Talk:America (disambiguation)/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 5

Logical Fault, reliabilty of sources, and etiquette

One fact which may help support the argument that America is firstly a continent is the Olympic Flag. The flag displays five rings representing the five continental entities which send athletes to the Olympics. These five continental entities are, if we move across alphabetically, Africa, America, Asia, Europa, and, Oceania. The second ring, "America", represents a continental complex composed of almost 40 countries and nearly a billion people. I think we would all find it very depressing indeed if nations hosting the Olympics were to misinterpret the meaning of "America" and invite only the USA to represent America at The Games.--ArturoH 18:59, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

  • At the Olympics, only athletes from the United States represent America - athletes from Canada represent Canada, athletes from Burma represent Myanmar and athletes from Belgium represent Belgium. WilyD 19:13, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Alright, WilyD. There's no need to antagonize people. It seems a real coup that the five Olympic rings represent "Africa, America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania" as opposed to Africa, North America, South America, Eurasia, and Oceania; or Africa, America, Eurasia, Australia, and Miscellaneous; or Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. And why only five rings instead of six or seven, which would have more easily fit? "Oceania" is not a continent anyway, but a group of islands grouped together with Australia for easier (and lazier) geography. With such poor consistency to the definition of "continent" used, the number of Olympic rings is not a strong argument for whether there is a single continent called America. -Acjelen 21:46, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
    • Alright, Alright - you may be right that it's better to let people just say their mind if they're not disrupting the article. But for what it's worth, at least one Latin American I know in real life mentioned the olympic rings when I asked him how many continents there were. Both the American and myself in my office were stunned that he said five, but he did - strange. Anyways, I'd be interested to know why so many Latin Americans think of the Olympic committee as the official source of continents... WilyD 22:40, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
    • Fair enough - I don't understand why Latin Americans seem to believe the Olympic Committee is the ultimate arbitor of geography, but it shows up in real life too - I asked a Chilean guy I work with how many continents there were, and he said five. I was stunned, as was the American woman in my office - but when I asked him what he thought they were, he said "It's like the olympic rings ..." so it bears out experimentally. Maybe you're right that it's better to just let people say their piece unless they disrupt the actual page - I'll try to tone it down on those who just want to complain. WilyD 22:34, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
      • It is not only Latin Americans or Canadians who interpret the primary sense of the term "America" to refer to a continental complex. The following is a direct quote taken from U.S. based Encarta Encyclopedia. "America, second largest isolated landmass of the earth, comprising the two continents of the western hemisphere. America is a common designation for either or both North America and South America, for the western hemisphere as a whole, and for the United States of America. The entire western hemisphere is often called the Americas. The word first appeared in Cosmographiae Introductio (Introduction to Cosmography), edited and published in 1507 by the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller. The name was derived from Americus, the Latinized given name of the Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci, whose expeditions to the New World are described in the work. As used by Waldseemüller, America specifically referred to the lands discovered by Christopher Columbus, Vespucci, and other early explorers of the West Indies and the northeastern coast of the southern continent. The Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator first used the word to indicate all the western hemisphere on a map of the world published in 1538."--ArturoH 17:19, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
What's the name of the largest "isolated landmass" I wonder? Afroeurasia? Eurafrasia? -Acjelen 18:29, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

In some of the comments posted here, the fact that "american" is the name received by someone who is from the USA is used as a backup for the fact that America is considered a way to call the US. Then, are you stating that someone who does not live in the US, is not American? That would not make any sense, because people from different parts of the Americas also receive it. For example, south american. Thus, it is fallacious to turn it around and use that relation as a supporting idea.

Of course, the other side of the debate can also be accused of the same circular logic. -Acjelen 04:38, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Secondyl, even if some sources do use the Word "America" as a synonym to the USA, I am still to find Official political material referring to it in that way. Dictionaries have no competence over appropiate and official political designations. Foremost, the use of america as a synonym to the USA appears as colloquial, and it is innapropiate to use a collquial base for a global reference source as Wikipedia

For this reason, the article America is not a redirect to United States, but is this disambiguation page. -Acjelen 04:38, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Ultimately, as someone who lives in America, specifically South America, I think that the use of the word "America" as a Synonym of USA is absolutely disrespectful. The USA is NOT America, it is just ONE country, that belongs to America. Referring to what is related to the USA as something "american" leaves behind the other nations that coexist with it. I think traditionalism and nationalism must be left behind in order to make the best decision. Xavier 10:32, 30 April 2007 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:34, 1 May 2007 (UTC).

  • Thank you for you input, but Wikipedia is not a soapbox. You may feel that the United States should be the cultural and economic master of the Americas, and that Latin America and Canada nothing but it's puppets, but this is not an appropriate place for you to express that view. Here we only try to represent established facts neutrally, we don't want editors to introduce their own ideas and opinions. WilyD 03:45, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
Speaking of soapboxes, Wily, how about knocking it off with the Manifest Destiny rhetoric? It has nothing to do with improving the article, it only reiterates your opinion that everyone who uses or wishes to use "American" to refer to the "Americas" somehow supports Manifest Destiny. Please take your own advice on soapboxing, lest further useless debate be sparked.--Cúchullain t/c 07:55, 1 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you're looking for. I haven't tried to introduce any such thing into the article(s) in question. I've only tried to identify problematic suggestions is clear, unambigious terms. Edits should be neutral, editors don't have to be. Honestly, I think it's better if editors know where each other stands, so we can work together more easily. While articles should be verifiable and neutral, on talk pages its more expediant (and honest) to be truthful rather than verifiable and neutral. I'm sorry if I'm taking part in an unnecessary debate and you find it annoying or distracting. But I feel it's better to hash things out on a talk page where editors disagree, rather than engage in edit wars on the article(s). WilyD 15:44, 1 May 2007 (UTC)


The lists should be in order of prevalence and usage. The term "America," without a modifier, is most often used as a colloquial for the United States of America. The term "America" used for the two continents of North America and South America is becoming more and more obsolete, being replaced by the term "Americas," reflecting recognition that North and South America, in particular are two separate continents. Chiss Boy 11:21, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Do you have a reliable citation to that effect? Without it, one can argue whatever they like, as evidenced by the fact that they do. WilyD 14:03, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Disambiguation Issues

I am in the process of disamming America. I'm getting there. I'm about halfway through the list. I am doing it on a case by case basis, so America can be diverted to American or United States or whatever the intention is. If anyone sees any major errors, fix them. --Woohookitty 00:36, 16 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Wow, it's sure taking a long time to get through the other half, eh? Or are new undisambiguated links added on a more-or-less daily basis? The fact that 99% of the links to this page intend to reference its United States meaning should clearly indicate to everyone that America should redirect to the United States page. Anything else is a purely political argument that does nothing to help the readers of this encycolpedia. So can we agree that if in another year there still exists a significant number (can we agree to more than 100?) of links to this disambiguation page then we'll move this page to America (disambiguation), redirect America to United States, and end this argument? Ewlyahoocom 17:21, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
A year? Why not do it sooner? Uris 16:33, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Why? I – and I'm sure others – would not agree to this ... and for good reason. For one: usage varies – consult the Oxford English Dictionary and you'll note that America is reckoned first as the unified landmass (Americas), then as the country; this is also reflected in Merriam Webster's dictionary (but varies somewhat). Moreover, this descending order should also be reflected in the disambiguation (q.v. Macedonia, Georgia) and not with unnecessary details justifying order that are already in appropriately wikilined articles. Until then ... E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 16:51, 5 February 2006 (UTC)


For those of you who feel passionately about letting the world know your distaste for the second sense of America, you can feel free to add to the America page. You could also add an article on the American page.

I have a challenge, however. My challenge is that you do so without engaging in yet another flamefest on this /Talk page. I don't think you can do it--I think you're too we ak. But you might surprise me. So, let's see. I'll be watching to see if someone can supply neutral information about the objection to the second sense of "America," without getting into a flamefest about it. Theoretically, it is possible. --Dr. Larry Sanger (that's right, Tim. :-) )

Now this was a troll if I ever saw one. I challenge you to make non-biased updates to usian. --Pinkunicorn

you have to be a troll to know one

Funny, I could also understand troll in the fishing sense of trolling for an argument. user:Eclecticology

Oh well!  :-) --Larry

Isn't there a dispute about the origin of the word America and that it might actually be named after Richard Amerike? Mintguy 16:18 Dec 10, 2002 (UTC)

If this article is switching from a disambiguation, to an article about America the continent, then The Americas should be moved here and a new page America (disambiguation) established ( 21:47, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I deleted Colonial America, because I've never heard about Colonial "America" being referred to as America. —Cantus 23:32, Dec 21, 2004 (UTC)

I swapped the United States and the Americas on the list. In English, the United States is by far the most common meaning for the term 'America'. A google search will reveal the same thing. On the first two pages of results (that's as far as I cared to look), only one link ( used 'America' to refer to anything other than the United States. And they actually used the term 'Latin America'. Does it sound reasonable to put the most common use first? -- Dpark 21:45, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I deleted the entry complaining about living in America. If you feel this is censorship then feel free to put it back. However, I deleted the post because this is a talk page discussing the disambiguation page for America, not a forum to post your opinions on a subject. This is an encyclopedia.--JegaPRIME 17:35, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Please do not remove other's comments from talk pages. That is not acceptable. I posed a question, and rather than answer it, you deleted my entire comment and accused me of vandalism. If you cannot answer my question, perhaps you should not have involved yourself at all. Wikipedia is not a forum for pushing for the supremacy of anti-US views. Wikipedia should give accurate information, and that means the most common use of terms should be presented first.

Original Comment
I swapped the United States and the Americas on the list.  In English, the
United States is by far the most common meaning for the term 'America'. 
A google search will reveal the same thing.  On the first two pages
of results (that's as far as I cared to look), only one link (
used 'America' to refer to anything other than the United States. 
And they actually used the term 'Latin America'.  Does it sound reasonable
to put the most common use first?
-- Dpark 21:45, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

My point is still valid. Online English dictionaries also place the United States as the first meaning. That is the most common meaning in English.

Bartleby The Free Dictionary

Also, "The Americas" are two continents, and it is therefore still incorrect to refer to them as a single continent. -- Dpark 05:44, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Dpark, and I am not an American, but in the English language (and this is the English wiki) the word America is an appropriate and totally correct name for the United States of America. In most English-speaking countries the term America is rarely used to refer to two continents South and North America together, as is the case in many other languages. --Harald84.153.10.66 17:16, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

I've re-removed the comment about the "correctness" of "America" meaning "USA". I'm aware that there are legitimate reasons not to use America to mean the USA, but the fact is that this is a common name for the country, widely used all over the world. It's been like that for a very long time; thus "America" simply is another name for the USA. With naming issues such as these, common usage makes it so, and it's not Wikipedia's job to prescribe "correct" usage of popular names for places. Instead, I'm going to link to Alternative words for American, which describes this conflict better. CDC (talk) 17:48, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

Well firstly, I think removing entries in talk pages is wrong on principle. Ho else are we supposed to communicate?? This is only a good way to get people mad at you and start a battle. If starting battles is your goal LEAVE! that said I also think dating (if not signing) your comments is essencial for clarity. Now on to America. As it pertains to continents, it is the name of a region containing two continents and not in any way a single one. (I'm fixing this). I like the way the USA is currently refferenced (although it's slightly misleading, I'm fixing this too), although it is true that in english it is the most common use, it is incorrectly used this way. Olleicua 23:28, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

I've posted here and there about this dispute - and yes I was around when Larry (anybody remember Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger?) posted the first comment on this page!
I intend to straighten this matter out once and for all, in a way that all parties will be satisfied.
I've helped other regions settle their naming disputes, now it's time to "come home". Uncle Ed, a resident of Manhattan's snooty and exclusive Upper West Side. 21:03, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

North America and Latin America as cultural regions

{{table of the Americas}} cultural region? Isnt Texas California & other states with heavy mexican culture? I'm no Einstein. doesnt mexican culture relate to mexico?<none white U.S.A related.

Changing how article names appear on this page

Obviously the word America has many different meanings or Wikipedia would not need a disambiguation page for it. Indeed, the two principal uses of the word (as labels for either the lands of the western hemisphere collectively or for the United States of America specifically) are deeply disputed, with some users on both sides insulted by the use on the opposite side. Sadly this debate is unlikely to end soon. Many residents of the United States will live their entire lives unaware of the dispute, using the narrow sense of the word routinely, emphatically, patriotically, even solemnly. This page serves to direct Wikipedia users to the correct name of the article they seek. On Wikipedia, the article on America in the broad sense is Americas. This is how the link should appear on this page. Since titles and vehicle names require a formatted appearance, they are piped to appear correctly. Geographical terms and other names are not piped. If one wishes to change the name of any article, do so at the article but not the disambiguation page. -Acjelen 04:26, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

This is part of why I stopped being active with Wikipedia for so long. I'm not willing to sit on top of articles and wait to push the revert button. It's too much hassle to constantly watch articles just to remove others' biases. The US is no longer listed first, even though we already had that discussion. I got tired of moving it back. I've changed "America" back to "The Americas", because it's what's consistent, both with Wikipedia internally and with general English-language use. But I'm sure someone will change it again soon enough. Agh. -- Dpark 13:54, 30 November 2005 (UTC)


Well America is a continent not a country, now if you want to use it to call a country dosen't mean that you should change the meaning of it.

As can be read below, not everyone agrees that America is a continent, but in that sense two continents. -Acjelen 23:11, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
You should post your comments under a heading, the same as most of the other comments here. Chiss Boy 11:22, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Please people

Don't deny the existance of Central America, plus, America is both a country (U.S.) and a continent (the so called Americas, which is in fact one huge continent sub divided in three sections, north, central and south). Remember the FIVE continents?: Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Oceania (Australia). We learnt that in third grade, I think.

Au contraire: a spurious listing of multiple items unnecessarily complicates the issue and term. In a disambig page, we needn't list every possible constituent (geographic or ethnocultural) of the Americas – e.g., Central America, Middle America, Latin America, Ibero-America, Anglo-America, et al. – only those that will help clarify possible ambiguity. In this instance, this is only true (geographically) for:
In support of this, both Oxford and Webster's dictionaries list only North America and South America as constituents of – and continents of – the Americas/America without at all elaborating, as do any number of atlases. Moreover, note that the UN subdivides the Americas into Northern America, Central America, Caribbean, and South America, which is as impartial as we're gonna get. A visitor can consult the relevant links from the main ones to learn more about the various definitions and distinctions.
And denial is a river elsewhere. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 17:15, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
O.K., then the American CONTINENT is divided into North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Those should be the correct sub divisions of the American Continent.
No. Read the above again – properly, Northern America, Central America, and (arguably) the Caribbean comprise North America: we should keep it simple with just the two relevant mentions indicated already. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 17:39, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Do you remember third grade? There are SEVEN continents: North America (which includes Central America), South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. Hispaniola, New Zealand, Japan, Newfoundland, Britain, Ireland, Tierra del Fuego, etc. are not technically on any continent, but they're all too small to count as continents themselves. 16:58, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Obviously the number of continents taught to school children varies by time and place. -Acjelen 19:09, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. I know that in many places in Europe they teach America as one continent, and ignore Antarctica altogether. -newkai | talk | contribs 12:50, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Order of first two entries

Among the many frequent changes that have occurred to this page since its present configuration as a disambiguation page, is changing the order of the first two entries. Some editors prefer the United States entry first, others prefer to the Americas entry first. At this time, we have reached no consensus about which order to use. Other pages have tried to reach consensus formally through "voting". This may work here as well. -Acjelen 18:29, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

If it means putting an end to incessant minute edits, I'm all for it. Also see above. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 18:47, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
There is no need to vote if we can establish which is more frequently used. Does anyone here disagree that America meaning the Untied States is the most frequent usage in the English language? Until a consensus is reached, I don't see why the default should be "the Americas" when it seems unlikely that is the most frequent usage. Also, the description was very accurate and neutral before E Pluribus Anthony deleted it and only left the link to "Usage of the word American". That is a poor edit. Uris 02:41, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Arguably, there is a need. First: you have not established why and have proceeded to wilfully insinuate edits of dubious reliability and poor quality and this preference/position with weasel words like "seems". Can you cite anything to back up claims of prevailing usage in the countries you indicate ... which seems to change by the minute? I've at least indicated ordering and simpler renditions above (as one will find in dictionaries) that contrast with this. More to point: this is a disambig page, not an 'exploratory' article (as per guidelines) where details can be (and are) better elaborated elsewhere. Moreover, I haven't been alone in restoring the status quo and, despite your POV otherwise, a vote may be required to nail this down. Lastly, you recently introduced retaliatory editing without prior discussion/rationale here (as above) or a consensus and by passing off your editorial preference merely as "Copyedit".
I can be compelled otherwise or if a consensus supports this position – but until then, I see no reason to retain them and will hereafter act on editing improprieties not arrived at consensually. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 03:01, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
E Pluribus Anthony: please see Wikipedia standards for Disambiguation: Order of entries, which clearly states "place the items in order of usage, with the most-used meanings appearing at the top and less common meanings below" and "Always place the most-common meaning(s) at the top." For the benefit of this discussion, I will check the current top 100 news stories that discuss America and by Wikipedia's standards on disambiguation ordering we should go with the meaning that is most-used.
The results were: 100 indicating the United States and 0 indicating the rest of the Western Hemisphere. You can view the results for yourself using this link. Notice that usage of America included 89 U.S. news stories and 11 foreign news stories, all of which used the word America to refer to the United States. For your convenience in evaluating the most-used meaning of this word, all foreign stories in the top 100, from places as divese as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and India, are linked to here: [1],[2], [3],[4],[5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11].
There were no English-language stories using America to refer to any locations in the Western Hemisphere other than the United States. Based on these results, there should probably not even be a disambiguation page, but if there is one there is absolutely no question which usage goes at the top of the list.
Uris 12:59, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
This is subjective rationale and arguably original regarding usage ... If anything, you've proved the opposite regarding usage: since America is included amongst the other basic terms in the dab – a term often compounded to refer to more than just the United States of America like North America, South America, et al. (all in the Americas), which you've conveniently excluded in your search – its use when referring to the American landmass (in whole or in part) is the prevalent one. I defer to my former statements and, in any event, a vote may be in order. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 13:48, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
"Always place the most-common meaning(s) at the top." You're saying that Wikipedia's standards are subjective rationale. I took out United States of America, America Online, Bank of America, North America, South America, etc. because they have very different meanings than America (and separate Wikipedia pages). But the result would be the same in any case. There is no question of the result here and a vote among few people would only encourage the anti-American contingent to make a decision based on bias rather than actual usage of the word. It doesn't take any research to know that this is the most-common meaning of the word, I only did so because you seemed not to want to believe it because of your biases. Uris 13:52, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Some may differ (like America Online), but some may and do not (e.g., territoriality) – that's the point. And please don't insinuate neutrality when it's clear that there's little of that in your posts and edits. We agree to disagree: a vote is often the only means of recourse and may serve as a crucible to resolve this and other possibly contentious issues. I will devise a vote and structure and post it publicly soon.
Moreover, I would like to remind you that you might be in apparent violation of the 3RR. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 14:04, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
For the record, you were already in violation of the 3RR yesterday. If there is not a vote of a significant amount of non-biased participants, we will need to go further. You can't vote down the way the term is used, that's not the purpose of an encyclopedia. I envision a vote where you tell all of your buddies here who dislike America about the vote. It is easy enough to see the way the outside world most commonly uses the word so arbitration may eventually be necessary to correct this situation and conform to Wikipedia's policy about frequency of use. Uris 14:07, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Again, your POV. Regarding usage: it's a guideline, not policy. Your evocations of decisions routed in policies/guidelines do not make them so. Pot, meet kettle ... you started this. As for compelling others, no comment (other than) your statements/acts from the get-go clearly exhibit a degree of incivility and lack of good faith. A vote will occur, etc. End communication. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 14:16, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
No, it's not my POV. I have present facts of actual usage, you have presented only a biased opinion. You can not vote down a term's actual usage, period. You have made no effort to find the most-used meaning of the term, because you are.... biased. You don't want to know how the term is used, you only want to vote against it because you don't like the way the English-speaking world actually uses the term most commonly. That's not what encyclopedias are for. Uris 14:20, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
In Wp, it's not about facts: it's about what others can reliably cite and verify, etc. Your rationale above is arguably subjective, original research regarding usage. I have cited rationale above and previously based on renditions in common publications, etc. How is that POV? Whatever. As for your other personal observations, they will hereafter be accorded the respect they deserve and I will proceed as above. And that's it. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 14:30, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I have reliably cited the most-common meaning of the word. Do you disagree? What we should be doing is citing the most-common meaning of the word to our mutual satisfaction, not inviting like-minded thinkers into a "vote" of the most-common meaning when it can be easily verified by citations and sources. Uris 14:32, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I do not agree ... more appropriately, assertions regarding usage have not been substantiated sufficiently. And Wp is based on constructive discourse no matter what one's stripe. And a vote will encourage like- and unlike-minded thinkers to weigh in based on available information. If a groundswell does not support a vote or if a consensus believes otherwise, I'll defer ... but I don't see it. Until then ... E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 14:36, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
So, what you are saying is that you don't believe that the most-common meaning of the term (which Wikipedia's guidelines demand we use to decide ordering on this page) is as important as what the "voting public" you will personally call into action think it should be. Or, are you saying it is impossible for us to find the most-common meaning? For what reason do you feel that my citation was faulty? You seem to be saying that the English-speaking world is biased in its usage of the term, and that we should alter this usage with a vote. And if Wp is based on constructive discourse, why do you continually call an end to the discussion here? Uris 14:40, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
It's not disbelief, it's a matter of interpretation: usage of the term America/n (which is derived from elsewhere) does vary worldwide ... so that is not necessarily an incorrect assessment.
And I'm all for constructive discourse, but this discussion is somewhat past that and is why I'm ending my discussion with you (others can feel free to comment). It's getting rather circuitous and your comments to me (e.g., prior references to my 'voting pals') are somewhat incivil. In a vote, any Wikipedian will be able to weigh in as usual. Hereafter, I will disengage and only reply to you when constructive commentary is made. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 14:57, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry if you feel I've been uncivil, but I feel that you have been uncivil to me as well. This began when I made edits citing "frequency of use" as Wikipedia's guidelines tell us to do, and you would revert without providing any reasoning to that end. Let's try to get beyond that now and reach a consensus. Also, please note that polls are only gauges of opinion and can not decide how the article is written; additionally, a consensus must be reached on the actual poll before voting can begin. Uris 15:03, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
When you made your initial "Copyedit", contrary to the status quo and asserting an unsourced position without discussion (unlike my earlier comments in the prior section), that necessitated my response and actions afterward. Remember, you precipitated this recent round: if you feel that I've been incivil in response, I apologise. As you can see above, there have been various attempts to overcomplicate and rewrite what should be a simple dab page.
I'm willing to move past mutual incivility but, given this impasse, I still see no reason to not proceed with a vote and will shortly place a poll for collective review beforehand. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 15:15, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Oh my. Please don't say I "precipitated this recent round" of incivility. That is incorrect and does not help in any way as we try to reach a consensus. Place your poll for review if you like, but please note that the most-common use of the word supercedes a gauge of opinion or straw poll by Wikipedia guidelines on ordering this page. Uris 15:21, 6 February 2006 (UTC)


I'm moving this back to avoid going to the far right of the page. Anyhoo, for the purpose of reaching a consensus, here are more citations of additional verifiable sources.

The Free Dictionary

All citations that either side have come up with do agree on the most-common meaning. Per Wikipedia guidelines, this most frequent meaning (i.e., United States of America) must come first. There is no noted ambiguity or "wiggle room" about the guideline, and a straw poll can not alter this ordering.

Uris 15:43, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Contrary to the above, citations vary. For our collective information:

E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 15:57, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

If this is true, then I am more than willing to consider listing the continents first. Why did you wait so long to cite any source? We could have saved a lot of time hashing through your opinions rather than verifiable sources. Also, are these the most recent editions? Uris 16:00, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
My Oxf. volumes date 2002; MW 2003. I indicated this to you early on.: this also predicated my prior comments in the prior section ... as I've stated various times. We could've saved a lot of time and redundant argumentation if you were more observant from the start and read the talk page before editing. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 16:13, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
When I edited, you had not made those comments yet (and did not given reasoning for your reversions). Also, I do apologize for watching only this conversation and not elsewhere on the page where you made this reference to prior comments I had left at the top.
From what I can tell, the most recent editions cited (by me) have the U.S. as the first and most common meaning. Older editions (cited by you) reverse the order. However, they aren't the same dictionaries so it is possible that the ones you cite continue to order them in that way. It would be useful to this discussion if someone out there has a current version of the Oxford English Dictionary since they don't allow free access to it online.
This would not establish the greater land mass as the most-common usage, but would at least establish it as a legitimate contender. I think looking at the whole picture, it may be difficult to overcome the fact that each of the 100 most recent news stories about "America", all from different sources, all reference the country and not the land mass. Yet, I am willing to live with either result since there is at least one source out there disagreeing. Uris 16:28, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I reverted a mere "Copyedit" you made without discussion with a similar one, which was at least predicated by notions expressed here and elaborated upon shortly after. But no problem: none of us are omniscient or perfect ... present company included, of course. :)
While I don't have current editions of these dictionaries (and I'll take a peek once I'm out next), I doubt they would reveal anything different. That would also imply that usage (or at least the orderings stated) have overwhelmingly shifted in only a few years; as with other cites above, it may also just reflect (opining aside) editorial license for a particular publication. This might be more of an issue if the volumes were, say, ten years old or if the topic of note dealt with nascent/contemporary terms. This isn't the case here.
Trust me: I don't dispute that usage of the term to describe the country might prevail online and elsewhere (I do live in the Great White North, after all), but that still doesn't obviate other substantial indications to the contrary ... and hence my positioning throughout. Moreover, be careful about using online searches (like Google) to gauge prevalence of usage. :) E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 16:51, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the help, E Pluribus Anthony, in hashing this out with me. Also, the many useful links are appreciated! By the way, I'm the offspring of a Canadian American. One of my parents was born and raised in the Eastern Townships before migrating down south. Went to Quebec one week a year growing up and Ontario once or twice... beautiful country up there.  :) Uris 00:08, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
My pleasure ... likewise! BTW: I long to return to DC soon. :) E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 01:23, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Subdivisions proposal

I would like to suggest to editors of this page that we should remove the links to North America and South America. The beginning of the page would then approximate:

America is usually meant as either:

(See Use of the word America and Use of the word American.)

America is also:

What do other editors think? -Acjelen 01:53, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

I prefer the current arrangement that lists only the bare minimum, entries for which are also found in numerous publications (see above). However, I'll support removing them as proposed if a clear consensus does. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 01:59, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Central American and Carribean?

I request a vote, on if this DAB page should include a direct link to CA and the CI. Hawkfly 19:10, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

"Americentric "

The very fact that the anon editor used the word "Americentric" in refering to me as a person with a bias favoring the United States only further proves my point that in the English language it is much more common for the word "America" to refer to the United States.--RWR8189 09:10, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

You make a good point here, a very good one. But I must say that the need to recognze the pervasive usage of the word America to refer to the US, does not in anyway supersede the necessity - as an encyclopedia, and therefore an educational tool - to point out clearly the fact that the usage is, if not flat-out wrong, at the very least erroneous. The simple fact that a large group of people use a term a certain way, does not make that usage correct, IMHO. And this also has an impact on the usage of the term "American" A little earlier, someone talked about the fact that no state/country actually use the word "America" in their official names. In history that has not always been true (United Provinces of Central America), and Costa Rica and Nicaragua still have the words America Central on their flags. But even if that were true, and more importantly, there is the OAS, which is the Organization of American States, or PAHO (Pan American Health Organization), two organizations that span North, Central and South America. The USA is part of both the OAS and PAHO, thus directly admitting that there are more people entitled to be called "Americans" than just US citizens. Finally the language argument I saw a little earlier, seems phony to me, no offense. Arguing that it is okay to redirect America to the USA because of its common usage in English is phony, because I am convinced that people who make the argument would reject the fact that in Spanish for example, all over Latin America, the term "Americano" which translates to "American" means from the American continent(s); idem for "America". All in all, I believe that America must redirect to an "America (disambiguation)" page, and that it is the fairest solution to all grievances: It recognizes the fact that the US is quite often refered to as America, and recognizes the fact that this is not a universal thing. P.S: In Africa, we have the Central African Republic, and South Africa (different from Southern Africa). We don't have this naming issue, because the countries new governments knew better than to completely appropriate the name of the continent as their own. IMHO, the controversy starts with the issue of a complex of "manifest destiny", and linguistic imperialism. Themalau 21:47, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Order of first two entries

I would like to here a substantive reason why the first two entries should be in either order, or come to a compromise solution that would satisify all parties. I have reverted the article to the pre-revert war state, and tagged it with NPOV. I do not intend to revert anything again as I do not engage in stale revert wars. I suggest that others who wish to revert say something on the talk page before engaging in stale revert wars, and while engaging in stale revert wars. Or, they could realize that there's no rush and discuss it on the talk page without engaging in stale revert wars. Hipocrite - «Talk» 19:41, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

As I explain in my edit summaries, when examining Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages) under the "Order of entries" heading, we are instructed For places or people, alphabetical or chronological order may make more sense — but only for articles that are equally common. Always place the most-common meaning(s) at the top.
In the English language when referring to America in the singular tense, it is most common for this word to refer to the United States of America. This is a common sense deal, it cannot be argued in good faith that in the English language it is more common for the word America (in the singular tense) to refer to North and South America, or "the Americas" which is plural.
Also, I don't think the NPOV tag is warranted, this seems like mostly a misunderstanding of policy with an anon editor--RWR8189 20:02, 28 June 2006 (UTC)--RWR8189 20:00, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Can you find a WP:RS that states that "In the English language when referring to America in the singular tense, it is most common for this word to refer to the United States of America?" Hipocrite - «Talk» 20:04, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Can anyone find a reliable source that shows in the English language it is more common for the word America to refer to a different phrase "the Americas"? America in the singular tense and without any qualifiers before or after referring to the United States is status quo and common sense, the burden of proof is on those who wish to challenge the common sense meaning of the word in the English language.--RWR8189 20:32, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
While using America to mean the United States is certainly common (I would say pervasive) in the United States, declaring it common sense seems to be going to far. -Acjelen 20:39, 28 June 2006 (UTC) I would also like to point out the three sources cited above on 15:57, 6 February 2006 (UTC). -Acjelen 20:44, 28 June 2006 (UTC) Which I will copy below following Hipocrite's statement. -Acjelen 20:46, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
An appeal to common sence strikes me as uniqely weak. It is clear that there was strong consensus for the old version given the pattern of slow-reverts on the article. I suggest you find an RS to back up your statement regarding common usage. Hipocrite - «Talk» 20:35, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Contrary to the above, citations vary. For our collective information:

E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 15:57, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

I would like to point out that the issue has been discussed extensively on this very talk page (see sections above). -Acjelen 20:20, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

I am aware. It is obviously required we start from scratch. If there is an unimpeachable RS that says that "In the English language when referring to America in the singular tense, it is most common for this word to refer to the United States of America," then my mind is made up. If not, prior consensus appears unchanged to me. Hipocrite - «Talk» 20:22, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

The problem is, even if the common usage is indeed a reference to the United States of America, it is in my opinion almost impossible to find a definitive source that proves that true, or false for that matter. Every possible RS I've seen, so far, never goes as far as to state that the more common usage is one or the other. The closest I have come to finding a definitive statement have been dictionary listings for America, which have cases going both ways on the issue. With this in mind I will cease to revert this article, barring of course me, or someone else, being able to find a RS, that is not easily canceled out by another to the contray, for the Word refering to the United States in common usage. Wildnox 22:21, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

So maybe they're two acceptable ways of ordering, and it's not something worth edit warring over? --Interiot 02:22, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
"...I will cease to revert..." on another note The reason I originally entered into the edit war was it looked to me as if it was one anon, with two seperate IPs, acting as a vandal and trying to bully in an opinion, I didn't realize until recently that the style they had been reverting to was the one reached in talk. Wildnox 02:37, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Some encyclopedias weren't afraid.

One continent, two continents, doesn't matter: According to Microsoft Encarta, "America, second largest isolated landmass of the earth, comprising the two continents of the western hemisphere" link. Deepstratagem 13:14, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

National Geographic says, from Patagonia (Argentina) to Canada there is only one tectonic place, i.e. there is only one continent. What is the name of this continent? America (The Americas is plural by the way).

It would be dangerous to hold the position that continents correspond to tectonic plates. People in India might object if told they were no longer in Asia. -Acjelen 13:53, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Secondly, when somebody says: "Most of the literature in English says America is USA", perhaps Italians or Germans have something to say about it. Locally speaking, we can not rule the world, if we want to agree, perphaps is a good idea to include ... the world you know.

I'm not sure what Italians and Germans need to say about what words the people of the United States use to describe themselves. -Acjelen 13:53, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Finally, somebody might take a look at

Wikipedia in Spanish

, and read what is written there for the term America, to see what others might say about it, you may find surprises...

As a remark, if we, the USA people, say that America is the same as USA, then in USA, America will be the same as USA. That is true and clear to me, if we want to re-baptise USA with XYZ, that is fine, but for the rest of the world USA will not be XYZ. Remember that "English literature" does not mean "USA literature," and as the above person says the dictionaries are also "English literature" and say otherwise. USA rules USA, only.

Of course the United States "rules" the United States only. The Spanish sense of the word America refers to a landmass, but really nothing more. There is no "America" in that sense to rule. There is Aruba, Brazil, Belize, Canada, Cuba, Colombia, etc. I suppose the United States could annex each of these nation individually, but the people would still insist that there were two contintents and use Americas to refer to the lands of the western hemisphere. -Acjelen 13:59, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Some objective facts to take into account

Please try to put here just references to verifiable information and not opinions. Godot 22:10, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

  • The CIA World Factbook does NOT include 'America' as a name for the USA, neither short, long local or global. The names are
    conventional long form
    United States of America
    conventional short form
    United States
    local long form
    United States of America
    local short form
    United States
    US or USA
  • Different dictionaries and encyclopedias gives 'America' either the meaning of the continent or both meanings in different orders. No clear consensus.
I don't need the CIA or any reference book to tell me that people in the United States use or don't use "America" to refer to their country. I only need to go outside and walk down the street or listen to maybe three minutes of television commercials. Will the CIA tell the child a cow does not say moo nor a pig oink? Shall we try to convince the world with "facts" that the ocean isn't blue and that the moon is not up? If Benjamin Franklin called his country America, then why shan't I? -Acjelen 23:09, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree with you Godot. It's not just wrong in principle, but inaccurate. Microsoft Encarta decided not to play popularity games with their encyclopedia entry on America link. Maybe Wikipedia can set the record straight, too. Deepstratagem 03:59, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

The most common meaning

Objectively, it is easy to demonstrate that the most common meaning of "America" by a long, long way is "United States of America". (Just as an American is someone from the USA.) I'm happy to demonstrate this with sources if people say what sources they will accept (there are plenty of usage and style guides that encourage the use of the word "American" to mean of or pertaining to the USA - such as that of The Times). Based on commonality, one might expect that meaning to appear first - however, I do not seek to argue that, but instead that we should aid the reader by making the most common meaning clear by adding the phrase "or more commonly" before the second bullet point.

I'd add that I am surprised by Wildnox's comment that adding "more commonly" is POV (or in English is expressing an opinion rather than a fact). I don't believe it is - as it is clearly not arguing that either meaning ought to be more prevalent, it is merely stating that one meaning is far, far more prevalent than another (which can easily be demonstrated), jguk 17:01, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Does anyone have any comments to make before I reinsert the reference to the more common usage? I'm happy to discuss concerns if there are any, jguk 13:43, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
I think that would be best. 16:31, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, please demonstrate that one meaning is far more prevalent keeping in mind that "Latin America" and "South America" do not refer to the United States of America. Please be sure to cite strong scholarly sources as evidence. Deepstratagem 17:07, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Those don't count since they're indivisible. Only certain adjectives designate that the word America refers to the landmass rather than the country, including North, South, and Latin. In fact, I can't think of any other word in the English Language that does so. These three adjectives change the meaning of word from a political region to a geographic one, and it's hardly the only occasion. Is Inner Mongolia part of Mongolia? Is Equatorial Guinea part of Guinea? Is Northern Ireland part of Ireland? (Actually, let's not start that last debate again.) I believe these terms are used in Spanish as well; the nouns, however, by themselves, almost always refer to the political regions. I'll grant that "America" is used to refer to the Americas on occasion, especially by native speakers of Spanish (note the grammar of the majority of the more heated arguments for "America" as the landmass) or Portuguese, and significantly often by native speakers. However, every time I pick up almost anything British, especially The Economist, I marvel at the frequency with which they use "America" to mean the United States, compared to American publications, which tend to avoid the word entirely. I have no hard data, though; I'm not sure where I'd get them. (Besides, where's everyone on the front lines against Colombia?) Twin Bird 05:24, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
"Those don't count since they're indivisible"; who says they are indivisible? Under that logic United States of America cannot be simply referred to as America because United States of America is indivisible. Deepstratagem 06:12, 30 December 2006 (UTC)


I've seen too much vandalism ithis page these recent days. Users blanking, spamming, etc. Should it be temporaly blocked? Shadowy Crafter 20:43, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

The rate of vandalism seems normal to me. I like to think having this page available for vandalism holds down the vandalism on the article pages, especially United States. -Acjelen 22:38, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
This is the most vandalised page on my watchlist, but then again I do agree with Acjelen. — AnemoneProjectors (talk) 23:43, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
And to clarify, I meant the rate of vandalism seemed "normal" for this page. -Acjelen 14:39, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Is that why we can't directly edit the entry for "United States of America" ?

POV pushing

Deepstratagem recently changed the first definition from:

The Americas, the lands and regions of the Western hemisphere, usually divided into North America and South America, to

The Americas, or American continent, usually divided into North America and South America.

Since there is no consensus on whether or not the Americas are one continent or two, and the previous definition didn't use the c-word at all, I reverted to the more neutral introduction. The introduction was extensively debated above, and has been stable for about 10 months, so I believe it should stay the way it is now, without promoting either point of view. --Confiteordeo 09:12, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Thank you Confiteordeo for all your work recently on this disambig page. I recently ended up at Colonial North America north of Rio Grande. I thought the article would be about Texas, Colorado, Sante Fe; but it is the old article Colonial America moved there. It is sad and damaging to Wikipedia that articles on a subject cannot use the terms long established for that subject. -Acjelen 15:01, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
It is also sad and damaging to Wikipedia we have to use terms like "the Americas", when there are other terms long established for that subject. Deepstratagem 18:53, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure calling it "Americas" is neutral. That's a neologism. If you want to be fair, it would also be described as American continent. Deepstratagem 18:47, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
When the name of the Americas article is changed, then we can change how it is listed on this disambiguation page. There are WP guidelines against giving undue weight to minority points of view while considering NPOV. -Acjelen 19:25, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
A neologism? Is that verifiable? Also, Deepstratagem, please don't use "rv" in your edit summaries unless you're actually reverting something. --Confiteordeo 00:19, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Please indent correctly if you are addressing me. Deepstratagem 06:29, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

=I guess there is no reason to follow guidelines then, confit. See WP:TPG#Technical_and_format_standards= —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Deepstratagem (talkcontribs) 16:05, 7 February 2007 (UTC).

I'm sorry, maybe you want to look at WP:TPG. There is no policy or single system regarding indentation on talk pages, so there's no reason to cop an attitude. I'm only trying to improve this page, as I hope you are. --Confiteordeo 11:19, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
I especially like the part where it says any indentation system is acceptable. Since my post was underneath Acjelen's to keep things in chronological order, and was off-set from that post to show that I wasn't responding to it but to one above, and since that was clear enough that you knew that I was talking to you, I'd say I followed the guidelines pretty well. So where do you get off talking about "indenting correctly," then? You know what, don't answer that; this discussion is already too asinine and off-topic. We can talk when you're actually interested in improving the article and willing to respond to honest questions about your assertions. Kisses, Confiteordeo 16:18, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

division of the Americas

Firstly, there is no reason to bold the word America in the entry for the U.S. on this page. Secondly, if the landmass of the western hemisphere is divided into more than one continents by geographers (and it is), it is divided into two: North America and South America. Obviously what many call "Central America" and "the Caribbean" must be on one continent or the other. Generally they are considered part of North America. Not listing Central American and the Caribbean in the first entry of this page is not to dismiss them anymore than it is to dismiss The Great Plains by not listing it. The point is that the slightest division of the Americas is into two parts. -21:08, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Wrong. In the whole of Latin America (i.e.: most of America), Central America is listed as a third subcontinent or landmass, next to the North and South ones. This is what is told in school in the whole of South America and parts of Mexico. I think this should be addressed.--Damifb 06:31, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I think part of the problem may be translation. In English, listing North America, Central America, and South America is similar to listing arm, elbow, torso or dogs, beagles, cats. Beagles are dogs. The elbow is part of the arm. If Central America is worthy of being listed separately, why not other regions with unique identities like The Great Plains, Alaska, or Greenland. -Acjelen 14:52, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Taken from Wikipedia's Central America; "Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is variably [emphasis added] defined either as being a region of the Americas in its own right or as the southern portion of North America."
Besides why would it be called Central America? Deepstratagem 10:04, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
This is discussed at Americas (terminology), where even more divisions of the Americas are illustrated. -Acjelen 14:52, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I've always assumed Central America is called that because of its location centrally within the Americas. -Acjelen 14:52, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Historical accident. This isn't particularly uncommon. White Russia isn't part of Russia, New England isn't part of England, New South Wales isn't part of Wales, West Virginia isn't part of Virginia, British Columbia isn't part of Colombia (and it isn't British), Macedonia isn't part of Macedonia, Luxemburg isn't part of Luxemburg, Sussex isn't part of Saxony ... there are other examples WilyD 14:58, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Can you logically tell me that Central America is named Central America by historical accident, when it just happens to be smack between North and South America? There is a reason why it is also referred scientifically as Mezoamerica: mezo- (middle) -america (america) = middle of America. What is the historical accident? seems like a perfect fit if you consider the proportions and its scientific name. Deepstratagem 19:51, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Truth, of course, rarely has anything to do with logic. An encyclopaedia describes the world the way it is, not the way it should be. It may be illogical that West Virginia isn't part of Virginia, or that Canada isn't one the the Canadas, but it's true. Historical accidents by their nature almost have to be illogical. WilyD 19:55, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
"Truth, of course, rarely has anything to do with logic." Who gave you that idea? Logic is how we evaluate truth. Also, the fact that East Virginia isn't part of Virginia has nothing to do with the fact that Central America is part of America and is also right in the middle. Deepstratagem 20:05, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Logic is not how I evaluate truth. As a scientist, I'm forced to use empiricism instead. Central America isn't in the middle of America, Kansas is (or Nebraska or something). But even in we use archaic terminology where Central America is part of America, it's still part of North America, and double listing it is redundantly redundant. WilyD 20:12, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, and the scientific method is also "subject to the principles of reason." Deepstratagem 20:25, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Sure, that's true, but it doesn't change the fact that observation is the ultimate decider of truth. Central America is part of North America - it's just the definition of terms. We could have defined these terms dfferently - (well nnot us, but people at the time). Today, we could define "Central America" to mean "Switzerland and Belgium" and if the rest of the English Speakers of the world went along with us, that'd be what it meant. It wouldn't make any sense, but it doesn't have to. It's just how the term is defined. WilyD 23:23, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
It's not always defined that way as can be seen Central America. Deepstratagem 07:12, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
An unsourced assertion in a wiki that runs contrary to what we all know to be true is not a reliable source. WilyD 14:56, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
You are assuming it runs contrary to what we all "know" to be true. Deepstratagem 18:40, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I think I've actually concluded that, rather than assumed that, but I'm not sure the distinction is terribly important. WilyD 18:45, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
The issue at hand is not whether Central America is named thusly or whether that name is apt, but if it should be listed along with North America and South America in the first entry. -Acjelen 15:30, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, I think we all agree that If Central America is part of North America, it should not. If it isn't, it should. WilyD 16:14, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Hi again. Thank you all for your participation. My conclusion: 1) Yes, it's about translation: Central America is northamerican in English, and it is NOT in Spanish. 2) WilyD said: "Central America is part of North America - it's just the definition of terms. We could have defined these terms dfferently - (well nnot us, but people at the time)". He is showing ignorance in this, because, as I said before, ask ANY southamerican and he/she would tell you that he/she learned in school that Central America is not part of North America. Now, if Wily had said "this is it in the English-speaking world", I would tell him he's may be right.--Damifb 12:57, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I think you're missing the point entirely. The issue has nothing to do with geography - it's simply a matter of linguistics and word meanings. What similar, but non-identical words mean in Spanish is irrelevent. The debate about whether Central America is part of North America literally cannot exist in Spanish, because neither North America nor Central America are part of Spanish - they're just English words. Just like it makes no sense to ask Is jogging a kind of walking? to try to answer Is "Pulsar" a kind of "Faire une promenade"? - this second question is about the meaning of French words - the meaning of English words is irrelevent. It is abundantly apparent that América Central is not part of Norteamérica while Central America is part of North America - I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand. WilyD 14:35, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
Because it breaks the common understanding of what central means. Deepstratagem 10:51, 3 March 2007 (UTC).
Not really. Because Central America is very different from central America grammatically, they follow different grammatical rules as to meaning. Thus people who keep trying to use the way to interpret the first on the second get an error. Of course, the fact that they mistakenly end up with Costa Rica as central America when they should end up with Nebraska or such is a seperate point (though the two are being confused a lot) WilyD 15:34, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Um, central America capitalized = Central America. Deepstratagem 15:56, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Uh, no Central America is the proper name Central America. central America is the proper name America modified by the adjective central. Capitalisation contains meaning. Red Johnson is a guy who's given name is Red and who's family name is Johnson. red Johnson is a guy who's name is Johnson, and who is somehow red. I suspect this may be the cause of the confusion, especially since it seems to typically arise with people who may be less familiar with the nuances of the language. WilyD 16:00, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Capitalization is used to start sentences, too. Deepstratagem 16:06, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Uh, yes, that's true, and that made it hard for me to write out the above, so I ignored that rule in a context where it's somewhat permissable. Better might have been to say:
  1. When I say There is a place called Central America, I'm using Central America as a single proper noun, Central America - it's just a name.
  2. When I say There is a place called central America, I'm using central America as a proper noun, America, modified by the adjective central. It's more than just a name.
I'm sorry if I wasn't clear enough on this point. I underestimated how confusing it would be. WilyD 16:21, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
In both cases you are naming the area; therefore they are both proper nouns and you have to capitalize both. You are not supposed to say "There is a place called central America". It would have to be capitalized whether central is intended as a noun or as an adjective. Deepstratagem 16:32, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
No, in the second case I mean central America. For example, Nebraska is in central America is a true statement, while Nebraska is in Central America is a false statement. It's an important distinction. WilyD 16:41, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
"Yes, Nebraska is in central America" is OK, but Nebraska is in a place called central America (as in the second case) is not. Deepstratagem 17:51, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I conceed this point. Nebraska is in central America and Nebraska is not in Central America are two sentences that illustrate where I believe the confusion to come from. WilyD 16:28, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Usage depends on context. Though they can and do overlap, there are generally clear differences between Central America and Middle America (United States) or Middle America (Americas) -- see Middle America. And then there's Mesoamerica (which literally means 'Middle America'). If one chose to begin an English sentence with "Central America ..." when actually referring to 'the middle of the USA', they should first consult usage guides or Orwell's writing rules beforehand (particularly as they apply to simplicity and clarity when conveying ideas) and (perhaps) stop being so argumentative herein.
Anyhow, listing just the two major constituents (i.e., the two continents in English) for what is collectively the lands and regions of the Western Hemisphere is sufficient -- there are plenty of other articles to describe other constituents in better detail and more appropriately (e.g., Americas (terminology)). Arguably, the USA is also one of the Americas. Otherwise, the case can be made to list all the Americas based on other criteria -- e.g., Latin America, Anglo-America, etc., -- too, which isn't useful. Actually, to avoid overcomplication, one can reasonably argue to reduce that entry to the lowest common denominator and keep it brief instead:
  • The Americas, the lands and regions of the Western Hemisphere.
Corticopia 21:30, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
One of my concerns with leaving United States off of this entry, in response to Corticopia's argument above, is that plenty of readers in the United States (and probably elsewhere) are ignorant of the broader sense of America. These readers will be surprised that the link America isn't a redirect to the article United States, but even more surprised to find the article United States not listed on the disambiguation page they are brought to. -Acjelen 16:33, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Of course America needs to be included in the list - it's the most common meaning of the word, and found in every dictionary was a usage. Corticopia is probably just talking about how to phrase the reference to the Americas, which is archaically referred to as America. WilyD 16:48, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, WilyD. Sorry for being unclear on that point, Acjelen: include both entries (as now) and the same order, but perhaps exercising extreme economy regarding the 'Americas' entry. Corticopia 19:21, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Central and Latin America

The lack of Central and Latin America was glaring, and extraordinary given this is about America, SqueakBox 14:34, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Actually this page isn't "about" America, but about helping WP users find the right article. How am I flying to Chicago, that's American Airlines. What was Johnny Cash's last record label, that's American Recordings. For the most part, however, people probably use this page to get either to the United States article or the Americas article. Since editors are unlikely to come here looking for the Central America or Latin America articles, they aren't listed. North and South America are given as an added explanation for "the Americas". -Acjelen 14:11, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism - Red Herring

Someone has reverted my edit under the banner of vandalism which it was not. "America" commonly refers to either the US or the entire Western Hemisphere of which the US is a part. North, Central, South, and Latin America are also commonly used terms, but they are rarely referred to as "America." Therefore, I have put the two most common used concepts associated with the word on top. I put the US in bold, because in the everyday language "I'm from America" means that I am from the US, not "I am from the Western Hemisphere" - that statement is almost unheard of.

Once again, this is not vandalism, it is motivated by valid reason and its purpose is to ease the navigation on Wikipedia pages. If you disagree, please give your opinions before editing. Thank you, (LonghornJohnny 17:45, 18 March 2007 (UTC))

The bolding for emphasis like that makes the Manual of Style unhappy. Bolding is used in the intro to highlight the name of the subject, it's not appropriate for a disambig page. WilyD 14:16, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Welcome to editing this page, LonghornJohnny. I hope you stay and help out. We need as much of it as we can get as this page is heavily vandalized. Most of this vandalism takes the form of replacing the page's content with things such as "America is poopy" or "America is full of fat people". At times the page is also disrupted by edit wars over the order of the first two entries. This is a kind of vandalism as well. The order of the first two elements is not based on an oversight. It has been stable in this order for some time. I like to think of the order as broader, narrower, but other long-term editors may have their own reasons why it is so stable. I would like to mention bolding. Editors on WP use bolding for different reasons and often disagree about what is overuse of bolding. I don't think the entry for the United States needs anymore emphasis than it already gets. -Acjelen 14:26, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

It looks fine to me and the vandalsim call was clearly a bad one, see WP:AGF which I think applies here. I also agree that latinos do not generally think of themselves as "American", nor of course is the word America included in the name of any country other than the US, SqueakBox 19:57, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

You might be confusing Latinos with Latin Americans... and of course, nor is there another continent with the full name of "America". Deepstratagem 15:46, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
That's a fairly easy claim to make, given that there is no continent with the name America at all... WilyD 15:49, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Another implies there was at least one, but I know you are just giving me a hard time. Deepstratagem 04:34, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree that it was implicit, which is why I thought it was wise to make it explicitly clear that there ain't one. WilyD 12:58, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I use Latino and Latin American as synonymous terms. It may be they mean something different in the US, SqueakBox 15:53, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Readers in the United States are likely to assume that Latino or Black without another country qualifier mean Latinos or Blacks in the United States as that is how they are used in the United States -Acjelen 16:49, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
That's incorrect. The terms are only used like that in the US in the context of the US; non-US Latinos or blacks are still called Latinos or blacks. If anyone assumed SqeakBox was talking about Latinos in the US based on the lack of a qualifier, they'd be assuming incorrectly. But saying "latino" in this case is confusing (there are plenty of Hispanics in the US, and they consider themselves US-Americans); I think what Squeak meant to suggest is that folks in Latin America don't consider themselves (pan-)Americans. I don't think this matters- the word "America" has multiple uses, and that's that. Though I think it's silly that the primary use isn't on top, it's not worth fighting over.--Cúchullain t/c 04:16, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not so sure it's the primary use. You had almost convinced me. See recent discussion in use of the word American. Deepstratagem 04:20, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Corticopia's Reversion

Corticopia: "rv willful and unnecessarily convoluted text/edits, not arrived at through consensus" Of course it's willful. Did you think it was involuntary? Not arrived at through consensus, but cited. Deepstratagem 23:33, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I defer to the prior statement -- yes: I wonder if your editions and comments are involuntary. And not to say ignorant of prior and current discussion above regarding this. Corticopia 23:48, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
If you wonder, then why state it as fact? ... Ignorant of what? Maybe you can enlighten me. Deepstratagem 03:45, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I wonder because you are being excessively argumentative and arguably disruptive, with unclear aims or ill-informed reasoning, here and elsewhere (noted here). And all edits should be accompanied with comment: I could've just as easily wrote "WTF?" or "read the talk page", but that would be too simple. As well, you appear ignorant of discussions above about the entry (particularly one happening now), and go ahead and change it anyway without explanation. Corticopia 03:48, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
"because you are being excessively argumentative, with unclear aims or ill-informed reasoning, here and elsewhere." For example? "As well, you appear ignorant of discussions above about the entry" please back up your claims with evidence. The 3RR wikivacation sponsored by WilyD is for reverting not for ill-informed reasoning. Furthermore, you are the one not making sense: You wonder if my edit was involuntary because I'm "being excessively argumentative"; If that were the case there is no reason for the edit to have been involuntary - in fact the action seems to be soaked in intentionality - and I think I would know since it was I who made the edit. Note that it was cited and not inconsistent with anything written on this page. Deepstratagem 04:16, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
The evidence is strewn here and elsewhere -- your edits and comments give pause. Not only are you being argumentative, you continue to be disruptive -- which led to your 'vacation'. Like, what is your point? In any event, I am ending this pointless discussion. Corticopia 04:24, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, please avoid addressing me, unless you have anything substantial to say. By the way, if you are looking for evidence, go to use of the word American and look my handle up on the talk page. As you can see I've offered more substantial evidence in favor of my arguments than you would know what to do with. Deepstratagem 04:34, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Acknowledged, now run along ... Corticopia 04:36, 15 April 2007 (UTC)