Thursday, September 15, 2005

Soda, Pop or Coke

The Pop vs. Soda Page

An intriguing page I found that talked about what people called that fizzy stuff that we drink all too much of. What's interesting is not so much the division between "Pop" and "Coke" (north vs south, with a middle finger of "Coke" in central Indiana), but where the word "Soda" pops up. Not only is it the most evenly spread across the nation (with "Pop" up north and "Coke" down south) but the places where it shows up the strongest leads to some discussion. It is, of course, strongest in the northeast, but there's also a strong presence in Florida, Eastern Wisconsin, in a wide swath around Saint Louis, and it oddly enough rules Arizona and Florida (along with Salt Lake City, if you see the yellow dot deep in the blue of Utah).

Probably the best description of the differences between the usages seems to be religious:
  • Coke: fundamentalist versions of Christianity
  • Pop: mainstream protestant versions of Christiantiy
  • Soda: catholic Christians and/or Freethinkers

The Freethinker adjunct to Sodas is to explain California and the populous parts of Nevada. Florida has a bunch of retirees from the northeast, who bring their "Soda" bias along with them.

Also kind of interesting looking through the statistics to see how the divisions work themselves out. Kentucky is definitely in the "Coke" category, whereas Indiana is definitely "Pop" Country. The words seem to slide from "Soda" in Virginia to "Coke" in Georgia along the seaboard (the Appalachians mark a border of sorts). New York is definitely a "Soda" state, whereas Pennsylvania is nearly split into the "Soda" east and the "Pop" west. Utah is a "Pop" state with a "Soda" enclave in Salt Lake (1/3rd of the Pop respondants, 1/2 of the Soda respondants; only 5 more Soda responants), and Oklahoma is nearly equally split between "Pop" and "Coke" (they call it "living in Tulsa time," just so you know).

One last item: looking through some of the other selections, I notice the words "Tarzan Slam" comes up on a few votes. Either some spammers decided to put this up as a pop brand to make their mark, or it was some odd, rad-type pop few people knew about -- but those who knew about it LOVED it.

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