Believe me, I'm not dumb when it comes to the geography of Great Britain. I know quite a bit about the island, from John O'Groats to Land's End. I know all about the zones for numbering A- and B-roads (and the secret C-roads, too). And I know a thing or two about which muddled, fluidic ethnicity lives where in the UK. Scots live in Scotland, Englishmen (Englishpersons?) live in England, and the Welsh live in Hell. No, just kidding. Together, they are collectively Britons. And, yes, one could argue that "British" is an artificial term. This is particularly a popular sentiment in the area I'll call "non-England". But then again, I'm sure that somewhere out there is a village of Picts or Jutes that insist that Scottish is an artificial term, too. I'll leave out the other members of the UK, like the northern Irish and the citizens of mighty Gibraltar, because, of course, they're not part of GB. See? I know what's what.
Anyway, being an American, I dislike being pre-judged based on the bum bag wearing cretins that a resident of Old Blighty may have encountered. Believe me, parts of the US often seem more like Europe than anything else, and in New England we have more than our share of oversized tourists gawking at some historical building while commenting how the streets aren't straight, then asking "How come there's no Shoney's around?"
But back to it. Believe it or not, most reasonably educated Americans know that people who live in Scotland are not English, and vice versa. Apparently, though, people in the UK (or Europe, or anywhere else for that matter), seem to think that every American deserves the "Yankee" sobriquet. This couldn't be more inappropriate.
See, the thing is, "Yankee" may mean different groups of people depending on the area. For the sake of argument, I'll say that bona fide "Yankees" are the denizens of New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. This is the largest area in which you can call someone that.
The population of the US is 285,230,316 as of 2000, or at least according to the latest census. Of those, there are 53,594,378 "Yankees", or 18.7% of the population, meaning that 81.3% of the population isn't "Yankee".
The population of the UK is 58,789,194, according to the 2001 census. England had a population of 49,138,831, or 83.6% of the population, meaning that 16.4% of the population isn't English.
This means that calling an American a "Yank" is about 4.5 times more erroneous than calling a Scot "English". Ah, you say, the Scots have been oppressed and therefore the "English" term is an opprobium. To which I counter: The Civil War? The North has long dominated the South, which has a lot in common with Scotland (more agragian, lower income, major source of soldiers, and so on), and that's finally evening out. Hopefully. But calling a Southerner a Yank is still just as bad - if not worse - than calling a Scot an Englishman.
Finally, while it's true that most non-Yankees don't really care or get offended (like the Mid-West or West), it still doesn't change the fact that they're not "Yanks".
Note: Wow. This is quite a contentious w/u. I especially enjoy the soft links! Love and kisses all around to you, too!