Here’s an old topic that I never got around to when it came up in conversation during the school year: the age old battle between “pop” and “soda”.
Nota bene: In this brief exposition, we will abstract from considering the archaic phrase “soft drink” and politically correct, cowardly cop-out solution of “soda pop”. The eternally perplexing proposal of referring to non-alcoholic carbonated beverages as “coke”, despite one specific brand bearing this name, deserves an essay of its own.
It is self-evident that the correct term for non-alcoholic carbonated beverages is “pop”. However, for the sake of the weak, who are unable to grasp this elementary principle, an attempt at clarification may be made.
From a the perspective of sense, “pop” is infinitely more intuitive than “soda”. When one puts one’s nose close to the surface of a freshly poured non-alcoholic carbonated beverage, one can feel small air bubbles popping against one’s skin. Thus, “pop”. The word “soda” has no apparent sensate reference.
Secondly, we consdier this map of the United States, which illustrates the distribution of the usage of “pop”, “soda”, and “coke” (again, a perplexing topic worthy of its own essay) across the United States. With this map, one may use the admittedly less forceful but still valid argument from the moral character of the agent to further the justification of “pop”. Since the morally superior (or “wholesome”, as the case may be) region of the United States (the Midwest and Plains states, excluding the strange anomalies of St. Louis and Milwaukee) prefer the use of “pop”, while the veritable Sodom and Gomorrahs of New England, New York and California prefer “soda”, it is clear that it is more appropriate, proper, and virtuous to use the term “pop” as opposed to “soda”. (Nota bene: the portrayals of the regions of the United States here are NOT scientific). Further corroboration of this conclusion may be found at this page, “The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy”.
Perhaps the soundest argument for the use of “pop” comes from the great canonist/theologian and future Doctor of the Church, Toni Werner Zender. Herr Doktor Zender argues that “pop” is the correct terminology because the superior being to which one may compare non-alcoholic carbonated beverages bears the name “popsicle”. We understand this superior being, perfect in all respects (coldness of temperature, solidity of substance, the ability to refresh the body and please the taste buds), by way of analogy, via the created reality of non-alcoholic carbonated beverages (whose temperature may be lukewarm, form is malleable, and, although refreshing, is so only in a temporal and earthly way). Since non-alcoholic carbonated beverages share in the being of popsicles, the resulting creation, the non-alcoholic carbonated beverage, is most appropriately called “pop”.