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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-02 > 0886966513


From: linda Merle <>
Subject: Re: Fw: The Irish in America
Date: Sun, 08 Feb 1998 11:35:13 -0800


> I read an article by a Nobel prize winning author who
> said if anything is going to ruin the USA it is the hyphenated American.
> That we should be Americans first and celebrate our heritage second.

The fella was probably refering to the baggage that is brought from
the old land that can result in a continuance of old vendettas.
Probably at the head of the list of those guilty of doing so are the
Irish. The Ulster Scots in America has become American. Some would
say "vanilla American" is Ulster Scots. Of course you'd have to have
enough interest in these things to unbury them -- and if you have
no interest in the past, then you haven't got sufficient interest
to study it.

Some feel no need to explore the past -- and that's fine too.
Some though feel rootless and not only want to but need to. I think
an understanding of who your ancestors were and why they came
end up making you an even better American.

As for figuring out who has hyphens and who doesnt -- IE who blends
and who doesn't it's intersting to just listen (or read them).
Some of these are REAL strange sounding-- I think because the folk
blend. Others we hear every day:

Ulster-American
Scots-American
British-American
English-American
Welsh-American
Italian-American
Franco-American
Hispanic-American
Irish-American
German-American
Japanese-American

I like Ulster American, myself, and I would like it to be "okay" to
be "British American" but it sounds like a contraction in terms,
like "British-Irish". (Usually is "West Brit" in the UK, but
"West British American" doesn't sound right either, and everyone
would be asking "....what????"

I am afraid that like it or not, we are stuck with hypens and perhaps
it would be more productive to understand them rather than condemning
them.

I'm curious how these hyphenations are handled in the UK and the
Republic. Anyone know?

Linda Merle

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