I don’t find the trends surprising, but I am curious about the anomalies. For instance, what are the ‘other’ terms (green on the map) that predominate in some counties, e.g. in the Southwest? Any New Mexico readers care to weigh in?
- Illusion of Diversity Among Soft Drinks – And Galco’s Soda Pop Stop (cehwiedel.com)
- The Mereology of Cola (bogost.com)
Ian Bogost: “…[We] southerners [get] a little tease for the act of calling any soft drink a “Coke” …I have a few responses. For one, we don’t call them “Cokes,” we call them “cokes.” I’m sure you can see the difference.For another, we have a different, more definitive name for the famous brand of cola made by my hometown soft drink company; it’s called a “Co-cola” (an elision, compare it to “Missippi” for “Mississippi”). Doesn’t it just roll off the tongue on a hot, humid day?
And for yet another thing, there’s a lovely lesson in mereology and rhetoric in the southern use of “coke.” I’d argue that “coke” is a figure of speech called a “merism,” in which a single thing is described by a set of its most conspicuous parts. One common example of merism is in Genesis: “the heavens and the earth” is a merism for the entire universe. Another is “flesh and bone” for the body. Some might argue that the substition of “coke” for “soda” is really synecdoche, but I disagree, and here’s why: in the south, where Coca-Cola is king, one and only one item is conspicuous when it comes to carbonated soft drinks, and that’s Coke….”
- Drink Up! The Stories Behind 11 Regional Soft Drinks (mentalfloss.com)