APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2008-02 > 1203991498
Subject: [APG] Soda vs Pop, and other terms
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 20:04:58 -0600
The "soda" vs. "pop" vs. "coke" concept is part of a much larger issue of
regional dialect and identity that I find interesting. It's much like the
grandparents' naming patterns. I took a class as an undergrad, called
"Cultural Geography." We learned such things as telling where someone came
from by whether they said brook or stream or creek (or even crick), and
whether you carried water in a bucket or a pail.
I can tell you this for sure, I'm not a "true" southerner (raised military),
but under no circumstances would I EVER carry water in a pail from a brook
<G>. I'd take my bucket down to the creek to get that water. And then I'd
probably WARSH something with it, possibly using a warshrag. (I have tried
hard to train myself to say wash, dishwasher, and washing machine, without
that warsh-thing, but it still slips out occasionally.)
Other issues we studied were crops and types of architecture, predominately
vernacular architecture (fancy way of saying how normal people built houses,
sheds, and barns, without a plan or a builder; how they learned to build
from their people).
In one case we studied, the object of the study was to try to determine the
boundaries of the region that considered itself southern. So the researchers
checked telephone books for the yellow pages of hundreds of cities. They
could plot the frequency of times that businesses used the word "Dixie" in
their names. The study resulted in a marvelous map with little dots for the
"Dixies"--and one could surmise that, where the dots were thicker, the more
that area had a southern identity.
All of these issues add meat to the bones of our families, and, often, clues
to their origins--just by learning how they say things, how they name
things, and how they build things. Does anybody else's family say "Scat!"
when somebody sneezes instead of "Gesundheit" or "God Bless"? All of those
phrases' origins are intended to chase away the "evil spirits" who might be
causing that unhealthy sneeze, but I've met very few people who use the term
"Scat!" (And in case that's a southern term, it means--Shoo! Get away from
here! Go away!) (IS "scat" a southern thing too?)
Carolyn Earle Billingsley, Ph.D.
2100 Pleasant Grove, Alexander, AR 72002-9154
Director, Genealogical Studies Program, Akamai University
The central organizing principle in the discipline of
genealogy is the reconstruction and analysis of kinship.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Lindberg" <>
To: <>; <>
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2008 7:46 PM
Subject: Re: [APG] APG Digest, Vol 3, Issue 140--Soda vs Pop
> In the Pittsburgh of my youth, pop meant Coke, Pepsi, etc. Soda was the
> result of pouring pop over ice cream.
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