Sody Pop

Filed under living in new york sucks so hard, no i really do love ohio

I never want to be one of those people who thinks she’s better than the place she came from. I want to always think Columbus and the village (seriously, village) where I was raised in Ohio are unbeatable.

For the longest time, I fought the word soda. I was raised on pop, and soda sounded funny to me every time I heard it used. No matter how many times people told me I gave myself away as a Midwesterner, I refused to switch. Why should I feel bad about where I’m from?

But after about a year of living here, I found myself saying soda automatically. And when I went home to visit and my best friend said pop to me, I accidentally made fun of her without even realizing what it meant for my heritage.

Seriously, though, this picture from my last trip home still cracks me up:

Not only does it say pop, but it only costs 35¢! How adorable, right?

I’m still not buying into other NYCisms like stand ON line (instead of IN line) or call OUT sick (instead of IN sick), though. I still have some standards.



  1. anne says:

    I never noticed that I exchange calling-in sick and calling-out sick!

    • What the hell is wrong with you?! I didn’t even think calling OUT made any sense for about the first three years I lived here.

      • Jack says:

        I’m pretty sure “calling out sick” is just short for “calling out of work sick”, and is supposed to be broken down as “calling” and “out sick”. So I’m calling to say that I’m sick and will be out of the office.

        Makes perfect sense to me!

  2. anne says:

    I learned to talk in Chicago, maybe that’s howscome.

  3. Tessa says:

    See, what you want is to become so confused and self-conscious that you end up dropping virtually all phrases, words, and sounds that could be traceable to any particular part of the English-speaking world — so that you end up with a “delightfully neutral” accent, which nobody can even peg to a specific continent… leaving you then self-conscious not about an accent but instead about the void.

    • I assume you’re talking about yourself here.

      I always heard that television journalists always went to Ohio University because Ohio’s supposed to have a complete lack of accent. But after not living in Ohio for so long, I notice exactly how country my family sounds every time I go home. And with my sister having lived in Kentucky for, like, seven years? That’s nonsense.

      • Tracey says:

        I knew some northern Ohio-ers who used to brag about how THAT was where they sent the broadcasters to learn to speak, but people from northern Ohio totally have accents! I think you get into country-accent-territory the second you step one foot south of Columbus.

  4. Noel says:

    In my tiny hometown (my village is smaller than your village!) everyone says “pop” also. When I left for college I went through this rebellious stage where I would only say “soda” because I didn’t want to be like everyone in said small town.

    And now today, when going over class rules with my students, I told them they were “not allowed to have pop in class.” Needless to say, I am no longer a rebel.

    • Man, I was totally going to challenge you to a village size-off, but then I remembered that you’ve actually been to my village. CRAP.

      I say COO-pon instead of QUEUE-pon and CARA-mel instead of CAR-mull now and am pleased with myself, but I fully support you and your pop.

  5. Kelly says:

    In the South, it’s coke. Not Coke, coke. It’s all coke. If it’s carbonated, it’s coke. Go to a restaurant and order a coke. The waitress will ask you what kind. “Whatchoo got?” you’ll ask. “Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew and Sprite,” she’ll answer.

    “Pop” never fails to make me giggle.

    • Cristy says:

      OMG, Kel. I can’t believe you stole my comment! I cracked up when I saw that very thing in a joke email once – one of those “You know you’re from Texas when…” I couldn’t believe it’d been immortalized in email.

      “Mom, I want a coke.”
      “What kind?”
      “Dr Pepper.”

      So funny!

      Since moving to WV, I kind of go back and forth between soda and pop. Neither feels right, but nobody understands if I just say “coke.”

      • I can’t believe you two don’t even capitalize the word Coke. It’s a brand name, people! As the girlfriend of a soon-to-be lawyer, I’m concerned that this is going to cause trademark problems in the future!

        • Tracey says:

          Some brand names just get embedded. The word “photocopy” is not in my mom’s vocabulary. It will always be “xerox” with a little “x”.

    • No, actually, I’m pretty sure I’ll never say, “Whatchoo got?”, but I loved this all the same.

      I just have to know: how the hell did that get started?!

  6. Sandy says:

    I don’t have an accent, according to those quizzes MSNBC runs every once in a while (I feel like I already mentioned this here), and even though I’m from the Midwest I don’t say “pop.” I’m from St. Louis and when I went away to school near the Missouri/Iowa border, there was a big “hilarious” soda/pop rivalry.

    • I wish I’d taken one of those quizzes back in, say, 2004 and could take another one now to see how things have changed.

      So your family says soda?

      • Sandy says:

        As far as I can tell, everyone in St. Louis says “soda.” I mean, not that I’ve met everyone in St. Louis, but I think I’d notice if someone said “pop.”

        • knittinglizzie says:

          As a Columbusite I only knew pop from my friends; at home we called it soda. My mom often called it soda-pop or more importantly sody-pop. I think she likes how funny sody sounds and will often just say sody, dropping the pop all together.

          And my last note of importance: one stands in a line not on a line. If you want me to stand on a line, kindly draw one on the ground and I will make myself to stand upon it.

  7. Bob Dole says:

    So, do you get “on” the plane? Or do you get “in” it?

  8. Kim says:

    I love this so, so much.

    Being from Massachusetts and counting only New York as another state with even a shot at being as All Powerful, I have pretty much been desensitized to accent and terminology differences because those two have it all tied up and like to kill each other over everything anyway, so. It’s at the point where the only thing I’ll fight to the death is the pronounciation of “aunt” because, I don’t care if the rest of the NATION wants to ignore the laws of vowels, I will stick with New England when it comes to speaking English, thx.

    But anyway, yeah, I can’t fight because I DID succumb to “waiting on line” and “calling out sick”, and have reached the point where those both make more sense to me than the counterparts I was raised with (in my village, thank you!). Also! Ordering a coffee ‘regular’ in NY vs MA? Mind boggling, confusing. Pretty sure that’s why I switched to black, to simplify.

    Pop is just adorable. I’d feel ridiculous saying it, but it is so cute What gets me is Southerners who call everything ‘Cokes.’ Not gets me in a bad way, really. More like perplexing. Also, there is this misconception that people in Massachusetts call soda “tonic” and differentiate between the two different types of carbonated water by saying “water” after each. This died with my grandpa’s generation. It’s soda. As is soda water. And tonic means tonic water.

    In further unsolicited defense of Massachusetts as well, in re: “Wicked Pissa.” No one says this. Wicked, sure, all the time. Pissa, never ever. Wicked good. You know who says “Wicked Pissa?” People from Maine or New Hampshire currently living elsewhere in the nation and adopting horrific, fake Boston accents a la ‘The Departed’ and telling everyone who’ll listen about how Irish and from Boston they are and how Wicked Pissa Patty’s Day is in Beantown.

    Anyway, right. Pop is adorable. Villages are adorable. I love this whole post. And apparently I DO get more worked up over accent than I thought …

    • You are adorable. And I’m going to reply to this tomorrow when “Top Chef” isn’t on.

    • I really wish I said “ont”, actually, but growing up as an “ant” person, it just seems like way too big a change to make now. In Ohio, I only ever heard one person say “ont”, and she was from Maryland. Whereas it’s a toss-up as far as “coo-pon” and “queue-pon” are concerned, so that was a relatively unnoticeable change for me to make.

      I have no idea what a regular coffee is, and I think I would deck anyone who said “wicked pissa” to me. Although one of my co-workers sent me the hipster douchebag soundboard the other day, and I say about half of these things, so I don’t have much room to speak. The Departed crack made me laugh, though, so that’s something.

      • Tracey says:

        Just an observation, but I’ve noticed that in Columbus, African Americans tend to say “ont”, while white people say “ant”. So maybe culture mixes with region for pronunciation.

  9. ha! pop! my cousin was tricked into moving to ohio with her then-fiance, now husband…and suffered the POP situation for 10 years! the horror! when i visited and went to the local giant eagle (WTF) grocery store..the aisle sign said POP, not soda. weird.

    also, my cousin spoke of this thing called a ‘relish tray’…and said peeps in ohio say ‘daily’ weird. i can’t comment on either of those things…i only visited ohio 5 times…and that was enough for me. :)

    • I asked, like, three people at work if they knew what a relish tray is after I read this comment. Like, I can’t imagine a family gathering in which a relish tray didn’t exist. And I can’t imagine it being called anything other than a relish tray.

      Someone suggested to me that it may be known as a party tray elsewhere, but that’s just terrible. The party itself is in the other dishes; this is just the relish.

      • Tracey says:

        “Relish tray” isn’t universal?! I’m appalled.

        Apparently, Dan doesn’t know this term, either. He missed out on a lot of Ohio by having parents from New Jersey.

        Dan: “But relish is that shit you put on hot dogs that no one likes.”

    • knittinglizzie says:

      I work for a company based out of Dallas so I’m working with a lot of Texans. They pronounce ‘daily’ more like “delly”.

      How do Ohioans differ?