Monday, February 18, 2008

Potato, Po-tah-to

When I first moved to Missouri 3 years ago, I didn't realize that I had moved into a foreign country. That is, I didn't know that there was a certain lingo here in St. Louis that I would have to grow accustomed to, and that I would be pressured into giving up my Nebraska roots and conforming to these silly St. Louisans. I didn't know I had moved into a land where people said "soda." Suddenly I felt stupid saying the word "pop." I mean when I paired the two words up side by side, pop started to sound down-right unintelligent. And I certainly didn't want to sound like some Nebraska retard.

But it just felt so unnatural, so forced to say "soda" instead of "pop." I grew up saying pop. Whether it came canned or bottled, glass, aluminum or plastic--that fizzy stuff inside had always been known to me as pop. And old habits are hard to break. I tried, I really tried. But after a while, I whole-heartedly threw in the towel, said good-bye to "soda," and welcomed back "pop" with open arms. Conformity is highly overrated. And if you're one of those unfortunate St. Louisans who dares to give me a confused look when I say the word "pop," beware... :)

So I will close by posing a question to all of you faithful Foodie readers out there: What do you call it? Soda? Pop? Or are you one of those folks from south of the Mason-Dixon line who calls it Coke? Or maybe something else entirely? Discuss!

9 comments:

BKicklighter said...

No matter who made it, what color it is, or the taste - if it fizzes it's Coke. Or it used to be. I think I am not as strong as you and six years has caused me to start saying soda. What have I become????

emily said...

I've lived in St. Louis for most of my life and I've ALWAYS called it soda.

Bethany said...

Funny...I lived in NE until age 6, then St. Louis til age 11, then back to NE, now IN. I adjusted between pop, then soda, then back to pop again. From what I can tell, most people around here say pop. I vary between the two, but say soda more, just because I think it sounds better.

Sarah said...

Huh, Bethany, I didn't remember that you used to live in St. Louis! Didn't your dad go to med school here?

And Becky, be strong! You can do it! Don't let these St. Louisans pressure you into losin' your Southern pride! Yer darn tootin...if you wanna call it Coke, knock yourself out! :)

Mickey said...

In the 5 different states where I've lived during my life, "pop" was the norm, so I'm used to that. My sister-in-law is from Iowa (pop), but moved to Wisconsin (soda), so she changed her beverage terminology. She then moved to Minnesota, where "pop" is in fashion, so "changed back." Now she's back in WI, so she's had to "flip-flop" again! The weirdest term I've ever heard was in TX, where they call it, "soda water." To me, that's "club soda," but not a flavored drink like Coke, Sprite, or whatever. So, here in CO, it's "pop!"

RT said...

I grew up thinking it was "Coke" and then moved to CA where people made fun of me for it. It was soda for awhile, then something quite odd called "pop" in the Midwest. Now it's hard for me NOT to say pop.

andrew said...

Sarah - Close - med school in Omaha; residency in St. L at BJC.

T. Amad said...

Christian and I both say soda...we have been St. Louisians all of our lives, so I guess that is why...

Bethany said...

Oops, that last comment from "andrew" was actually by me. I forget to log my husband out sometimes. :)