Slightly Off-Topic

A Special Treat: Pop vs. Soda

By DOM Team| 3 Min Read | March 15, 2007
A Special Treat: Pop vs. Soda

Things are finally starting to settle down where I can return to blogging. Perhaps not 5 days at week for a little while, but at least 3 days a week.

To thank you for continuing to check in during my hiatus, I would like to present you with my favorite piece of useless information on the Web: the pop vs. soda map. I’m presenting this as a thank you and also because I’m in a good mood after the fighting Commodores of Vanderbilt University slaughtered GW in the NCAA tournament last night.

I’m in an especially good mood because I’m not hung over like so many of my fellow alums because of this nightmare of a terrific diet my wife has me on that bans beer as well as sandwiches, pasta, pizza, bananas: all of which accounted for about 80% of my previous diet. Coincidentally, it also precludes me from consuming pop because I don’t like diet soft drinks.

If I remember correctly, this map was compiled by asking people what word they use based on where they were born – not where they were currently living when they took the survey.

I hope you enjoy the map. Figuring out who said which term used to be a pastime of mine before the internet had gained such widespread prominence and the fine people at East Central University put this together. I’ve always said, “pop”, which makes sense – the top four counties of West Virginia are 80%+ pop-sayers.

When I went away to Vanderbilt (who undoubtedly just gave George Washington players and coaches reoccurring night terrors for the next decade), I was taunted for many reasons, including that I called “Coke” “pop”. Vanderbilt is predominantly attended by students from the Southeast, in which for the most part people say “Coke” (indicated in red on the map).

When I lived and worked in Yellowstone with people from all over the country, there was one girl who also said, pop. She’s from Livonia, MI, a state split evenly between “soda” and “pop”. California was a mess in many ways, not the least of which is that there are so many transplants that everyone says it differently, although they all try to look cool while saying it. My California wife has always laughed at me. Being from a predominantly yellow state, she says, “soda”.

What’s the point of all this? No point – go back to watching basketball. If you really need a marketing tie-in, I guess you can think about the ubiquitous branding of Coke and how that has shaped our nation. Notice that Pepsi wasn’t one of the major choices.

If you want a life lesson tie-in, isn’t it time we quit thinking of our country as divided between Republican red states and Democratic blue states. Instead, let’s open to a multi-party system of counting ourselves among blue Poppers, yellow Sodadiers, red Cokesters, and a smattering of other distinct carbonated, caffeinated beverage lovers.

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