Growing up in Pittsburgh, I was raised on using the word "pop" when I was talking about soft drinks in general. That is just what people in Pittsburgh call it, and it was great not feeling like an outcast.
My cousin from Milwaukee would occasionally visit and try and make me feel stupid for my use of "pop."
"You say pahp? It's so-dah," she said. Please excuse my attempt to try and show her Wisconsin accent. They are Americans up there, yet they try to speak like Canadians. Weird.
"Why can't we agree to disagree," I tried to explain. But she still laughed every time I said "pop."
This did not bother me too much because I stilled lived in Pittsburgh, where I fit in and was accepted for my vocabulary.
Then came college in North Carolina. No longer was I in the majority. Now it seemed like the whole campus was against me. I could not say "pop" without at least one person laughing, or making fun of me.
I stopped going to dining halls, or out in public really. I was sick of being a joke, but I could not bring myself to say soda. It did not feel right.
OK, so I did not stop going to the dining halls or anything like that, but it was getting really annoying. The worst thing was they acted surprised every time I said "pop." Maybe they had terrible memories and forgot, but I doubt it.
Guam was not as bad as college. While soda was the common term there, the people I worked with only questioned my use of "pop" once and then moved on.
The experience leads me to ask why we soft drink consumers can't just compromise and let each other use the terms we know? Both terms are just shortened versions of soda pop. So really, we are like brothers and sisters that are squabbling over nothing. We need to unite against those that use really stupid words for pop/soda.
We need to destroy "cola." it had it's time and that was 50 years ago. Fortunately, I have not heard anyone in my generation use it. Hopefully it stays that way.
Our biggest adversaries are the people who call every kind of soft drink "Coke."
These folks are usually from Atlanta or nearby areas because the Coke Factory is in Atlanta. I recommend going and sampling every kind of pop they have. Your stomach will protest, but your taste buds will love you. Just stay away from Beverley.
Imagine my surprise when someone offered me a Coke, and then handed me a Sprite as if nothing strange had just happened. They're not even the same color!
We can't let this spread. If I get another Dr. Pepper when I asked for a Coke, I'm going to headbutt the person.
Fields of Fire - Big Country