Stephen A. Fuqua (SAF) is a Bahá'í, programmer, and conservation and interfaith advocate in the DFW area of Texas.

May 8, 2005

Two Cokes Please: One Diet and One DP

People in the South believe that Minnesotans (and other Northerners, but particularly in the Upper Midwest) call cokes "pop" or "soda." But people here (Minnesota) don't seem to believe that Southerners, such as myself, call all fizzy fake/sugary beverages "coke." As in "We'll have 2 cokes please - one diet, and one Dr. Pepper." And now I have the statistics to prove it.

Actually, I always assumed this was a particularly Texan thing to do. Guess that goes to show the arrogance of Texas! And it turns out that everyone thinking "soda" is common up here is off a bit — its said, but nowhere near as much as "pop," at least if you believe popvssoda.com.

popvsoda.gif

The site's statistics, which are abstracted into the cool map above, are generate from the site's users (coke = red, pop = blue, soda = yellowish). You enter where you learned English (not where you live) and whether you call it "coke," "soda," "pop," or other (fill in). Thus far they've managed to map over 120,000 respondents — and you could be the next one! (infomercial over).

Particularly odd is the infestation of "soda" centering on St. Louis. How did that get in the middle of the country? Soda popping up in southern Florida is not that surprising, given the number of people who move there from the Northeast. Wisconsin's odd too (perhaps I should ask some Wisconsin-born coworkers what they call it?). The shift across Pennsylvania and New York is pretty cool.

4 Comments

Thanks for sharing this important information.

This is hilarious. I can imagine how confused I'd be if I was the Minnesotan waitress who took your order!! Hey, how's the house stuff coming?

It's funny, I think I only saw it happen once or twice in Texas where "coke" was used generically. Must be in the deep South or outside the big cities in TX.

e-stephens, i love this! :)