Thursday February 16, 2006


What do you call that fizzy drink? Is it "Pop"? Or "Soda"? Or do you say "I'll have a Coke" even when the beverage in question is colorless?

Did you know that there are distinct geographical differences in how people refer to carbonated soft drinks?

I grew up in Central Pennsylvania where we mostly said "sodapop" or "soda", but recognized the other terms equally well. We knew that people from Pittsburgh (the western end of the state) said "pop" and folks from Philly (to the east) said "soda".

We were beverage-name agnostic because my hometown was also home to Penn State University. When you have people from all over the state living, talking, and ordering drinks, in the same place, the dialects start to merge.

A friend recently pointed me at a web-based graphical survey on the topic, The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy. The live map at the top of the page is particularly cool.

There's also an excellent US map of results tallied by county. This map shows clearly that, as I always knew, Pennsylvania is split right down the middle.


Now, for the next question, about that sandwich you're eating with your sodapop. Is that a hoagie, sub, submarine, Dagwood, or grinder?

Sodapop - posted at Thu, 16 Feb, 08:16 Pacific | «e»

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