Pop vs soda: the great debate lives on

by J1 Reporter Dianna Sledge

      It’s a sweltering summer day and a Marian girl has just gotten out of the pool. She walks over to her friend and says, “Hey, do you want a soda?”

      The friend slowly raises her head with slightly narrowed eyes.

     “Don’t you mean…pop?” She replies in more of a statement than a question.

     The first girl furrows her brow and looks back, confusion evident on her face.

     As they stare each other down, one can only wonder how deep the divide between the pop proclaimer and the soda supporter really is. 

     It’s a debate as old as time, according to bustle.com, or rather the late 1700s when carbonation techniques were first developed. The carbonated beverage has been around for such a long time, one would think that how someone refers to a fizzy drink doesn’t matter, but like the fight between good and evil, it only grows more intense with time. Now the question is, with such a diverse place as Marian, which word is the right word?

     “‘Soda’ sounds too proper, and it’s what I think old people would say. Also ‘soda’ is something you bake with like baking soda,” said freshman Ryan Sully on why she uses the word “pop.” 

     Junior Jacquie Smith said, “The word ‘soda’ has no correlation with the product. ‘Pop’ does; it’s the sound that it [the can] makes when you open it.”

     Just when it seems that “pop” is in the lead for best word, “soda” swoops in and steals the spotlight. Junior Jordan Funke and senior Nyanar Kual are two of many that say “soda.”

     “I say ‘soda’ because when I’m ordering at a restaurant, it just sounds better. Like ‘Can I have a soda’ not ‘Can I have a pop’,” Kual said. 

     Funke was raised in Montana and she said that everyone up there says “soda”. 

     Junior Sarah Cronin, another enthusiast of the word “soda,” said, ”Before I moved to Omaha, I had never heard somebody refer to it [carbonated beverage] as ‘pop’ unironically.” 

     In a survey sent out to Marian students about their word preference, 60 percent of 146 girls answered “pop,” 36 percent of girls answered “soda,” and 4 percent of girls answered “other.” The survey results suggest that the divide between the words is great. 

     The survey also reveals more ways to refer to carbonated beverages.

     When surveyed, freshman Chloe Oberle said she uses the word “tonic” when she asks for a drink. 

     In the same survey, sophomore Grace Walsh said she uses “soda pop.”

     Junior Nora Fitzsimmons said,” I say the word soda pop, because that’s what I’ve grown up with. My dad has always said soda pop.”


Image Source: Josh Katz of Reader’s Digest https://www.rd.com/culture/regional-sayings-phrases-words/

According to the map from Reader’s Digest the majority of Nebraskans use the word “pop”. The survey results reflect the map as the majority of Marian girls say “pop”.

     Marian girls are able to look past the differences in word choice, but the ongoing battle between the pop proclaimer and the soda supporter will never end. 

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