans? As opposed to the Canadian-Americans? Is this redundancy for a purpose? Or it is USA with the A spelled out?
Ah U.S. public schools ...
The United States has a population of about 310 million, 1/3 of the population of North and South America (which is "America" to much of the world). and about 24% of the area of the continents. The US is not "America".

Canada is as big as the US, with 35 million people. A handy country to have nearby. Though I am Oregonian (and prefer that demonym), I am accosted less when travelling overseas if I pretend to be Canadian. Half-true; Oregon and Washington would have been part of Canada if a British warship captain had not siezed Fort Astoria during the war of 1812 - from a Canadian company that the US settlers had sold it to months before. That triggered a clause in the Treaty of Ghent to return territories seized in the war; otherwise, the Canadians would have kept what they paid for, and that is where my Swedish grandfather would have immigrated. Canada is where I would have immigrated, if not for a lucky draft lottery number during Vietnam.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby BlitzGirl » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:16 am UTC

There's a Wikipedia article for that:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_(word)
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby azule » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:48 am UTC

keithl wrote:
azule wrote:US-Americans? As opposed to the Canadian-Americans? Is this redundancy for a purpose? Or it is USA with the A spelled out?
Ah U.S. public schools ...
The United States has a population of about 310 million, 1/3 of the population of North and South America (which is "America" to much of the world). and about 24% of the area of the continents. The US is not "America".
Spoiler:
Canada is as big as the US, with 35 million people. A handy country to have nearby. Though I am Oregonian (and prefer that demonym), I am accosted less when travelling overseas if I pretend to be Canadian. Half-true; Oregon and Washington would have been part of Canada if a British warship captain had not siezed Fort Astoria during the war of 1812 - from a Canadian company that the US settlers had sold it to months before. That triggered a clause in the Treaty of Ghent to return territories seized in the war; otherwise, the Canadians would have kept what they paid for, and that is where my Swedish grandfather would have immigrated. Canada is where I would have immigrated, if not for a lucky draft lottery number during Vietnam.
I wondered on this actual usage of "US-American". Who uses it (i.e. what country are you in/from)? Stuff like that.

I'm fully aware of your argument. Yes, I'm an American. You seem like a Canadian. I'm sorry you don't have a patriotic bone in your Canadian-American body. :P Ready for my argument? We have these countries. They have official names that most people don't know or use. Let's look at North America (the continent, btw). Canada is officially....Canada. lol. Mexico is officially The Federated States of Mexico. The USA is officially the United States of America. I wonder if you can see the point I'm making. I'll reveal it in the next paragraph.

The best example there is Mexico. We call it Mexico because their land is Mexico. They are Mexicans. Their states are in Mexico, not in America. They could have been The Federated States of America. Why not? Moving on to Canada.... pretty easy. Their land is Canada (probably?) and they're Canadians. Last, but not least, USA. Our land is America. We're Americans.

Now, just like the tribes of the Native Americans, each land or tribe has it's own unique name. Do you always make sure to discuss the correct tribe of Native American when you discuss some aspect of their society. As a whole it's easier than going on to figure out each individual tribe and their history and current issues. Same with the US, Canada, and Mexico. Mexico has states. I don't know if they care to be called, for example, Chihuahuas. Canadians seems to prefer having us be specific, especially those Québécois. As an American from a certain state, I would hate to be referred to as a Texan or what have you, but probably wouldn't care much if you got closer, like saying I was an Oregonian.

My point is two things. If you want to avoid "American" you may have to be extra smart and know where the heck Yellowstone is located (I'm not, but maybe it's in Utah? lol. Yes, enjoy scoffing at the American education system, now.) and use that term for that state. Otherwise, just go with American as your term for us. North America was found firstish before we got around to naming two continents after it. We staked our claim, this is our reward.

*hums proud to be an American or some other drivel*

P.S. I'll get to reading your article next, BG.
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby brenok » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:22 am UTC

azule wrote:The best example there is Mexico. We call it Mexico because their land is Mexico. They are Mexicans. Their states are in Mexico, not in America.

The Mexican states are obviously part of Mexico. They're also part of North America which is part of America.

And while I accept and use "american" as a demonym for people from the United States of America since there are no other reasonable alternatives, using other terms like "united statian" wouldn't be that uncommon, after all the people from the United Arab Emirates are called Emirati, not Arabs.

(Mexico's official name is United Mexican States by the way)

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby yalcrab » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:43 am UTC

"USAian" seems to be popular among the younger expatriate community near me.
Whoever the author was seems to be going for:
Canada -> Canadian
Mexico -> Mexican
USA -> USAian
It is also a heck of a lot easier to say than "United Statesian"

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:05 am UTC

yalcrab wrote:"USAian" seems to be popular among the younger expatriate community near me.
Whoever the author was seems to be going for:
Canada -> Canadian
Mexico -> Mexican
USA -> USAian
It is also a heck of a lot easier to say than "United Statesian"

But people always complain that USAian is not a word, so I picked something that I obviously made up so that point is moot. I still take issue with the ambiguous word "American".

It could indicate someone or something from the continent (similar to European, African, Asian, Eurasian, Afro-Eurasian, Antarctic etc.) or someone or something from the USA. And the English language is horribly lacking of a more specific term for either meaning (as is the Dutch language by the way, but since it's neither commonly spoken anywhere in America (continent) nor anywhere in the USA that's not nearly as relevant (oddly there are distinct words for the areas themselves)).

PS Maybe American also includes someone from any of the non-integrated colonies of the USA, I'm not sure about those.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:25 am UTC

The problem here is that there is no continent which is called simply "America" in English. The closest translation of that word in that sense from other languages to English would be "the Americas". Languages bring conceptual baggage with them and in the conceptual framework of English, there are two continents both with "America" as a mere part of their name, and the conjunction of them that in other languages' conceptual framework is one continent is called in English "the Americas".

"America" in English refers unambiguously to the only country in the world with that word in its name.

"American" has more room for argument, because even before importing other languages' different conceptual frameworks about what's one or two continents, something from either America (the country) or the Americas (the continents) is still American, though in different senses. So there are many American nation-states, not just the one that has "America" in its name (that is to say, the one unambiguously called "America" in English), and many indigenous American peoples, and animals, and plants, not all of which are from America (still speaking English here). Some of these cases are unambiguous; if you're talking about American nation-states in the plural, you obviously mean American as in from the Americas, not American as in from America. Other cases can be made unambiguous with convenient synonyms; if there were any worry that someone might think American monkeys were monkeys from the United States, one could say New World Monkeys, which means the same thing ("the New World" and "the Americas" being synonyms, just like "the United States" and "America"), and most people just do that. Others are rendered unambiguous in context; an "American diner" simply doesn't include local Guatemalan eateries, because nobody says things like that. All of these things combined, in most cases it's really really clear what's meant by an American such-and-such in discourse amongst native English speakers, because almost any term that included an "American" that meant "from the Americas" rather than "from America" got widely replaced with an unambiguous synonymous term a long time ago, leaving "American" to pretty unambiguously refer to things from America, not things from the Americas.

The point of confusion is when people who speak languages other than English, where the same or similar letters and sounds stand for a referent that has a different name in English, try to use those letters and sounds to mean what they mean in their language, instead of translating it into English. Which is a totally understandable mistake, but that doesn't undermine the fact that in English "America" is not the name of a continent, and so unambiguously refers to the country, so no other name for the country or its people is required. In other languages, I totally understand that need, and have no problem with Spanish speakers calling Americans "Estadounidenses" and reserving "Americanos" to mean... "New Worlders" I guess would be the closest translation, not that anyone really uses it that way. (I guess that referent must not be referred to very frequently in English). Every language allocates its signs to its referents in a different way, and we shouldn't let different languages using the same sign for different referents cause some kind of political debate. Just pick a language and speak it and then there's nothing to debate.
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby azule » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:21 pm UTC

brenok wrote:
azule wrote:The best example there is Mexico. We call it Mexico because their land is Mexico. They are Mexicans. Their states are in Mexico, not in America.

The Mexican states are obviously part of Mexico. They're also part of North America which is part of America.
Nope, North America is not part of America. America is not a supercontinent (ya know), otherwise the term would be northern America and southern America, no caps. The only officially labeled "American" state is the U.S.

And while I accept and use "american" as a demonym for people from the United States of America since there are no other reasonable alternatives, using other terms like "united statian" wouldn't be that uncommon, after all the people from the United Arab Emirates are called Emirati, not Arabs.
Does emir mean king or something similar? If you want to not call us Americans, just go with U.S. citizen. That's what we officially call ourselves in many places. Though, I suppose some Americans in US territories might not be citizens.....

(Mexico's official name is United Mexican States by the way)
Damn. Serves me for not looking anything up. I can't find Federated States of Mexico. "of Micronesia" is all I see....

Funny that this official name means Mexicans can also be called "Estadounidenses"...haha. Now they have to call us Americanos. :)

PinkShinyRose wrote:But people always complain that USAian is not a word, so I picked something that I obviously made up so that point is moot.
Except your word is apparently somewhat used in German.

It could indicate someone or something from the continent (similar to European, African, Asian, Eurasian, Afro-Eurasian, Antarctic etc.) or someone or something from the USA.
"I'm going to eat some Chinese" could refer to food, people, eating people, eating people sexually. If "American" can refer to a monkey in Mexico or a person in the US, that's language for ya.

To bring this back on topic...this map is of "America", the imaginary continent (made up of North and South America).

P.S. read article, BG, thanks.
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby Kit. » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:27 pm UTC

keithl wrote:The United States has a population of about 310 million, 1/3 of the population of North and South America (which is "America" to much of the world). and about 24% of the area of the continents. The US is not "America".

Is it "India", though?

If it's neither, how would you call people from Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs?

keithl wrote:Though I am Oregonian (and prefer that demonym),

I used to know one Georgian living in California.
Spoiler:
He was a citizen of Georgia.

Edit:
BlitzGirl wrote:There's a Wikipedia article for that:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_(word)

Spoiler:
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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby orthogon » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:01 pm UTC

azule wrote:Funny that this official name means Mexicans can also be called "Estadounidenses"...haha. Now they have to call us Americanos. :)

Not necessarily. There are any number of other things they could call you. My wife, for example, would probably go for Gringos, but she's Colombian. ;-)
Spoiler:
I'm not sure if this usage of Gringo to refer specifically to Estadounidenses, rather than English-speaking foreigners in general, is uniquely Colombian. It's also possible that it's not even the case and my wife is being kind by making me believe that I would never be considered a Gringo. I do know that the word is thought to have derived from griego, "Greek", meaning a strange foreigner generally.

I agree on America never being used or interpreted as the union of the two continents. All the same, you can have a capitalised subdivision of a continent: as the Economist's style guide says, eastern Europe is the geographically eastern part of the continent, whereas Eastern Europe is the set of European countries that were part of the communist Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby Klear » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:19 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
keithl wrote:Though I am Oregonian (and prefer that demonym),

I used to know one Georgian living in California.
Spoiler:
He was a citizen of Georgia.



Did he have a thick Russian accent?

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby Kit. » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:04 pm UTC

It would be hard to tell. We were speaking in Russian.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby mathmannix » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:09 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:
yalcrab wrote:"USAian" seems to be popular among the younger expatriate community near me.
Whoever the author was seems to be going for:
Canada -> Canadian
Mexico -> Mexican
USA -> USAian
It is also a heck of a lot easier to say than "United Statesian"

But people always complain that USAian is not a word, so I picked something that I obviously made up so that point is moot. I still take issue with the ambiguous word "American".

It could indicate someone or something from the continent (similar to European, African, Asian, Eurasian, Afro-Eurasian, Antarctic etc.) or someone or something from the USA. And the English language is horribly lacking of a more specific term for either meaning (as is the Dutch language by the way, but since it's neither commonly spoken anywhere in America (continent) nor anywhere in the USA that's not nearly as relevant (oddly there are distinct words for the areas themselves)).

PS Maybe American also includes someone from any of the non-integrated colonies of the USA, I'm not sure about those.

Ugh, how many different comic threads are we going to have this argument in? I motion that this argument, along with the football/soccer/"handegg" one, be kept out of comic threads. Like how the mathematics thread says we already know about the 0.9999=1 thingy, and how Science doesn't need any more "airplane on a treadmill" threads...

(EDIT: Here's another place for it, and the best one I found since it's not a comic thread.)
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:34 pm UTC

Considering America was the name for the continent until recently (the first half of the 20th century), I suspect the terms North America and South America were originally a subdivision of America (like in many combinations of cardinal directions with proper names: North India, South India, North Korea, South Korea, East Africa, North Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia or South Africa). The terminology for European regions seems to be the odd one out. This leads me to believe that the A in USA refers to the whole landmass it happened to reside on when it was named (similar to how the European Union refers to its location as opposed to contending to contain the whole of Europe, similar to other regional trade agreements).

Then again, none of this is really relevant considering the discussion was about the need for me to specify whether I was talking about people in the USA or about people in the Americas being affected by a Yellowstone eruption more than Icelanders. I suppose it could be deduced from context as people in Patagonia probably aren't affected nearly as badly as people from Iceland (although admittedly, the same goes for people on Hawaii, and people in southern Canada are closer than people in Florida). That I meant people in [area], as opposed to people from [area], with heritage from [area] or formal denizens or citizens of [area] was of course obvious from context.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby keithl » Wed Jan 14, 2015 7:18 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:If it's neither, how would you call people from Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs?
By their tribes - Warm Springs, Wasco and Paiute - or the ancient name in their language if they prefer. Those tribes are also members of the Confederated Tribes of the Columbia River, which extends into Canada.

I am also a "member" of the Bonneville Power Administration, which extends through four US states and two Canadian provinces, and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), the grid spanning Western Canada to Mexico. IEEE Region 6, National Space Society Region 2.

I am a "Native American", having been born on this continent. Oglala Lakota activist Russell Means (a fellow libertarian) referred to himself as "American Indian", and rejected "Native American" for his ethnicity. Before the Europeans and their smallpox showed up, the national and ethnic map of the Americas was quite different. It will be quite different in another 1000 years, too.

Given my usual wake/sleep cycle, I am Hawai'ian standard tribe, and my wife is Central standard tribe. For an explanation, see Cory Doctorow's novel "Eastern Standard Tribe". Cory was born in Toronto, lives in London, and is considering moving to Portland because much of his "tribe" is here.

I do not call myself a Nato-nian, nor a United-Nationian, though I do call myself a human and an Earthling and a Solarian (the latter two tribes include the huge fir trees in my back yard). The fact that some clowns in Washington DC think they own me does not mean I agree. While I have thousands of friends and acquaintances in United States, I have many hundreds elsewhere, 53 countries the last time I (obsessively) counted. Much of my business is with China and Japan, with work colleagues in Britain and Ireland. I buy stuff from all over the world - appliance parts from Britain, DVDs from Germany and India, books from Russia. The US is 4% of the world's population. Most of the new customers, ideas, and opportunities are elsewhere.

I suppose I could call myself a "Vespuccian" or a "Christophorosian" or an "Eriksonian". But I prefer Oregonian. We do things differently here.

"The United States of America" is what Kurt Vonnegut called a "granfalloon". His definition is a toy balloon with the skin removed.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby Kit. » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:08 pm UTC

keithl wrote:
Kit. wrote:If it's neither, how would you call people from Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs?
By their tribes - Warm Springs, Wasco and Paiute - or the ancient name in their language if they prefer.

Can you tell it without asking first?

keithl wrote:"The United States of America" is what Kurt Vonnegut called a "granfalloon".

When why does it matter whether it's called "America" or not?

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby keithl » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:53 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
keithl wrote:
Kit. wrote:If it's neither, how would you call people from Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs?
By their tribes - Warm Springs, Wasco and Paiute - or the ancient name in their language if they prefer.
Can you tell it without asking first?
Of course not. They will tell me, if it matters to them. Mostly it does not.

Decades ago, I waited for a flight in the Walla Walla, Washington airport. A fellow passenger was worried, pacing, thinking about a business deal, perhaps. He was wearing a business suit from the neck down. He had an American Indian face, stuff in his hair, and long braids from the neck up. Perhaps from the reservation nearby. His appearance blew a big hole in my sterotype map. People are individuals, not countable tokens.

Kit. wrote:
keithl wrote:"The United States of America" is what Kurt Vonnegut called a "granfalloon".
When why does it matter whether it's called "America" or not?
I don't call the political organization, or the territory, America (you may be conflating me with others). I reserve that title for the (one) continent running from Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego. We are discussing denonyms here, and people are different than the rocks they stand on or the rulers they endure.

However, foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. I just wrote a parody song titled "Jobless America". If you need someone to blame, blame Irving Berlin.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby da Doctah » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:38 pm UTC

keithl wrote:I am a "Native American", having been born on this continent.


A while back a group of us got into a version of this argument in which I offered the suggestion that everything from Point Barrow to Cape Horn is "America", because you could in theory walk from one to the other without getting your hat wet (the manmade Panama Canal didn't count). This was countered by the assertion that what counts isn't contiguous landmasses but continental plates and shelves; Cuba is part of North America, said my correspondent, because it's only the current, temporary sea level that makes it an offshore island.

By that rule, then, I'm not an American at all. I was born in Southern California, just west of the San Andreas Fault, and lived on that side until I moved to the Seattle area at the age of ten.

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby azule » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:49 pm UTC

I think the most on topic part of this current discussion is the continent aspect. Here's a question, partly with illustration from Drain the Oceans. This image is in the wrong direction, but let's start with it:
Image
What continents are there now? Just one? Do we divide it now by large pools of water?

The most obvious example in our present state is Eurasia. It's an artifical division. Maybe due to mountains. But if mountains, then India gets to be it's own continent (currently a "sub-continent"). I think, if the water were to rise, we'd easily argue that North and South America are two continents, because they'd be divided visually with water. Right now it's a tiny isthmus (so tiny they that they cut right through it and water literally does divide the two continents) that separates the continents.

mathmannix wrote:Ugh, how many different comic threads are we going to have this argument in? I motion that this argument, along with the football/soccer/"handegg" one, be kept out of comic threads.
Hah, thanks for all the links. It seems that most of the participants in the current argument have had a hand in previous arguments. Not I, btw. Maybe y'all can see that you've been down this road before and go ahead and link to....(go to next quote)

(Here's another place for it, and the best one I found since it's not a comic thread.)
....a new thread. The link you found works if you link to it and it's the current topic, but it mostly doesn't work. Just create a topic for it with a good strong title and then direct people there for further discussion when it comes up. :)

keithl wrote:DVDs from Germany
Oh. *scoots further away from keithl*
Image

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Re: 1472: "Geography"

Postby aerion111 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:13 am UTC

azule wrote:
brenok wrote:
azule wrote:If "American" can refer to a monkey in Mexico or a person in the US, that's language for ya.

Oy, careful what you call the mexicans, there; Some people might be offended if you call them 'monkeys' :x

Nah, kidding, I know what you meant :P - but perhaps a bit poor wording?
Could have gone with just about any non-primate animal, and you wouldn't have a chance of someone jumping to conclutions - If someone wants to take 'Mexican snakes' to be racist, that's their problem, but 'Mexican monkeys' is a term that some people do use as an insult towards what they perceive to be Mexican immigrants (legal or otherwise) who pose a threat to their way of life (to be fair, they're right about the second half, if only by a technicality; Just about any change to the culture will change your way of life, from large-scale immigration to just a new show-genre gaining popularity. Heck, it'll probably change for them personally just on virtue of aging and/or getting bored of old interests)


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