Pop vs. Soda: The battle rages on
blog by Ben Kirst • September 09, 2011 @ 9:00am
I grew up in Western New York. I called Pepsi and Coke and 7Up “pop” until I matriculated at the University at Buffalo. The shame heaped upon me by downstaters for using such a hick term forced me to change to a “soda” man. I was weak, OK? I JUST WANTED TO FIT IN. And frankly, I kind of like the retro feel of “soda” compared to the flat, nasal Cheektowagan “pop.” Sorry, Cheektowaga.
Now take my delightful co-worker, SJ. She is a South Buffalonian and is firmly in the “pop” camp. In fact, if you call pop “soda,” she will call you out on the first reference. On the second reference, she will take your beverage away and dump it on the ground. On third reference, she attacks you hockey-style.
It’s a divisive issue! Look at the map above, produced by Alan McConchie at popvssoda.com. There is a hard split down the middle of our own state between “pop” and “soda,” putting us firmly in the Midwestern camp. “Soda” is also widespread in the west, and, in the middle of “pop” country, there is a weird “soda” contingent in Missouri and southern Illinois (what’s up, Salukis?). Fascinating. The info is a little dated, but David Pescovitz at BoingBoing.net has rekindled the flames with a recent blog post.
Regardless of whether you are a “soda” or “pop” person, I think we can all agree on one thing: “Coke” is just stupid. Come on, southerners.