Question: We hear popular soft drinks referred to as either “soda” or “pop.” Why the difference, and which is it? (Asked by a curious soft-drink drinker.)

Reply: In general, it sort of depends on where you live. The variations seem to be regional. I came across a review of an article in the Journal of English Linguistics, titled “Soda or Pop,” that did a survey and had a map of regional usages. Americans enjoy the common nonalcoholic carbonated beverages, with an average consumption rate of over 43 gallons per year for every person in the United States, according to The Statistical Abstract of the United States.

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