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Is it Soda or Pop?

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Is it Soda or Pop?

Hannah Quinn, Hallie Blanot, and Sofia and Maya  Mital have a chat.

Hannah Quinn, Hallie Blanot, and Sofia and Maya Mital have a chat.

Hannah Quinn, Hallie Blanot, and Sofia and Maya Mital have a chat.

Hannah Quinn, Hallie Blanot, and Sofia and Maya Mital have a chat.

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Soda versus pop. Sucker versus lollipop. Throughout America, people have different ways of saying the same thing. There are a number of regionalisms that people often argue over, hence the common argument over soda or pop.

So which is correct?

The best answer is both.

According to research and a map done by Matthew Campbell and Professor Greg Plumb of East Central University in Oklahoma, pop is more commonly used in northwest portions of the country, and even most places in Colorado. The southwest portion of the country and a little bit of the northeast, near New York and Maine, use soda rather than pop. Contrary to this, south-easterners in places closer to Florida use Coke as a term for all brands of soda.

One of the first major soda companies in the United States was Coca-Cola, often shortened to Coke. It was started in Atlanta, Georgia. Today, southern states like Georgia simply use coke as an umbrella term for all sodas and pops.

Since America is so large, when new things were first invented and sold, people didn’t always call them the same thing because they were spread out. Before there were widespread automobiles and planes, it took a long time to get from state to state. People in Georgia didn’t talk to people all the way over in Wisconsin about whether they called it soda or pop, so they developed different nicknames for the fizzy beverages.

In addition, most places call lollipops just that, lollipops, but the in the south and the midwest, they’re called suckers.

These are the most well-known examples, but there are many regionalisms out there. It isn’t just one word all the time either; in some places, people talk in a way that sounds like a completely different language. For example, down in New Orleans and the deep south of Louisiana, people with southern accents often combine words, creating the “Cajun” dialect. Down there, the dialect is understood perfectly, but plenty of people from other places would have no clue what is being said, even though they speak the same language.

Another case is “Pittsburghese”, a term coined for the specific way in which people from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania speak. They use “yinz” for “you all”, “wrench” for “wash”, “poke” for a brown paper bag, and the “a” in “day” is replaced with an “i” most of the time.

America is such a large country and people from all over the globe call it home, so it’s no surprise the country has developed different regionalisms. New Orleans is a mixture of French and Canadian influence, as well as Haitian-Creole and African. The Cajun “dialect” is derived from things said on three different continents when North America is excluded. “Allons”, meaning “let’s go” comes from the French root “aller” which means “to go”.

“It’s just what they’re used to,” said English teacher Ellen Steinke. “That’s what they grew up saying, and they pass that down to their kids.”

The usage of various regionalisms is a celebration of the diversity of the country and what makes each person different from one another. With this said, instead of arguing over soda and pop, ask your friend where they lived when they were young! This may have brought them to call certain items specific names.

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About the Writer
Kailey Baldwin, Journalist

Eyo! I'm Kailey! I'm a huge writer, obviously because I'm writing for the school newspaper, but I'm also working on a novel, and I write a lot of poetry....

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Is it Soda or Pop?