Regional Differences – even in the small things

Different regions use different terms for - soda? pop? Coke?

We tend to think that America is one nation, or that the things that divide us are those hot-button topics like politics or religion or whether you mostly cheer for a football, hockey, or basketball team.  This map of a simple term – what do you call a soft drink? – shows that we are certainly organized in like-minded clusters.  As someone who says “soda” but lives deep in the heart of “pop” land, I can say: these little things do make a difference. I end up saying “soda pop” to make sure we all know what we’re talking about.

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One comment

  1. I’m always amazed at how things differ from area to area. I noticed, when I moved to Two Harbors many years ago, that no one knows the difference between “borrow” and “lend.” They’ll say, “I borrowed him my car.” Drove me nuts!

    Now I live in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., and I notice they use the word “by” differently than I do. Someone mentioned to me that her brother had moved “by” her, and I couldn’t figure out where since there were no others houses, but she meant “with,” in the same house.

    Some of these word usage differences can be confusing. A former brother-in-law of mine came to Michigan from New York, ordered a “soda,” and was given something with ice cream in it. He meant “pop,” of course.

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