The brilliant AJC

Groan. so the AJC has finally discovered that people in different regions of the country refer to carbonated beverages (gasp!) differently. Echoing what many a college freshman has discussed over the years when they discover that people actually come from different regions, the AJC has an entire article devoted to the subject.

A Coke is a Coke. Except when it isn’t.

And if it isn’t, you’re probably somewhere in the South.

In a seemingly homogenous place like the United States, there’s still nothing standard about what people in different parts of the country call soft drinks. In the South, it’s Coke or coke, to be generic even if you’re really asking for a Pepsi. In Minnesota, it’s pop. In Arizona, it’s soda.

Confused? For those who study linguistics, the whole thing is nothing short of fascinating. Academicians have studied soft drink terminology for decades, using nationwide surveys and, in recent years, questionnaires on the Internet. What they’ve found might surprise you.

No. It won’t. But here’s the real shocker that the AJC throws at us – when people move around they (gasp! again) adjust to the regional dialect.

Seriously, in what reality is the United States a “seemingly homogenous place”?

5 Comments so far

  1. Jen (unregistered) on January 27th, 2005 @ 10:15 am

    Seriously, in what reality is the United States a “seemingly homogenous place”?

    Understatement of the day.

    I’ve lived in Georgia for 10 years now and I still don’t call everything a Coke. It’s soda.

  2. Amber (unregistered) on January 27th, 2005 @ 11:51 am

    “Academicians”? Is that a word?

    I studied linguistics in college, and let me tell you, the US is not homogenous. It’s not like Coke is the only thing that people have different words for in different places.

  3. Thomas (unregistered) on January 27th, 2005 @ 1:09 pm

    A Coke is only a Coke when it is a Coca-Cola. Damn these articles and they should fire the features writer that penned this fluff piece. Where’d they do their research? In some stack of archived email forwards from mothers and aunts nationwide? Next they’ll do a stunning piece on how traffic sucks here.

    And look … when I say “Gimma a Coke” and the waiter says “We only serve Pepsi” then that is when I say “Oh, then gimme an iced tea. Sweet.” Coke is not a generic term for me or for anyone I care to know.

  4. Nikki (unregistered) on January 27th, 2005 @ 2:23 pm

    It’s all coke because Pepsi is an illusion of the devil.


  5. YT (unregistered) on January 28th, 2005 @ 3:37 am

    Everything carbonated is of course nothing more than a cold drink! Mmm, Pinaepple Big Shot!

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