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A coke by any other name?

2008-07-06 12:54:12.369092+00 by ziffle 19 comments

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-06 12:57:54.188274+00 by: ziffle

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-06 13:09:51.536296+00 by: JT

Being a New Orleans native, the first time my girlfriend, a California native, and I got together, we stayed in a little cabin in Big Bear, CA for the weekend. There were things we weren't used to about each other yet, this was one of those issues. I was going to the store for some supplies and asked her if she wanted anything. She said "I want a Coke." So I asked her "What kind?"

This apparently started a conversation which still comes up to this day. Even with the assistance of the above map, she still finds it incredible that people call any soft drink "Coke."

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-06 13:18:33.962988+00 by: TheSHAD0W [edit history]

Customer: "I'll have the chicken-fried steak."
Waitress: "Wadaya want to drink?"
Customer: "Gimme a Coke."
Waitress: "What kinda Coke?"
Customer: "Dr. Pepper."

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-06 13:49:09.424698+00 by: m

In the late '60s in North and South Carolina, I was surprised to hear a Coke, as well as any other soda, called a "dope". Undoubtedly a reference to the days when the cola contained its namesake alkaloid.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-06 14:23:40.9681+00 by: Diane Reese

My in-laws are all Texans and they say "coke" as the generic term for "carbonated beverage". My apologies in advance to anyone for whom this is their normal term, but every time I hear this, I have a fleeting thought about how uneducated the speaker must be. One of my remaining prejudices, I guess.

Pop just plain sounds silly.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-06 15:21:15.15275+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Diane, is it just as uneducated as asking for an "aspirin"? Or putting milk away in the "fridge"? Or what about bemoaning the amount of "spam" landing in your email box?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-06 16:41:48.458141+00 by: markd

I grew up in the south, it's all Coke to me. I'm fairly decently edumacated :-)

The amusing part are the "others" - well, amusing in a slashdot comment thread way, but still amusing.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-06 17:21:41.216574+00 by: petronius

Carbonated soft drinks in Illinois are pop, the way God intended it. Soda is the Devil's nomenclature, and "soda pop" is a coward's locution. And don't get me started on "kitty-corner" vs. "catty-corner".

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-06 19:10:40.609996+00 by: Dan Lyke

How in the world Chicagoans can ever aspire to live in a world class city when they call it "pop" rather than "soda", I'll never understand. giggle.

Possibly it's 'cause I've lived there, but the county differences down there in that Georgia/Tennessee/North Carolina region are interesting.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-07 00:46:07.217383+00 by: Diane Reese

I can't fully explain it, SHAD0W, but calling a soda a coke sounds ignorant to my ears, while those other uses of (former) brand names as generics do not.. I guess a lot of southern-isms sound ignorant to my ears.

Is anyone else other than me waiting for the last couple volumes of DARE (Dictionary of American Regional English), which may never be completed?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-07 00:56:21.140802+00 by: Larry Burton

Diane, is it just "southern-isms" or do rural colloquialisms from other reasons also sound ignorant to your ears? If it's just "southern-isms" then why?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-07 01:42:29.390886+00 by: ebradway

<grin>Asha and I wanted My Fair Lady the other night. Any discussion of class or education based on language should start there:

Professor Higgins, adept in phonetics, attempts to train a poor woman to speak "proper" English, equating social stature with elocution. And it was the same Professor Higgins who sings "Why can't a woman be more like a man?"

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-07 04:20:40.435053+00 by: Dan Lyke

Diane, I think that people are wrong when they say that southerners refer to soft drinks as "coke": In Chattanooga, at least, there is one soft drink, Coca-Cola, commonly referred to as "coke". Everything else is the evil bile of satan, to be shunned.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-07 05:34:19.904767+00 by: topspin

C'mon, in England an elevator is a lift. One area doesn't hold the "correct answer" to what word defines an item. Intelligence is in knowing which word to pick based upon the audience. For example, "casting a float" conjures images of fishing for me and some others around here; Dan, meuon, eric, Diane, and many others may visualize something else.

When in Rome..... it's a Coke. What???? There IS only one, true, correct Rome.... in Georgia, of course. ;-)

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-08 11:59:46.367529+00 by: petronius

Topspin has a good handle on it. There are minor differences in vocabulary, like lift for elevator, etc. Then there are real grammatical differences, like "Going to hospital" vs. "Going to THE hospital". You wonder why the Yanks got the the's, while the Brits didn't.

As to Americanisms, I sometimes hear even midwesterners now using You-all, but as an inclusive plural, rather than a singlular. And Hey is slowly taking over for Hi in some areas as a greeting.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-08 12:09:12.691068+00 by: Larry Burton

"Y'all" is never singular. It is always plural. You might hear terms like, "All y'all come on", and "Y'all come on" and think that "y'all" is somehow singular but the two phrases have slightly different meaning. In the first instance it's telling the entire group to "come on" where as in the second instance the meaning is for those in the group who wish to "come on" should do so now.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-08 12:10:42.614159+00 by: battjt

After taking 4 years of Spanish, I now use "you all" for the plural "you". I find it much less confusing.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-08 20:15:00.837792+00 by: Nancy

I grew up with pop. My kids could have one pop a week growing up. Sounds funny to me now, too, Diane, but it was sure normal at the time.

When we moved to Georgia in '97 my son was good naturedly teased about saying pop. I remember one day he was home sick from school and a bunch of his buddies went together on a six pack of root beer in glass bottles, and made up homemade labels for all four sides of the six-pack box with the notation "BEN'S POP." They thought it was hilarious.

It's all coke to me now...unless it's Pepsi (evil, like Topspin noted). As in: Any of y'all want an orange coke??

#Comment Re: made: 2008-07-09 08:12:02.956638+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Grandpa Harrison, From New Orleans, Ohio and other places: "BellyWash". Usually said with a snarl of disdain. Also remembered as saying: "Men drink water, coffee and beer, not bellywash."