Americans or Unitedstatesian?
The word "American" is so deeply embedded in your nation's identity that it may seem curious to you that there could be any discussion about it, but some people - in
Latin America, for example - find it offensive, while others, including some in , simply find it imprecise. France
Granted there may be some ambiguity at times:
“Américain” (in French the ethnonym is capitalized, the adjective is lower case) is a word with many meanings, depending on context: “américains” applies to all Américains (from the
), yet all Américains (from North and United States South America) are not necessarily américains.
But it seems to me that this is mostly a problem in
As Wikipedia puts it:
In Spanish, americano often refers to the entire
New World; the adjective and noun describing the is estadounidense, deriving from Estados Unidos de América, the United States . Also, the terms estadounidense, norteamericano and gringo are popularly used in some Central American and South American countries to describe the people of the United States of America . The differences in usage of the cognates cause some cultural friction between United States nationals and Latin Americans; Latin Americans, in particular, may object to the primary English usage of American, feeling it unfairly appropriates the term. U.S.
Of course, there is not so much passion about this word in
But despite what the two Le Monde journalists claim, when the word is used, it is politically charged in French. It is always used by people who have an agenda: usually of anti or alter-globalization. It may even often connote anti-Unitedstatesianism (i.e. anti-Americanism for the rest of us). I have yet to see it used in a neutral non-political way.
If it were not so politically charged, I think it might be worth considering, although, the word sounds ugly and complicated to pronounce in English.
Some have had other suggestions:
Readers also suggested similar terms that they considered more melodic, like Usaniens or Usiens (following the example of the Greek word Usanos, derived from U.S.A., even though those initials are actually the equivalent of I.P.A. in that language)
And here's one more:
One uncommon alternative is "Usonian," which usually describes a certain style of residential architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. (Wikipedia)
Personally, I will stick to “Americans” in English for the two reasons I just mentioned (because the word "Unitedstatesian" is hard to pronounce and because it is politically charged). But most of all, I will use it because... everybody else does, which is the most reasonable argument for efficient communication.
As far as the name of the country is concerned, I tend to use either "the