The Colbert Report: "soda water"

Bill Palmer w_a_palmer at BELLSOUTH.NET
Thu May 14 19:52:22 UTC 2009

I almost never hear "Coke", in the south (NC, GA, TN).  It is always

----- Original Message -----
From: "Victor" <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2009 2:56 PM
Subject: Re: The Colbert Report: "soda water"

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: The Colbert Report: "soda water"
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> Eight years after first hearing it, I still can't recover from what I
> heard in a Waffle House somewhere in the South: "What kind of Coke would
> you like?" And, no, this was not a distinction between regular and
> diet--it was Coke coke, white coke, root beer coke, etc. After that, the
> variations in terms like pop, soda, soda pop, pop drink, soft drink,
> etc., no longer surprise me.
> Added twist--nominally, there is a distinction between Seltzer and Club
> Soda. Seltzer is plain carbonated water. Club Soda is the same with
> actual soda (sodium bicarbonate) added. However, in the Upper
> Midwest--and for a number of brands--the distinction is moot as they no
> longer put soda into Club Soda. With virtually all airlines I have to
> explain myself when I ask for seltzer, because they almost universally
> refer to it as "club soda", occasionally distinguishing "mineral water"
> if they have two kinds.
> Of course, there is nothing "mineral" about "mineral water"--in fact, in
> the EU, by law, one would not be allowed to call plain, filtered
> carbonated water "mineral water". There, carbonated (and plain) mineral
> water is distinguished by place of origin (e.g., Spa blue, green and red
> bottles--there are more distinctions, of course: blue is plain, red is
> carbonated with large bubbles, green has finer bubble structure and
> higher mineral content).  By the time one gets to Eastern Europe, all
> mineral water is carbonated, distinguished by source and has a distinct
> salt and sulfur taste, often with accompanying sulfur aroma (and, no,
> this is not just a skanky artifact of low-quality production--a number
> of Italian bottled water brands also reek of sulfur).
> Having said all that, I've only heard "soda water" in reference to 1)
> seltzer or 2) plain carbonated mixer for cocktails. The latter generally
> would be marketed as "Club Soda" when bottled. But, of course, this
> hardly matters in a bar where everything comes out of the same spigot.
>    VS-)
> Bill Le May wrote:
>> My grandmother (born 1884 Galena, IL) used that term often for flavored
>> carbonated drinks.  She also called 7-Up "white soda".
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