Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sweet, Sweet Victory

It's been an uphill battle ever since I moved to Washington, DC. I'll use the word "pop" in a sentence and I'll get some comment like "where are you from?" or "what did you just say?" or, "that's not what it's called." I'm from Minnesota, I just said a perfectly legitimate English word, and yes, that is what it's called. At least, that's what we call it in The Land of 10,000 Lakes (and a few other rogue vocabulary states), but most of the country refers to sweet, fizzy beverages as "soda." For simplicity's sake, and for purposes of assimilation, I had practically given up on using the word of my childhood when referring to all things Pepsi, Coke, and 7-Up. That is, until, an ad campaign in the DC metro stations convinced me otherwise.

The ads began back in January. Bright colors and a funky design were used to spell out such words as "Wow," "Hope," and...."Pop!" Finally, there was someone outside of the Twin Cities who spoke my language! I didn't even know who the ads were by (Pepsi?), but no bother. They had vindicated my vernacular, and that was what really mattered. Of course, there's also the sign that says, "Soda pop," which, according to a fellow DC-based pop-user, explains that both sides are correct. Some people just chose the first part while others chose the second.

I doubt that a couple of banners and back-lit signs will end the debate surrounding soda pop, even if they did manage to bring a smile to my face. I'll keep using the Minnesota-approved word and Washingtonians will keep telling me I'm wrong. On the bright side, we can at least be thankful that we don't call a sweet, fizzy beverage by its French name, une boisson gazeuse, which very un-chicly translates to "gassy beverage." Yum.


Cancemini4 said...

Sweet victory for the Midwest!

Jeff said...

Ohio...truly another state that says "pop"...Does anyone use "soft drink" anymore?

Tanya said...


Go, Ohio! My friend from Ohio is my sole DC-based "pop" ally. As for "soft drink," the only place I see that any more is on menus. Not in spoken language.