Wednesday, March 23, 2011

POP! Insomnia-induced thoughts on soft drink nomenclature

I'm starting to reach a breaking point with this insomnia business. I don't think I've fallen asleep prior to 1AM in over a month. It's only been getting worse lately. It's already past 2:30AM at this point while writing.

I admit, I drink a lot of coffee. At least once or twice a day I consume an espresso-laced beverage. On top of that I am drinking a Diet Dr. Pepper almost every afternoon. This doesn't include whatever caffeine I consume with dinner.

So maybe it's time to cool it on the lattes and pop.

Now there's a funny word... POP.

(cue late night tangent)

Pop is a relatively new term for me. I fought and fought against it but have finally started to succumb to the norm of carbonated beverage references as dictated by Oklahomans.

There are a lot of nomenclature issues surrounding the soft drink. What's the correct term? Coke? Fountain drink? Soda? Pop? Soda pop? With so many usage options, let's break it down in my terms.


In New Mexico,

Coke is universal for any carbonated drink.

Ex. What kind of coke do you want? We have Dr. Pepper, Root Beer, Coca-Cola or Pepsi.

Albuquerqueans don't recognize coke as explicitly referring to Coca-Cola. Instead, coke could very well mean Pepsi. In fact, I still get confused at restaurants. I might order a Diet Coke and the waitress will apologize for not having any and instead offer me a Diet Pepsi. Me, personally, I see no major difference. Others, however, swear by one over the other and take insult to being offered the inferior product.

But for a New Mexican, coke is the norm. Even soda works. Just don't ever say fountain drink. George Lopez will make fun of you for days.

In Oklahoma,

Pop is the accepted norm.

Coke refers to Coca-Cola and only Coca-Cola. You might be able to say soda pop and get away with it but you just won't blend in quite right with the local vocabulary.

Every time I use pop locally, I wince (at least internally) and expect someone to correct me. It really just feels that foreign. But here in Oklahoma and surrounding areas it is completely normal and widely accepted to use pop.  In fact, in some cases where I do say coke, it has caused confusion. But nobody thinks twice when you order up or off someone a pop.


So by means of adapting, I have taken to referring to any carbonated beverage as pop. It still doesn't feel quite right but I will try nonetheless.

So what do you guys think? What term do you use in reference to soft drinks? Am I correct on the regional uses?

In the meantime, I will try to cut down on my daily consumption of caffeine in various form in hopes of bringing this bout of insomnia to a close.

And with that I say goodnight.


Anonymous said...

Californians say soda! I use pop occasionally but it sounds weird coming from my mouth. :)

Abby said...

Eric, I think you are exactly right. Most Oklahomans do say "pop" and I hate it. Even growing up in Oklahoma my whole life, I've never liked that or felt comfortable saying it. So, in high school I decided to take the road less traveled and start saying "soda" and I have ever since. Join forces with me, and we can change it! Fight the power, Eric! Lol

Leslee said...

Personally I say soda. I've lived in Oklahoma my whole life. And I've had the conversation that goes -want a coke? yeah. what kind? dr pepper

Also, coke and pepsi are interchangeable to me as well. Just don't give me any of that diet stuff.

P.S. Go easy on the caffine and you'll sleep better. Just so you know, Davincis also has smoothies and italian sodas (personally I order the strawberry italian creme soda when I'm not in the mood for coffee.)