Cola, 7-Up, and other cokes

There’s an old internet discussion (almost pre-internet – I’m talking about EcuNet when it was a dial-up ListServe, before the worldwide web was even functional) about regional names for carbonated beverages. If I remember correctly they are referred to as “soda” in the East and “pop” in the Midwest, and “sodypop” (or “sasparilla”) in Hollywood, or something like that. I grew up in Montana and for me and pretty much everyone I knew, “coke” was the normal generic. (“Soda” was something in the yellow box that went in the refrigerator to keep it fresh and also to put into soda bread.)

Waitress: What will you have to drink?

Diner: What kind of coke do you have?

Waitress: We have Coke™, 7-Up™, orange, and root beer.

Diner: Make it a 7-Up™.

This was also true for jeans, which were properly generified as “levis.” For instance, “Only a sissy would wear Lee™ brand levis.”

As I said, the proper terminology for soda/pop/soft drink/coke was a long-standing debate on EcuNet back in the 80s. After all, one can’t properly debate the hypostatic union nor the single/double procession of the Holy Spirit if one doesn’t know whether s/he is holding a “soda,” a “pop,” or a “soft drink” in one’s hand. I was continually amused that folks in the deep south believed with heart-felt conviction that they were the only people on earth who referred to carbonated beverages in toto as “coke.” I was even accused of being a liar by one particularly zealous southerner when I said that was commonplace in Montana.

Anyway, here we are in Mississippi where coke is coke, whether it’s RC™, Pepsi™, or Coca-Cola™ … or Fanta Orange. It’s good to be home. …

… Well, it’d be like home if they’d just quit putting sugar in their iced tea. Sweet tea is an abomination and putting sugar in tea is as ridiculous as putting a second procession into the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. If God wanted sweet tea he would have made the tea leaves sweet in the first place. But he didn’t. So leave the iced tea alone, folks. And if you don’t like it, go drink a coke, which was made sweet in the first place.

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