If so, then tell me … how many continents are there?
If you said seven, you are wrong!
By Italian fifth grade standards, that is.
This debate recently arose when I asked my husband why he-and his fellow paesani-insist on referring to people from Argentina, Canada, Brazil, etc., etc. as “Americans.”
“Argentinians and Americans come from two different countries, you know,” I told him. “Why does everyone mix this up?”
“Well you are all from the Americas … the same continent,” he said. “Close enough.”
“It is not the same continent,” I began …
“Cherrrrrye,” my father-in-law cut in, “There are five continents …”
It was my turn to interrupt.
Our debate ensued with his father bulking “the Americas” together and insisting Antarctica was just ice, and as such, does not constitute a continent.
Oh Dio Mio!
“How can I live in this country?” I thought. “They don’t even know how many continents there are!”
So we took our argument to the Internet.
And it seems … we were both right.
Americans-whoever that may be-are taught there are seven continents.
North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Antarctica and Australia
Italians are taught there are five.
America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa
And I didn’t even know this was up for debate. In fact, if you Google “how many continents are there” you’ll see quite the discussion.
So there you have it … if you ever find yourself with an invitation to the game show, you’ll be prepared and you’ll know how to answer the question … Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader!