The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 13 04:31:38 UTC 2007

If I interpret the maps correctly, "coke" and "other" are used in my
birth county of Harrison County, Texas. I assume that the "other" is
the "soda water" of my childhood. After we moved to Saint Louis,
seeing on supermarket shelves a clear, sparkling liquid in bottles
labeled "soda water" was mind-boggling. It was like discovering that
there was a part of the country wherein "animals" referred only to
dogs or "birds" referred only to pigeons. It just didn't make no
sense. "Unflavored" or "flavor-free" or even "clear" soda water I
would have understood.

And then there was the time that I asked for "cold soda" in "pop"
country and was led to the Arm & Hammer display by a confused-looking
clerk who explained that soda was kept on the open shelves at room


On 5/12/07, Bethany K. Dumas <dumasb at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Bethany K. Dumas" <dumasb at UTKUX.UTCC.UTK.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > That sure is a nifty map. And the conclusion seems sound: "People who say
> > "Pop" are much, much cooler."
> No no no - "dope" rules. ("Brown doper" is a close second.)
> Bethany
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