Is it correct to use "America" for the USA in categories?

+13 votes
I find the term "America" is used for 2 continents (North and South America) and 1 country. The Category: Canadian Immigrants to America seems especially odd. Canadians are already in an American continent, so wouldn't it be better to use Canadian Immigrants to USA?
in Policy and Style by Judith Chidlow G2G6 Mach 4 (42.6k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
I agree.  It should probably be Category:  Canadian Immigrants to United States.

America is a continent.  Canada and the United States are countries.
United States also refers to Mexico -- Estados Unidos de Mexico in Spanish.
On another related thread, somebody came up with something like 16 countries which had "United States" in them (in one language or another). For years now, I have used "United States of America" in categories.

3 Answers

+9 votes
In a word, "No." So, yes to Canadian immigrants to the USA or United States of America, assuming they arrived in the USA after 1776.
by Jim Parish G2G6 Pilot (158k points)
I agree, Judith, that saying "Canadians immigrated to America" is incorrect usage, as they are already in America.

My view is that, for categories especially, we should use United States of America whenever we refer to that country. Acronyms are just a form of abbreviations, which we are encouraged NOT to use.

We should be consistent in our naming standards. That is why we call them standards!
+6 votes
The more challenging question may be defining Canada.  During the War of 1812, most thought of Upper Canada as being what we now view as the province Ontario and Lower Canada is now known as the province of Quebec.  There is an animated map at that starts 1867 with the Dominion of Canada and continues forward.  Patriation occurred in 1982.  More of a history lesson at
by David Wilson G2G6 Mach 9 (94.8k points)
+8 votes
I agree strongly that "America" should not be used to mean "United States".

We have "Category: Jewish Immigrants to Canada" and "Category: Jewish Immigrants to America". The second of these should be renamed to "Category: Jewish Immigrants to United States" or "Category: Jewish Immigrants to USA".
by K. Bloom G2G6 (9.2k points)

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