Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Red and Blue State Cola Wars

It's not nearly as scientific as the work of Bert Vaux, but this popular survey compares one particularly prominent regional dialect difference: the preferred generic word for soft drinks. The pretty map above shows pop drinkers in blue, soda swillers in yellow, and sayers of the universal coke in red. The South is hardcore coke country, showing pride in Atlanta-based Coca-Cola. The huge northern swath of the country from the Pacific Northwest across the Midwest prefer pop. The preferrers of soda are much more spread out: they monopolize the Northeast and Mid Atlantic as well as California, Arizona, and Nevada, and they have invaded South Florida. But they also inexplicably radiate outward from St. Louis and up the eastern lakeshore of Wisconsin.

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Image credits: "Generic Names for Soft Drinks by County," Matthew Campbell, courtesy, borrowed for news-reporting and comment purposes.


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