Three-quarters of America is outside the USA

It is not my idea of fun to try to teach a fact to people who constantly react by stating the opposite, by thinking up spurious reasons to defend the opposite, or by throwing insults. Such behaviour is of course common among the willingly ignorant on this revolting medium called the internet.

But in this case I will keep trying.

America is a continent – or, if you like, two continents. It includes North America, Central America, South America, and some islands. One part of it is called Latin America. There are approximately 1000 million people living in America.

The most common first language in America is Spanish. The next most common is English. The third is Portuguese. The fourth is French.

The United States of America (USA) has about a third of the American population. Its area is about 23% of the area of America. By area it is the second largest country in America, and the language that most residents of the USA speak as their first language, namely English, is America’s second most widely spoken mother tongue.

Many in the USA are very insular, believing that most people in the world would emigrate to that country if they had the chance, and using the name of the continent to denote only the particular country that they live in. It is not a crime for people to think like that. It is simply ignorance. Ignorance is surmountable. It is a classic case of people thinking that what is “normal” in their little village is normal for the world.

Here are some facts: most people in America speak either Spanish or Portuguese as their first language, and most people in America use the word “America” to mean the continent of America.

Anyone from the USA who is reading this and who didn’t know that fact that I’ve just put in bold, well, that’s no problem – here’s your chance to learn it.

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