Quizatzhaderac wrote:"America" means a particular set of continents in many languages (mainly Spanish), not including modern English.
You are right, if "a particular set"
is an expression you can use when you actually mean "the whole set except for - maybe - one element"
BTW, in most languages (also those not included in the "particular set") the USA are improperly called "America"
. It's just because they are quite an important country in that continent and they do not have their own name, which is weird indeed. Since the EU was formed, we have a similar case in the Old Continent too, with many people using "Europe"
as a shorthand for "the European Union"
A particular set of continents
, not languages. I'm just treating English as special because it's the language this conversation is in.
I'm betting most of the rest of the anglosphere is similar.
You shouldn't be implicitly calling a few hundred million people ignorant. It's mean.
Unless you're counting English as a second language, that's far less than a 100 million people left after the USA, Canada, Britain, and Canada. If you're counting as a second language then I know "America" means "USA" in India.
It's also not a question of ignorance, it's a question of values. English speakers (especially Americans) place little value on linguistic tradition. It's not that we don't know what the word "America" meant 400 years ago, we just don't care.
So if you don't believe you have a cat, that's actually evidence that you have an infinite cat.