[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Incorrect use of "it's" in package control files -- file mass bug?

"Marcelo E. Magallon" <mmagallo@debian.org> writes:

> On Sat, Sep 04, 2004 at 10:40:38PM -0700, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
>  > >  FYI, we call the people from USA "estadounidenses".  "Americano"
>  > >  and "norteamericano" are just the influence of TV.  Since those
>  > >  words are too long, the shorter word we use to refer to your folk
>  > >  is "gringo", and since we don't know better, we end up calling
>  > >  Canadians and some Europeans "Gringos", too.
>  > 
>  > This may be what people in Chile say, but it isn't what I've ever
>  > heard in Mexico.
>  JFTR: I'm a citizen of Costa Rica, and I'm currently living there.

I'm talking about *Mexico*.  The term "norteamericano", *IN MEXICO*,
*IN MY EXPERIENCE*, refers to Canada and the United States.  

Chile, Costa Rica, and Spain may well vary.  And this doesn't say
anything about what "americano" means.  Nor do you say anything about,
for example, Spanish in television shows produced in the United
States.  What is the normal usage on Telemundo or Univision, for
example?  I don't know.

>  You mentioned the continental division which states that there are two
>  continents: North and South America, and that this is taught in
>  schools.  

I don't think I mentioned that.  There is such variation in the
labelling of the continents of the western hemisphere, that I don't
make any claims about how to count them. 

>  Well, that's true for schools in the USA.  Schools in Latin
>  America teach something different: there's one continent, America.
>  AFAIUI, european schools tend to agree with the later form.  

The irony here, of course, is that these are the very same Europeans
who insist rigidly on a distinction between Europe and Asia!  Try
telling a Frenchman that his "continent" is really just a large
peninsula on the continent of Asia...!

>  From a
>  purely geographical point of view, there's no reason to divide the
>  continent in north and south.  That's a political division.  From a
>  geomorphological point of view there are _three_ regions: north,
>  central and south (and their borders don't match country borders).

There is as much reason to divide the continent into two (or three)
parts, as there is to distinguish Asia from Africa.  The two are
separated by a narrow isthmus, and live on separate tectonic plates.

But there is no reason that language should track plate tectonics, and
there are just differences in usage.  It's interesting to catalog
them, but I don't think it's particularly interesting to try and
decide which one is "right".  They are conventions of speech, nothing
more.  (But, like all conventions of speech, you can't change them by
just announcing to the world that the conventions are now different.)

>  Can we just call you yankees, and be done with it? :-)

Fine by me, but the rebels down south might disagree, at least, those
who have forgotten that Sherman won.  ::duck::


Reply to: