Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 09:41:01 EST


Subject: Re: pop and soda

Rudy Troike worries,

Virginia Clark's report on the demise of "tonic" is a devastating

blow (especially when coupled with the loss of "Chesterfield") to the

linguistic lore of all our American English courses. Can anybody else in

the Boston area confirm this? Say it ain't so!

I can't help with chesterfields, but I can reassure Rudy and anyone else con-

cerned that the reports of the demise of superordinate "tonic" are at least

somewhat exaggerated. South Station in Boston has a large menu board over its

main snack bar at which it lists "coffee", "iced tea", "milk", and "tonics"

(I seem to recall an itemized sublist under the last, featuring the usual colas

and root beers and the like). Not only that, but "cabinets" are alive and well

in Rhode Island for 'milk shakes'. At least in Misquamicut (which, if you're

there, you should pronounce with the "s" in the second syllable, as in Wi-

sconsin), although it may have been partly to impress the tourists.

I grew up drinking "soda", and was nonplussed when I first encountered "pop"

and "soda pop" after leaving New York/Long Island for Raaach'st'r.

Would generic coke speakers ask for a Coke coke when they want to be

specific about what kind of coke they want?