The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 14 02:38:34 UTC 2007

In my case, after I had explained to the clerk what it was that I
wanted, the clerk exclaimed, "Oh! You mean 'soda POP'!" This was at
the Kroger's on the road between the main campus and the North Campus
Co-Op at Ann Arbor, in 1973.


On 5/13/07, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I too was wondering about the eastern Texas "soda water"--presumably infrequent enough to hide among "other." But I would have thought the mid-South/SouthMidland "soda pop" would have its own entry. And possibly Southeastern "cold drink."
> --Charlie
> ____________________________________________________________
> ---- Original message ----
> >Date: Sun, 13 May 2007 00:31:38 -0400
> >From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> >Subject: Re: The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy
> >
> >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 temperature.
> >
> >-Wilson
> >
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