The correct term for a sugary carbonated beverage is pop.
I can’t remember when I first encountered this idea because it has always been a part of my life. In elementary school, fliers for class parties all read “Pizza and Pop” as the popular form of advertisement. As a kid, my parents never let me drink a lot of pop because they said it was bad for me. I learned to say it because everyone and everything around me said it, and I never thought to question it. Of course, there was the occasional slip up. If someone did refer to the drink as soda, we all knew what they meant, but the generic name was pop in our hearts. It was an unconscious belief that was always in my head, but it was never a pressing issue until I went to college and came face to face with the major divide in terminology. Before my rock-solid beliefs were challenged, I never cared too much about it, but as soon as people vehemently told me I was wrong and it was called soda, I realized I cared a great deal about the subject and vowed to never change my mind.
It sounds silly, but it’s a serious matter. The issue is about more than just pop, it’s about validity and identity. I carry many things with me from my home and my family, my values, my sense of humor, my outlook on life, and the way I talk about carbonated beverages. I never felt so unique in my background and my origin until I came to a place full of people from entirely different backgrounds with different norms. My terminology for pop is one part of my complicated makeup, and it goes along with the bigger issues like my beliefs. They all make up who I am, even if some matter more than others, so I guess pop is just a symbol for where I’m from and who I am.
However, even within the divide between soda and pop, both sides have been able to agree on the commonplace that calling all pop Coke is wrong.