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War of words among regions

Pop, soda, Coke

blog by S.J. Velasquez  • 

It doesn’t take a team of researchers to know that I say “pop” because I’m from Buffalo, and one Ohio State graduate student demonstrates in a study that it’s as easy as looking to Twitter to determine dialect differences among regions.

According to Brice Russ’ recent study, Twitter is a reliable resource for mapping regional lexicons. Russ was able to collect tweets from people who refer to bubbly beverages as pop, soda and Coke, and then link the Twitter users’ location to a point on a map. To prove Twitter’s accuracy, Russ compared his map with one created by a group of Harvard University researchers who surveyed populations across the country.

Here’s the Twitter map:
Twitter map


And here’s the Harvard map:
Harvard map


Note: yellow = pop; red = coke; blue = soda

Both maps show a yellow dot over Buffalo. Might as well be a scarlet letter. Thanks for skewing the numbers, Long Islanders from UB.

Back in 2002, one online researcher created a web survey wear ‘net surfers could participate in the great soft drink battle. Find the results on popvssoda.com. Buffalo.com’s Ben Kirst wrote about that map last year.

TAGGED: brice russ, maps, pop, soda, soda vs. pop, soft drinks

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