Monday, May 31, 2010

Betraying my roots

Growing up in the town of Amherst, NY—a suburb of Buffalo, which for those who don't know is in the western part of the state—means I said "pop." But then I went to Arizona for college and was surrounded by people who said "soda" and for some reason I quickly changed. I'm not sure why. I had promised that I wouldn't "change" despite going to a new part of the country, yet I didn't even resist this. I don't know why. I didn't adopt "freeway" (until moving to California) but "soda" just happened so easily.

Today, thanks to the magic of Twitter and the world's best Tweeter, Roger Ebert, I learned that someone is collecting data and plotting a map showing where "pop," "soda," "Coke" and other are most prevalent based on the region a person learned language. I answered "soda" because right now that's what I say and that's what the question asks (it's a very simple survey). But based on what the person is measuring should I have answered "pop"?

1 comment:

Leandrah said...

When I was in a linguistics class in at Stony Brook U (back in the early 1970s) my classmate and I did this very thing. We mapped soda/pop couch/sofa and eight other things. We showed people pictures of the objects so we didn't prejudice the results.

Got an A on the project.

Linda U.