I was on vacation recently here along the South Carolina coast. We have quite a number of Northerners who visit here over the summer.
It’s rare that I’m sitting in a hot tub completely outnumbered by Yankees.
So, I hear some guy say, “Yeah, so I guess you’re not supposed to call it a ‘pop.’ They call it ‘soda’ here. Because they’re like, Southern or something.”
He said it with a certain superiority about his dialect. I refrained from joining in because 1.) I was on vacation and 2.) It might seem like I was actually angry.
But first, guy, the term we use more is ‘coke.’ A Coke is a coke. A Pepsi is a coke. A Sprite is a coke.
Rail on that, sport … because that indeed really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It can be quite confusing and just exhibits a certain laziness in expressing ourselves.
But soda? That sounds about right to me.
So, today at lunch, I asked my friend from Wisconsin what he thinks. Which sounds weirder: soda or pop? Being from Wisconsin, he calls it pop.
He tells me pop. And goes on to elaborate. And that was quite interesting.
He tells me that pop is more of a Midwestern thing. In fact, in two different towns he lived in in Wisconsin, they called it soda and pop. Just an hour or so apart.
But that’s not all. The city where the call it pop also calls other things weird names.
What most would call a “water fountain,” they call it a “bubbler.”
What most would refer to as a “sloppy joe” sandwich, they call it a “hot tamale.”
So, if I had known this, perhaps I should have asked the guy if he planned to drink out of the hot tub.
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