If you’ve ever traveled within the U.S. and tried to order a sweet carbonated beverage, you’ve probably been misunderstood and confused. Depending on where you are, a soft drink might be called any number of things: coke, soda, pop. Ask anyone which is the right word and they will vehemently defend their preference, but why do people who speak the same language use different words in the first place?

This variation in vocabulary is an example of regional dialects. What is a dialect?  You may have heard this word being used in a pejorative manner, to denigrate someone who speaks a certain way. But it actually has a complex definition and does not mean simply a bad variety of speech. Technically, there is no such thing as a bad variety of speech. Any linguist would tell you that there is no such thing as “normal” language, rather every dialect is a variation.

Broadly speaking, a dialect is a particular variety of speech used by a specific group of speakers. If that sounds vague, it’s because many things fall under the umbrella of dialect. Usually, dialects are variations within a language. They are often mutually intelligible, meaning that people who speak different dialects can understand each other. A Texan and a Minnesotan, for example, would have no trouble holding a conversation, even though they might secretly think the other person sounded funny.

Regional dialects, or dialects based on regions of land, are some of the easiest to distinguish because they are tied to physical locations. There are many regional dialects in America, ranging from very broad (“Southern”) to extremely specific (“Bronx”). You can probably name some of the broader ones, like Southern, Midwestern, and Eastern. As for the great pop/soda/coke debate, check out the map from the Pop vs. Soda survey that shows which words feel right to speakers of different regional dialects. Midwesterners and Northwesterners prefer pop; Southerners say coke; and Easterners and Southwesterners ask for soda. So the right word to use depends on your location.

In fact, regional dialects in the United States are so specific and discernible that linguists at the University of Wisconsin along with the American Dialect Society have spent over thirty years compiling the variations within American English. The fifth and final volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English will be published early next year, and an online version is expected in 2013.

The word pop originates from the popping noise of a cork. Soda is a shortened form of soda water, which makes soft drinks bubbly. Coke, of course, comes from Coca-Cola (which is still based in Atlanta).

Which word do you use? Are there any other words you have noticed varying by region?

Look: ‘If I’d known it was the last time I’d see him, I would have hugged him and never let him go’ As Fathers’ Day approaches Tony Barrett talks to one daughter whose life has been devastated by gun crime.(Features)

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England) June 13, 2007 THIS time last year, Lisa Duffy was looking forward to spending Fathers’ Day with her dad, Danny, who’d been pestering her for his present for weeks leading up to it.

Fathers’ Day was a time when the whole clan would come together at the family home in Netherley and Danny would finally be given the gifts that Lisa and his two other children, Danielle and Donnie, had bought him.

But this year there will be no gathering at home as a gunman with murder on his mind has deprived the Duffy family of a dad to spoil on Fathers’ Day.

On November 20 last year, Danny was gunned down as he walked home after finishing work at Child wall golf course.

Although he did have criminal convictions to his name, Lisa insists her dad had turned his life around. Nuns at St Gregory’s parish say he was a good friend to the church and he regularly put on firework displays for local children.

“We will probably spend Sunday morning with him in the cemetery and I know each of us will have a moment when we reflect on what’s happened and how much we miss him,” says Lisa. see here fathers day crafts

“I find it impossible to say out loud I haven’t got a dad anymore.

“Our dad meant the world to us he was by no means perfect, nobody is, but he was one of the funniest people you could meet.

“Dad was always telling us to make the most out of our lives and not to make the mistakes he made.

“He encouraged all of us to do well at school and go on to college or university.” Lisa, 27 has vivid memories of the last time she saw her dad. “It was the day before he died,” she recalls. fathersdaycrafts.org fathers day crafts

“I called in to see him at the golf driving range and when I left I gave him a kiss and a hug and told him I loved him.

“If I’d have known that was the last time I was going to see him I would have hugged him and never let him go.

“The following day I was at my home and my partner took a call saying dad had been shot but at that time I didn’t know he was dead.

“Then my partner received another call saying dad had died and I went into shock.

“It’s a hard thing to accept that he is dead and I still can’t say he was murdered – I say ‘when it happened’.

“It’s something that will haunt all three of us for the rest of our lives.

“One day, I was sat on the train on the way home from work and his favourite song came on and I sat staring out of the window with tears streaming down my face.

“Nobody expects to lose their dad in the way we did.” The only hope that Lisa has that some good may come out of her own family’s tragedy is that anyone tempted to turn to gun crime might think twice about it having seen the pain it has caused her family.

She says: “I find the rise in gun crime in this country terrifying and I would hate for anyone else’s family to go through what we have been through.

“If, by doing this article, it preventsjust one person losing their life then it will be a job well done.

“To have to live the rest of your life without your dad is heartbreaking and my heart goes out to anyone who has been through the same experience as we have, whether it be their dad, son, brother, sister, partner, wife or husband.

“You always expect that one day you will have to arrange a funeral for one of your parents but I never thought I would be doing it for our dad when he was only 46.

“I am angry that human life can come so cheap. It’s not just someone dying, it’s murder – someone pulls a trigger and someone’s life is over just like that.

The last time I saw my dad he was lying dead on a bed in the hospital and we never got to say goodbye or tell him that we love him for that one last time.

“Our family have been robbed of a very special person.” Case continues MERSEYSIDE police are still hunting Danny Duffy’s killer.

Detective chief inspector Karen Cummings told the ECHO: “My sympathy is completely with the Duffy family. I would appeal to anyone who may have information to come forward.

Gun crime hotline on 0800 4581211 CrimestoppersO8OO 230 0600 CAPTION(S):

LOSS: Lisa Duffy with a photo of her dad, Danny; BRAVE: Daniel Duffy was shot and killed


  1. ChrisT -  March 20, 2014 - 1:40 pm


  2. wolf puncher and tree tamer -  March 20, 2014 - 1:37 pm

    the intolerance on display in this thread is the reason the world has been at war since people crawled out of the dirt. you all should be ashamed of yourselves

  3. geox666x -  March 20, 2014 - 1:33 pm

    Now the question is really just when do we get barred from this service.

  4. Michael -  January 1, 2014 - 8:38 am

    Waco, TX. Soda water

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