The Instigator
donald.keller
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
Karatepkid
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

It is entirely reasonable to say 'America' instead of the USA.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
donald.keller
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/25/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,094 times Debate No: 44611
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (3)

 

donald.keller

Pro

Resolution: It is completely reasonable for someone to say America instead of the USA.

Rules:
i. No sneaky wordplay.
ii. All FFs are immediate defeats.
iii. Round 1 is for acceptance only (suck it GWL-CPA.)

Online, and in numerous conversations, it's taboo to say "America" because it's actually called the USA. I will argue that it is completely reasonable and completely acceptable to say America instead.
Karatepkid

Con

Well since your applying that the first round is acceptance, then i shall propose that i accept your challenge my opponent
Debate Round No. 1
donald.keller

Pro

As is implicit in Rule I, no using sly tactics to undermine the Resolution. This is about general conversation between everyday people in an everyday environment (or online environment.)

Argument I: It's a common tactic for shortening numerous names.

The United States of America is not the only nation that does this. It's a very common tactic used by almost every nation in the world. While USA is indeed shorter, many people feel more comfortable using the term America instead. The USA is just as long as America (The USA - America), but quicker to type or write because it is one word.

The complaints tend to only ever be directed towards the US, but here is a list of other nations that do this.
- The United States of Mexico (although the name was changed in 2013.)
- Federative Republic of Brazil
- People's Republic of China
- Republic of China (where the word Taiwan isn't even present)
- Commonwealth of Australia
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Federal Republic of Germany
- Republic of India

In many of these cases, such as India and Mexico, the names (India, Mexico) are actually larger geopolitical areas. The land of Mexico, for example, includes all of Central America and Texas. The United States of Mexico only makes up slightly over half of all that, and yet we say Mexico instead. We say Britain despite how the nation doesn't actually own all of Britannia, or the UK despite how it leaves out North Ireland.

It's common to substitute the countries name for a shorter or more convenient phrase, even if that phrase doesn't completely represent it. To say it is wrong of the US to do, one must also acknowledge that it is wrong for every other nation as well. It would then be unreasonable to say Taiwan or Brazil.

Argument II: Words are only meant to convey ideas.

Words, for the everyday person, isn't a part of technical language or jargon. Words have one purpose, and only one... To convey an idea. If they do this, they are as proper as normal people should require them to be. This is why when someone is improperly messing up a phrase or word to say something, we stop them and don't force them to say it right, because we understand the idea they are trying to convey.

We simply speak, and if the other person listening understands the idea, we did it right. Rules and proper grammar are only guidelines to make speaking easier to understand, but as anyone to travels know, the guidelines change from group to group and yet everyone understands their peers. "Proper English" is simply understandable English. When saying America, everyone understands through context clues what you are talking about. Since everyone understands exactly what place you are referring to, it's as proper as it needs to be for conventional conversation.

Shakespeare was famous for doing this. Even though he didn't use the "proper" terms, everyone understand what the image he tried to convey was.

Argument III: The USA is the only nation with the word America in it.

Since there is no other nation in North or South America with the word America in their name, it's entirely reasonable to say America. There is no other nation competing for the term. When saying "America," there is no other nation that you could get it confused with. The only problem arises if the other person is mentally deficient and can't tell when the conversation is referring to a continent or a country. The problem is then with them. If you then continue to say America, and they still don't understand, the problem is especially with them.

Unless you can't convey the obvious idea of what you are referring to, a case in which every word or phrase is unreasonable and improper, the use of the word America is entirely appropriate.

Argument VI: The United Kingdom is a perfect example.

The UK is actually, in full, called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is entirely reasonable to call it the United Kingdom or to call it Britain. It is not reasonable to say Ireland as that name is occupied by another nation's title, a problem the US doesn't face with it's neighbors.

It can be called the United Kingdom or Britain because both are major pieces to its name that adequately conveys the general idea. Likewise, The United Sates or America are both major pieces in the nation's name, and both adequately convey the idea.

If there was another nation with the word 'America' in it's name, than it could be on the border of reasonable and unreasonable. If that other nation was, like Ireland, specifically known by that word, it would be completely unreasonable. Fortunately, the US doesn't face any of those issues.

Even if the nation did, if the person you are speaking to understands exactly what nation or place you are referring to, it is still reasonable. As said in Argument II, all a word needs to do is convey an idea. If what you say conveys the idea as you need it conveyed, it is completely reasonable, even if it is not the "proper" term.

Conclusion: It is entirely reasonable to use the term America since it conveys the intended idea (unless you simply screw up the idea, which is on you, not on the word.) And it is reasonable to use the word America as paraphrasing is common among almost all nations, and saying or typing America can be, to many people, more convenient.
Karatepkid

Con

Karatepkid forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
donald.keller

Pro

Arguments extanded.
Karatepkid

Con

Karatepkid forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by donald.keller 3 years ago
donald.keller
America isn't a continent. North America and South America are continents... America refers to nothing, and is free for the taking. You are thinking of the words "The Americas."

And India is a subcontinent, and Australia is a Continent.
Posted by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
You make good points, but I would argue one thing. Those countries you listed refer to regions and not continents. Brazil and Mexico are regions. America is a continent.
Posted by donald.keller 3 years ago
donald.keller
Tell that to the F***tards on comment sections around the internet. I did this for ONE reason... So you have a combat next time someone yells at you for calling the US "America."
Posted by SeventhProfessor 3 years ago
SeventhProfessor
This resolution is entirely false! You can't say "an acronym for United States of America is America"!
Posted by Karatepkid 3 years ago
Karatepkid
I know that, but as i said, I'm here to have fun, not having serious conversations that change the world or something of the sort, so would you please kindly stop giving me a hard time?
Posted by SeventhProfessor 3 years ago
SeventhProfessor
One of the points we vote on is spelling and grammar, which is worth two points. Spelling is important on this website, and you shouldn't treat it like it isn't.
Posted by Karatepkid 3 years ago
Karatepkid
I don't really care what i put, since I'm not really into grammar, I left it on purpose because my typing is quite crappy and I leave those stupid little things out just because I'm lazy, but since you guys fuss about these tiny little mistake I'll fix them since they bother you too much, some people can't just loose up a little bit and my other friends from Yale can't even type correctly, at least I know how to spell atrocious and bellicose right, I know I'm not the best, but i'll try my god damn best. Man, people like you two really ruin the fun out of these websites, I'm here to have fun, not trying to be serious and that.
Posted by SeventhProfessor 3 years ago
SeventhProfessor
You left out the comma between challenge and my, as "my opponent" is the noun of direct address.
Posted by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
A Yale graduate forgot to capitalize the letter "I" 2 times and made 5 grammar mistakes in 2 sentences. I'm 12, and I can correct that damn sentence:

Original: Well since your applying that the first round is acceptance, then i shall propose that i accept your challenge my opponent

Corrected: Well, since you're applying that the first round is acceptance, then I shall propose that I accept your challenge my opponent.
Posted by donald.keller 3 years ago
donald.keller
I'll go easy on him lol. Last time I didn't go easy on a new member, Rross went all sexist on me.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by GodChoosesLife 3 years ago
GodChoosesLife
donald.kellerKaratepkidTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con broke the rules of no FF so Pro gets the conduct points. and Pro also gets the convincing arguments because his round contained a lot of info to back up his side..
Vote Placed by SeventhProfessor 3 years ago
SeventhProfessor
donald.kellerKaratepkidTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con used your instead of you're, presented no arguments, and FF.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
donald.kellerKaratepkidTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Uncontested and forfeit.... I really suggest opening this one up again.