Coke globally

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Thu Apr 20 19:00:45 UTC 2000

some years ago, ann daingerfield zwicky was teaching an esl
class at ohio state and used one of her ice-breaker topics:
words borrowed into english from your native language.  alas,
this time the first word offered was "coca-cola", by (i believe)
a speaker of hindi.  an arabic speaker (from iraq, which lets
you know how long ago this was) denied this with scorn; *everybody*
knows "coca-cola" is an arabic word.  pandemonium ensued.  even
a female student from japan, normally silent in class, was moved
to dispute the others' absurd claims.

the only thing they were agreed on was the idea that the
headquarters of the coca-cola company could possibly be in
*atlanta* - or anywhere in the u.s. - was preposterous (or
evidence that america just grabbed everything away from the
rest of the world).

there's a hell of a lot of national pride in coca-cola, but
not much of it is american pride.

arnold (zwicky at

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