“Can I get a pop?”
If you’re a Southerner and you hear this statement, two things happen.
Your inside voice says, “Oh, a Northerner. Isn’t that cute! Bless their heart.”
Your outside voice says, “You mean, you’d like a coke?”
I’m sorry, but in the South, it’s just not a pop.
It’s a coke.
I don’t care what type or flavor it is: Diet, Classic, Sprite or 7up, SPLENDA® or Truvía®, decaff or caff, leaded or unleaded. Our grandparents called them “cold drinks,” but we call them cokes because not only was the Coca-Cola Company founded in Atlanta, but it rapidly became the primary carbonated beverage sold in the region, and then the nation and then the world: providing jobs to generations, expanding into a global empire, and becoming “a world-wide symbol of refreshment, fun, good times, and the American lifestyle.”
To most Southerners, Pepsi’s just another type of coke. A little hard to find, a little too fizzy. Eh. Whatevs. I think you can get one at Taco Bell.
When I’m in “enlightened” company (read: Europeans, people with advanced degrees, anyone from New York City), I will attempt to use the word “soda” instead, in an effort for sophistication.
Should I convey that same term to the server or bartender, they will more often than not ask what type of vodka I’d like to go with it.
Still, the pause that refreshes.