No one is banning the word ‘America’

NO ONE IS BANNING THE WORD ‘AMERICA’…. In July, “Captain America: The First Avenger,” a big superhero movie, will hit theaters. But because Hollywood studios rely so heavily on the international box office, in much of the world, the movie will simply be called, “The First Avenger.” As a business decision, this isn’t exactly shocking.

At least, it shouldn’t be. On “Fox & Friends” this morning, Gretchen Carlson was outraged by the news.

“You know what? That is so crazy. Before you know it, this country will just be called ‘Half of North America.’ OK? Because, ‘Oh, you can’t say, America.’ What will we say? What will we call this country when we can’t say ‘America’ anymore?”

In Carlson’s mind, it’s reasonable to think we may reach a point at which “we” can’t even utter the word “America” anymore. Never mind that this is one movie studio making a reasonable marketing decision about the title of one movie, the Fox News personality is actually worked up about this, as if there’s an active campaign underway to restrict use of the word “American.”

What annoys me about this is that I know what comes next. My more ridiculous relatives — just like your more ridiculous relatives — are going to start sending emails. Those emails will argue that “they” — it’s always a nefarious-but-unidentified “they” — have decided that “America” is an offensive word, and that we’re not “supposed to” say it anymore. The email will probably include a call to arms — start using “America” all the time, even unnecessarily, just to annoy “them.”

And they’ll know all of this makes sense because that nice person on Fox News said so.

For what it’s worth, Carlson, and those inspired by her silly overreaction, have nothing to fear. If the Avengers had been a British comic book, and Steve Rogers had been born in Cardiff instead of Manhattan, I suspect “Captain England: The First Avenger” would still be marketed in South Korea as “The First Avenger.”

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