Friday, September 12, 2008

There are "soda" states and there are "pop" states

This is one of the coolest maps of the United States that I've seen, one that color codes the regions of our country according to the commonly used term for a soft drink. I stole it from's blog, The Thirteenth Floor, and as we enter the season for pundits to break down states by colors, this one may be as good as any in predicting who our next president will be.

I've always been interested in "soda", as we in Hawaii call it. My grandparents owned a company in the 1940's and 50's called Aloha Soda which was located on College Walk, across the canal from River Street on the edge of Chinatown. I played amidst cases and cases stacked to the ceiling of orange, strawberry, lemon-lime, and fruit punch. But when I moved to various parts of the mainland, I was very confused when not only did everyone else call it "pop", but the choices were essentially Coke and 7-Up.

I see by the map that the people in the South tend to use "coke" as the generic name for all soda, people in the North say "pop", and people in New England and California say "soda" like we do. Hmmm, what does this foretell? Zach Patton, the writer from, is from Tennessee, and he shared this typical conversation:

Customer: "What kind of coke do y'all have?"

Server: "Coke, Diet Coke, 7-Up, Sprite..."

Customer: "I'll have a Coke."

Server: "Okay. It's Pepsi. Is that alright?"

Customer: "Yeah sure."

If only we could settle our political differences between red and blue states so amicably.

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