Over at View From The Cloud, Jeff opened a firestorm by delving into the pop versus soda controversy. He also took time to ridicule those that called any soft drink a coke, whether is was bottled but the Coca-Cola corporation or not. This is a controversy of deep regional division as the following map (which I've used before) shows:
Most people when they see this map begin chuckling at southerners for not knowing that Coke is a brand, not a description. Jeff Foxworthy, in addition to his many fine redneck identification tips, once said that when people hear a southern drawl, they spot you ten IQ points right off the bat. He would know. That Foxworthy has a degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech seems to have slipped off his resume somewhere along the line.
I don't see the problem with calling soft drinks "coke". People blow their nose with Kleenex and take Tylenol for headaches after drinking too much Lite beer and Xeroxing their butts on the office copier. Lots of brand names become generic terms, often against the wishes of the manufacturers. Just ask Bayer.
Most of the time, if you are below what I call the Sweet Tea Line and you order a coke, you'll get Coke®, so their is a certain economy in ordering it that way. I once worked with a lady whose husband was the head of distribution for Pepsi-Cola in the state of Georgia. We used to tease her about what a hopeless cause that was. Besides, since most places let you fill your own know, so what difference does it make what you call it.
The last time we were in Georgia, we made point to visit the new Coke Museum which is full of great memorabilia and history. But best of all, they have sampling dispensers where you can taste all the flavors bottled one every continent. The Japanese apple flavor was the best and some Italian style that tasted like quinine was universally despised by visitors.
Going over my old blog posts, I realize that I fall in the "soda" camp. For this (as with most things) I blame my New England bred mother. She used to go on and on about all the great flavors of Nehi (which morphed into Royal Crown) like Radar O'Reilly. She also used to insist that subs sandwiches were grinders and that aunt was pronounced "awwwnt".
Cold cut sandwiches are another source of regional name differences. In addition to grinders, there are subs and hoagies and heroes. I have an unproven theory that the hero sandwich is an Americanization of gyro.
But you can call food and drinks whatever you want, but as long as it tastes good, I'll be there.
BlatantCommentWhoring®: What regional name for a food or drink do you use?