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America/its We/our
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:26 pm Reply with quote
Bridget
 
Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 77


The sentences below were spoken/written by US Americans. Can anyone please explain the use of "America" with "our" here? I thought it should be "America" with "its" or "we" with "our". What is the grammar explanation behind this use?

-America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling.
-The United States of America will not militarize our border.
-America will not let our consumers or our economy be held hostage to run-away global oil prices.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:27 am Reply with quote
RabiAkiva
 
Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 163
Location: Israel


that is just ugly use of language and the result of mixing up us with US.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:40 pm Reply with quote
Waterfall
 
Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 5
Location: Western North Carolina


Yes, it is just bad English.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:25 am Reply with quote
thegooseking
 
Joined: 10 Sep 2006
Posts: 64
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland


RabiAkiva wrote:
that is just ugly use of language and the result of mixing up us with US.


Very funny Very Happy

Yeah, it does scan badly... I've most often seen things like that used in relation to sport or war, where there's an 'us or them' mentality, but even then I wouldn't use this structure.

That said, 'America' can mean more than one thing, and I get the feeling that in these cases 'America' is a shorthand for "the government and authorities of America" and 'our' means "belonging to the nation of America". Even with that possibility, though, the statements are ambiguous at best.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:47 am Reply with quote
Bloomer
 
Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 136
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA


The statements are both ungrammatical and logically imprecise, but they express a certain kind of cultural identity: America is my/our country and we're not going to tolerate any tomfoolery here, dadgummit!
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:29 am Reply with quote
MrPedantic
 
Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 9


Yes; the use of "our" expresses the allegiance of the speaker. The subject can be construed as "(We in) America", etc.

MrP
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:07 pm Reply with quote
RabiAkiva
 
Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 163
Location: Israel


MrPedantic wrote:
Yes; the use of "our" expresses the allegiance of the speaker. The subject can be construed as "(We in) America", etc.

MrP

So that is (us in the) US after all...

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:35 am Reply with quote
Bloomer
 
Joined: 23 Oct 2008
Posts: 136
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA


RabiAkiva wrote:
So that is (us in the) US after all...


Under the GW Bush administration, common bumper stickers on U.S. roadways included American flags and slogans like
God Bless America
Proud to Be an American
United We Stand
The Power of America


My own personal preference:
God Bless All the Countries
(No Exceptions)
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:49 pm Reply with quote
RabiAkiva
 
Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 163
Location: Israel


Bloomer wrote:
RabiAkiva wrote:
So that is (us in the) US after all...


Under the GW Bush administration, common bumper stickers on U.S. roadways included American flags and slogans like
God Bless America
Proud to Be an American
United We Stand
The Power of America


My own personal preference:
God Bless All the Countries
(No Exceptions)


thank you. Glad to be included

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:26 pm Reply with quote
Kathleen S.
 
Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 10


I agree that these statements are ugly examples of the language.
However, when speaking of our government we often speak about what is done TO us by our own government as much as what is done BY us as a nation. The second sentence then could be an expression of the sentiments that separate the government from the nation, or rather, the US with us, its citizens. If that's the case, it's a nice expression of that duality. It's just a shame it sounds so damn bad.
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America/its We/our
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