Soda or Pop? The Age-Old Debate is Visualized in a Map of Regional Dialects in the U.S.


Soda? Pop?  What is it called?!?!?! This is probably one of the most heated debates I get in to with people from other states (Except people from the Deep South who ask if I would like a cold Co-Cola.  I freaking love that).  Whenever we have this debate, the debaters are always trying to figure out if its a regional thing or just a blow to a head that causes them to address the cold sweet fizzy syrup as something different that what they call it.  Joshua Katz, a Ph.D candidate at North Carolina State University, has taken data from a questionnaire of regional dialects and mapped the information out in order to lend a little order to the madness.

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As you can see above, there is a clear North/South/Deep South divide in what you call it.  The weird anomalies are the high concentration of St. Louisans and Milwaukeeans in the middle of Coke/Pop county who call it Soda.  Those people also happen to be completely and utterly wrong.  It is called Pop, people, C’mon!!

Katz has also taken the data from this 122 question survey done by Bert Vaux of the University of Caimbridge to map out the answers to all regional differences in dialect.  You can find it here.  Some of the maps detail quite a bit more uniformity across the land, but there are quite a few interesting differences as well.  It is quite worth the look.  Katz has also created a map of aggregate dialect differences between cities across the nation, and also find the cities and states that speak the most like you do.  Here are a couple more Maps for your added pleasure.

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5 thoughts on “Soda or Pop? The Age-Old Debate is Visualized in a Map of Regional Dialects in the U.S.

  1. I grew up in Soda land and live in Popland. It’s still Soda, as in SODA-pop.

  2. I live in the UK and we call it fizzy pop around where I live

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