Pop vs. Soda: Minnesota picks a side ... but is it the winning one?


Pop or soda?

It's one of the fiercest rivalries of the past few centuries, right up there with Hatfields vs. McCoys and Yankees vs. Red Sox.

And thanks to Joshua Katz at North Carolina State University, we now have a U.S. scoreboard for the pop vs. soda debate (Question 105 at the link). The results of which you can see above.

Things look good for Minnesota. The big swath of pop blue envelops much of the country, starting in the Northwest and moving through the Midwest, even pushing south toward Oklahoma. It takes over Michigan, and even creeps into the western portion of New York and Pennsylvania (otherwise filled with strictly soda slurpers).

Sure, the blue doesn't quite take up half the country. But we've got a good 40 percent or so, it looks like.

Take population into account though, and things go a little pear-shaped for the pop paraders.

Check out these maps, which show the percentage of Americans who use each term. Red means it's very popular in that area; blue means it's not often used. Take a look.

That's right, 47 percent of Americans – nearly half the country – say soda. Lagging way behind is pop, which is preferred by just 23 percent of the country. That's only slightly ahead of the southern-dominant generic term coke, which pulls in 19 percent.

Just because something is popular though doesn't mean it's right. Think about it, the majority of medieval Europeans believed the world was flat. But over time they all realized they were wrong.

So don't worry, Minnesota – everyone else will come around eventually.

Minnesota Weird

The state does have a history of linguistic oddities and unique behaviors.

The term "Minnesota Goodbye" exists for a reason. TPT explained the elongated tradition with a music video earlier this year.

There are those weird things we do in the winter, which tend to raise the unfrozen eyebrows of other states' residents. (Anyone use a broom to de-snow your car? Apparently other find that strange.)

And oh geez, the accent. Our accent is so unique, that when a film or TV show is set in the state's frozen tundra, actors and actresses have to hire a coach just to get it right. And even then (as much as we love "Fargo") they still sound a little off.

But maybe most symbolic of Minnesota's nature is our term – our correct term – for the game where kids sit in a circle, label one another and pat their peers on the head. Yes, it's called Duck Duck Gray Duck folks, not Duck Duck Goose. Even if we're the only ones who are confident enough to admit it.

The duck stops here, America. And it's drinking a cold, fizzy pop don'tcha know.

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