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#1
Posted December 19th 2005, 10:16am
http://www.popvssoda.com wrote:CONCLUSION
People who say "Pop" are much, much cooler.
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#2
Posted December 19th 2005, 10:59am
I was raised on the East Coast, where "soda" was the lingua franca, but spent all childhood summers in and around Detroit. In Detroit, as in much of the midwest, it's "pop." It's not just pop, it's Faygo Redpop. In Detroit, you buy pop in party stores, an institution that I have not encountered elsewhere.

But a controversy? I learned very early in life that if you want something, you ask for it in the local lingo.

That said, I've never been much of a pop drinker. Ginger ale for parties, Seven-up (the "un-coke") for illness. Redpop (or jello, or lifesavers, or jellybeans) are not consumable.
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#3
Posted December 19th 2005, 11:05am
The visualizations are very interesting: The axis appears to be NE vs Midwest vs South for Soda/Pop/Coke, with the west coast folks being completely unreliable for any solid opinion (natch).

The most interesting spots on the map, though, are the islands of one color in the middle of another: For instance, a big circle around St. Louis prefers "soda" as does the Milwaukee metro area, in a sea of pop-preference.

The second map with shading seems to imply strong incursions of "Coke" around Moab, Utah, but the populations there are so small as to be not significant of anything more than a family that moved from Atlanta. Coke's expansion all the way up to Indianapolis is not too surprising either, given the southern leanings of that town.

Pop's centers appear to be Chicago, KC, Minneapolis, and Detroit to Buffalo, with Ohio's influence spilling into easter KY and WV.

It would be interesting to see what advertising spurred this division in those markets.
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#4
Posted December 19th 2005, 11:10am
annieb:

Indeed... I can't help but wonder why anyone would want to make a 'controversy' of this minor dialect difference. What could the controversy be? In some areas people use the one term, in other areas they use another term. That's not surprising, that's not uncommon, and there's no 'right' or 'wrong' involved, much less any difference of 'coolness'.

On the other hand, thee are some interesting observations to be made about the dialectal distribution of the terms, but then again, they follow for the most other well known and documented dialectal differences.

Antonius
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#5
Posted December 19th 2005, 11:15am
JoelF wrote:It would be interesting to see what advertising spurred this division in those markets.


I'd guess the strength of "Coke" in the south/southeast would be due to heavy pressure from Coke's home base in Atlanta.

I prefer to say "soda," because I like the sound of it, though I hardly ever consume it.

Hammond
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#6
Posted December 19th 2005, 11:49am
I wonder if the pop/soda/Coke borders roughly approximate the sack/bag borders or if that is a completely diffenent distinction.
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#7
Posted December 19th 2005, 1:59pm
If you find this kind of discussion fascinating, (I certainly do) there's lots more at the Dialect Survey Results page.
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#8
Posted December 19th 2005, 3:36pm
stevez wrote:I wonder if the pop/soda/Coke borders roughly approximate the sack/bag borders or if that is a completely diffenent distinction.

There's a sack/bag map here, which puts "sack" sayers in a small minority.

I can't find any statistics to back this up, but my guess is that the "Coke" border follows, more or less, the grits and iced-tea line. That is, the places where your breakfast comes with grits by default and you can get brewed iced tea all year round. (I did think the iced-tea line was moving north, but then they invented bottled tea.)

Ann, isn't it interesting how much distinction between dialects is measured using terms relating to food and drink?

Of course, McConchie's use of "controversy" is tongue-in-cheek and by "cooler" he might well be referring to climate. There also doesn't seem to be any allowance for people who say "soda pop."

Annieb, actually what you buy in "party stores" is liquor. They have pop, too, of course, and other supplies for holding a party, but their stock is essentially what "liquor stores" in Chicago carry.

The term "soda" is used in Detroit, but only for the clear liquid you mix with scotch and the drink made with ice cream and syrup. (Yet a drink made with ice cream and Vernors ginger ale was a "Boston cooler," even in the days when you couldn't buy Vernors outside the Midwest.)
Last edited by LAZ on December 19th 2005, 5:28pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#9
Posted December 19th 2005, 3:46pm
HI,

While most of my life has been in the Chicago area. I was a good 5 years solid on the east coast: Massachusetts, WAshington, D.C. and its' Maryland suburbs. In my household we just as easily use pop, soda and sodapop. We almost never use the phrase 'soft drinks,' which exists though it is heard less and less.

When I am in restaurants, I order specific products: Coke, Pepsi or Dr. Pepper. Of course, when I cross the pond I switch to Schweppes bitter lemon and Indian quinine only because they are so costly and rare here.

Regards,
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#10
Posted December 19th 2005, 3:50pm
JoelF wrote:Coke's expansion all the way up to Indianapolis is not too surprising either, given the southern leanings of that town.


That must be a new development, because nobody I knew used the word "Coke" generically to refer to soda when I was growing up in Indianapolis (1966 to 1985). We did tend to call a soda machine a "Coke machine," regardless of the actual brand. I always said "soda" in refering generically to the drink, and heard most people around me saying the same ... although there was a significant minority of "pop" users around, too. And I'd be interested to know whether those on other sides of town said "pop" or "Coke" more often than "soda." My experience growing up was mostly confined to the northside. I also wonder if factors other than geography play a part (not enough to research it, but I throw it out there for others to discuss). One of the things I learned when I moved away to school in Virginia was that I usually knew both versions of each dichotomy (soda/pop, bag/sack, etc.), although I also had a preference. I was once stunned when a student moved to my high school from Louisville who claimed to have never heard anyone use the word "sack" to refer to a paper bag. That seemed absurdly parochial and I actually didn't believe her at first.
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#11
Posted December 19th 2005, 4:00pm
I always referred to these things as "soft drinks" - never used the term pop, or soda (although I did sometimes hear the term "soda pop"). Does that make me appear weirder than I already am?
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#12
Posted December 19th 2005, 4:33pm
Anyone check out the data by state?

It give the actual answers to "Other"

Some are hillarious. Here are some IL "other":

Dr. Lydia Gray/Dr. Lydia Miller is a crook who stole her posision away from a real honest horse lover who only cared about others


2 people actual said that one.

What? Whats that Lassie? Little Timmy fell down tha well? Well give him some RED BULL, IT GIVES YOUS WINGS!!!


Some are insane and need to be read, not for republishing

Ditka
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#13
Posted December 19th 2005, 5:01pm
Growing up in Houston, I used "coke" as a general descriptor. ...even enjoyed several visits to the Bellaire Coke bottling plant as a child. Step-relatives in southeastern Ohio always said, "pop" which to this day rings false to my ears. Nowadays I simply deploy the word, "soda" or order by brand name.
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#14
Posted December 19th 2005, 5:10pm
LAZ wrote:The term "soda" is used in Detroit, but only for the clear liquid you mix with scotch and the drink made with ice cream and syrup.

Right! Right! Right! Same here in the Chicago burbs I grew up in. To complicate things, if an ice cream soda is made with a soda-pop rather than soda and a non-branded syrup such as chocolate, it becomes a float, as in "Root Beer Float" or "Coke Float". Seeing how prevalent Dairy Queen is nationwide, there can't be much diversity to those terms.

Outside of ice cream, the term soda only appeared in my childhood experience as soda water (seltzer), Red Cream Soda, and "sodapop" or as Bozo said it, "sodie-pop."
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#15
Posted December 19th 2005, 5:45pm
Slightly off-subject, but I do love hearing grown up men from Boston say, "wicked-awesome".
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#16
Posted December 19th 2005, 6:05pm
What kind of English do you speak?

Interesting, according to this blog quiz, this is my Linguistic Profile:

75% General American English
15% Yankee
10% Upper Midwestern
0% Dixie
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#17
Posted December 19th 2005, 6:20pm
Yes, you buy liquor in party stores, but you also buy potato chips, pop. swizzle sticks, ice cream, ice, little umbrellas to put in your drinks, etc. All the stuff you need for a party:-)

Vernor's was a Detroit drink when I was growing up, not really available outside the Detroit area at all. It gradually became available in other parts of the Midwest, then further afield. Passing the Vernor's bottling plant on Telegraph Road near the Miracle Mile mall in Pontiac was a real milepost on our many trips to Detroit--it meant we were almost at my grandparents house after what was usually a 14 hour drive.
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#18
Posted December 19th 2005, 6:28pm
Vernor's was readily available around Wadsworth, OH, when my family lived there. We moved to the Chicago area in 1953.
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#19
Posted December 19th 2005, 6:28pm
annieb wrote:Vernor's was a Detroit drink when I was growing up, not really available outside the Detroit area at all.


When was this? Vernor's was (and remains, I suppose) the all purpose belly ache cure growing up in my house in Saginaw, MI. (From 1974 on, I guess.) I still remember exactly what it feels like to cough from breathing too close to a freshly poured glass of Vernor's. Mmmm...
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#20
Posted December 19th 2005, 7:03pm
Trixie-pea:

An amusing little test (I've seen it somewhere else before) but it has some problems. Anyway, you and I are apparently on different dialect pages...

***

If the 'coolness' comment is supposed to refer to a relationship between the dialectal distribution of the forms to weather patterns, it makes very little sense, since 'pop' and 'soda' both appear primarily in areas (setting aside the West Coast) with fairly severe winters and stand in that regard overagainst 'coke', which appears almost exclusively in the southern and warmer half of much of the country.

***

The general distribution matches in a very rough way the basic tripartite division of American dialects that dialectologists have generally agreed upon: Northeast (from Northern Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania up through New York and on through New England), Southeast (from southern Delaware and southeastern Maryland southward through the area east of the Appalachians, then turning west through most of Georgia and on from there); Midland (starting in southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey and fanning out to the west to comprise the Ohio Valley, the Appalachians, and on to the west from there).

That model captures certain truths but ignores or misses some other, not insignificant ones.

***

JoelF commented on this feature of the distribution and I agree that it is quite interesting that Milwaukee and surrounding eastern Wisconsin on the one hand and St Louis and a large surrounding area on the other both share the Northeastern term and do not follow Chicago and the surrounding Midwestern area ('northern Midland').

Antonius
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#21
Posted December 19th 2005, 7:13pm
Since no grown adult outside the Bible Belt* dreamed of drinking flavored sugar water until WWII (when Coca-Cola hooked millions of innocent servicemen from all over the nation), I wonder to what extent the difference parallels the availability, or non-availability, of alcohol pre and post-Prohibition. The idea being that places where cocktails were common might refer to "soda," that already being in their repertoire as a term for a fizzy non-alcoholic additive; while other places would call it "pop" because of the novelty of it popping.

In any case, the real coolness distinction is between those who say "sodie pop" and those who say "soder pop." No, I'm not telling which is cooler!

* See Mencken, who uses the term "Coca-Cola Belt" indistinguishably from "Bible Belt." These days I prefer a term I ran across in The New York Review of Books: "Non-Freudian America."
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#22
Posted December 19th 2005, 8:30pm
So, "non-Freudian" America might refer to the great, heretical shadow of a "Jungian-America," or, perhaps, the unacknowledged, arrogantly-derided,
Southern, "Reichean foam."

"Pop" will always sound infantilized to my Texan ears.
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#23
Posted December 19th 2005, 9:51pm
Christopher Gordon wrote:"Pop" will always sound infantilized to my Texan ears.


Though "pop" is the word I grew up with, I understand why you would feel that way. "Pop" is almost not a word, slipping out in a way that may not even be comprehensible to a non-native speaker, a silly monosyllable. I prefer "soda," for purely sonic qualities.

Hammond
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#24
Posted December 19th 2005, 10:01pm
David Hammond wrote:
Christopher Gordon wrote:"Pop" will always sound infantilized to my Texan ears.


Though "pop" is the word I grew up with, I understand why you would feel that way. "Pop" is almost not a word, slipping out in a way that may not even be comprehensible to a non-native speaker, a silly monosyllable. I prefer "soda," for purely sonic qualities.

Hammond


Regional vocabulary differences engender silliness and infantilism in otherwise sane people. One example I recall from law school (so about 10 years ago), for whatever reason I used the word "soda" to refer to a soda, and the professor, with some level of condescension or apprehension or other negative energy said, "So, are you from New York?" Asked why, she said, "Well, you referred to pop as soda." (Yes folks, this was in a lecture at DePaul Law School that cost at the time about $1,000 per semester hour.) Anyway, I responded that, no, I was raised in Indianapolis and that everyone I knew called soda "soda," not "pop." Ridiculouser and ridiculouser ...
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#25
Posted December 19th 2005, 10:09pm
trixie-pea wrote:What kind of English do you speak?

Interesting, according to this blog quiz, this is my Linguistic Profile:

75% General American English
15% Yankee
10% Upper Midwestern
0% Dixie
0% Midwestern


I ranked as follows:

60% General American English
15% Upper Midwestern
15% Yankee
5% Midwestern
0% Dixie

However, I would point out that the test is pretty sparse on the data points and, moreover, there are many questions where I would say "half and half," but am forced to choose one or the other. But it's a fun exercise.
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#26
Posted December 19th 2005, 10:36pm
I grew up in Texas when the locals/regionals were still popular and preferred. It's admittedly weird, but every soft drink was referred to as a "coke."

This led to interesting exchanges such as:

"Im fixin' to go to U-Tot-Em. Wanna coke?"

"Yep."

"What kind?"

"Get me a Big Red."

Cheers,
Wade
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P.S. Where can I get me a Big Red?
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#27
Posted December 19th 2005, 10:42pm
JimInLoganSquare wrote:I used the word "soda" to refer to a soda, and the professor, with some level of condescension or apprehension or other negative energy said,

Jim,

Speaking of condescension, try using the word bubbler for drinking fountain, which as an ex Milwaukeean I occasionally do, and see if you you don't get treated like Gomer Pyle. :)

Yep, I say soda, bubbler and even refer to ATMs as TYME machines. :roll:

Enjoy,
Gary
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#28
Posted December 19th 2005, 10:43pm
JimInLoganSquare wrote:
Regional vocabulary differences engender silliness and infantilism in otherwise sane people...


Jim:

Indeed. This is why I responded as I did to the use of the term 'controversy' by the author of the linked site in connexion with the use of 'pop' or 'soda' -- it seems like an attempt to conjure up an argument where for intelligent people none should exist. There's no right or wrong, better or worse in this sort of thing... (Oh, but what was the Proto-Indo-European term?)...

Anyway, thanks to the o.p. for the link, which was both interesting and amusing. The detailed map is especially striking with regard to the Midwestern distribution and its two large 'soda' islands.

Antonius
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Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
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#29
Posted December 19th 2005, 11:00pm
On Planet Mongo, it is referred to as "soda." All other usages are met with sentence of death. Stevez, Hammond -- please discourse.
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#30
Posted December 19th 2005, 11:03pm
As per use of "pop." It was as a youngster that my virginal "coke" ears first apprehended the aforementioned usage; truly a watershed in the celebrated pop WSB language=virus infection.

Now I use "pop" for the personal perverse and titillating. Ack. Gerunds.

The last bit I have to offer is for Waderoberts:

U-tot-em:

rock on!

:)
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