General Question

flo's avatar

Is the term "the Americas" about North, Central and south America? See detail.

Asked by flo (12051points) 1 week ago

I ask because The Organization of American States is in the news, and just like there are organizations of municipalities, does it sound like it’s the association of the 50 states, to people who never heard of it?

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19 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

Yes all of the AMERICAS. The United States is a state composed of states. And the conglomeration is One of the states comprising the OAS.

Demosthenes's avatar

It could be confusing to someone who isn’t as familiar with the terminology. In this case they’re using “state” to mean “sovereign nation” as opposed to “sub-national entity; province” as it’s used in the context of the United States.

JLeslie's avatar

I use the term The Americas all of the time, and yes it means all of North, Central, and South America, but I think it’s not necessarily obvious that The Organization of American States includes all of The Americas, because in America we rarely use the term state to describe Latin American countries.

As an aside, my SIL is Mexican and her first Husbands family was Italian. They always called her La Americana, which means The American. Basically, the same way we would call an Italian European.

Also noteworthy, in Spanish The USA is most often referred to as Los Estados Unidos, The United States, not America.

One more item you might find interesting, many countries consider the Americas to be one continent, unlike the US that teaches that it is two. Americans are taught there are 7 continents, many countries use the 6 continent model, some use the 5 continent model, like the Olympics (the 5 rings in the logo).

Darth_Algar's avatar

Yep. In modern contexts “America” usually refers to specifically to the United States of America. “The Americas” almost always refers to the supercontinent of North and South America (Central America is technically a part of North America).

MrGrimm888's avatar

I would also include most of The Caribbean Islands, in the term “the Americas.”

Darth_Algar's avatar

I thought that was a given.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I didn’t see it mentioned, and there is some grey area…

LostInParadise's avatar

Would it be accurate to say that the Americas includes all nations in the Western Hemisphere?

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, the Caribbean too, as mentioned above. After all, Columbus discovered America on the island Hispaniola.

flo's avatar

Amazing. All I have to say, How many people would know the title is not about the 50 states?
Re. @JLeslie‘s ” many countries consider the Americas to be one continent, unlike the US that teaches that it is two. Americans are taught there are 7 continents, many countries use the 6 continent model, some use the 5 continent model, like the Olympics (the 5 rings in the logo).” I mean there is such a thing as choosing your facts!

It’s not too long ago that I learned that it’s not accurate to say “America” unless you mean North and South America, i.e you have to say United States.

JLeslie's avatar

@flo You can say America, it’s basically understood that America means the USA, but depending on who you are with it sometimes is better to clarify.

It’s not so much picking facts when it comes to the continents, it’s just different ways of splitting up the world. Not much different than a lot of southerners I know called Michigan a northern state, but I call it a midwestern state. Both are right. People call Florida a Southern state, I don’t, although the panhandle I would say is part of the South.

Americans call people from East Asia, Asian, but don’t seem to use the term Asian for people from India. I don’t understand why. My girlfriend who is Pakistani-Scottish calls herself Asian.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Worry not @flo . In a few hundred million years, there will be different continents….

flo's avatar

@JLeslie ”...it’s basically understood that America means the USA.” You must mean the usage is when people say America they are referring to and most of the time undertood it to mean USA. If someone says “My product are sold all over America.”, technically they are saying it is all over North and South America.

JLeslie's avatar

All over the “Americas” plural, usually means the continent(s) of the Americas. There might be exceptions in some circles or industry. I always say the Americas, or the full phrase the continent of America to be clear. I use Latin America if it’s Mexico on down. I use CALA if it’s Caribbean and Latin America. I use North America for Mexico and North.

flo's avatar

@JLeslie I can’t argue with that. I would just say “Make a habit of saying “USA” you’re about to say “America”.

Darth_Algar's avatar

The United States is the only nation that actually has “America” in its name. Therefore we get to be “America”.

Demosthenes's avatar

@Darth_Algar Additionally, no one says “America” when they mean the continent or region; they say the full name of the continent or region. Or they say “the Americas” to refer to the whole “New World” macro-continent. When people say “America”, they mean the U.S.

JLeslie's avatar

@Demosthenes Overall, I agree with what you said, except that my BIL’s family called his wife La Americana, which means the American, and she was Mexican. They did meet in the US, so possibly they said it referring to her being in the US, but it’s doubtful since she used Spanish with him, they were married in the country of Mexico.

flo's avatar

There you go.

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