Tut, tut soda and pop people. Shame on your small and narrow mindedness. You hate them for something you do all the time. I say hypocrite to you. Hypocrite!
Let me expound through the classic use of examples:
When you cut your finger, do you not ask for a band-aid? Yet, you do not mean the brand Band-Aid? You don't mean that if I do not bring you specifically a Band-Aid brand bandage you will refuse it and only a Band-Aid brand bandage will do? No, what you are asking for is a bandage. An adhesive strip with an absorbent cottony gauze attached to the middle to soak up your forth-spilling blood. But you say band-aid because it's an understandable blanket term used to describe the thing you want. Isn't that so?
When you have a sheet of paper with important information on it, and it is information you need to get into the hands of others so they may also have said information, are there not those among us who would ask for a xerox of this paper? Xerox is a brand. The company Xerox was once nationally famous for the particularly good quality of the copies their copy machines made. So good that instead of making copies of things, people were jamming into the office copy room to make fresh xeroxes. The word stained itself upon the American language, and thus became the word for the thing people mean when they ask for a xerox. They mean a copy. (Point of Fact: this was not fact checked, but we all know it's true)
I could use other examples. Jet Ski or Crockpot are two of those examples, but there are more. What I just exemplified for you are the same type of things our fine Southern friends are doing when they ask for a coke on a hot summer day. They do not mean they require a Coke-Cola made by the Coke-Cola company and only a the dark delicious Coke will sooth their beleaguering thirst. (actually, to be honest to the reader, that is, in fact, what they do mean some of the time). But they are requesting the same beverage you would be in need of when you ask for a pop, or I ask for a soda. And yes, my preference is towards the word soda and I have my reasons for it,* but I dare not begrudge another their American right to call it by what name they choose. I would not be a a true American if I did not believe another man had that right. I digress...
All the man wants is his beverage. You two or we three are all the same in our cry to heal our parched lips or our dry mouth. You ask for a pop and get a root beer. I ask for my soda and get a cola. He asks for a coke and gets an orange flavored drink. All are served. All are refreshed.
This feud! This rivalry and uncouth display of pride is at the top of the list of things going wrong with our nation. Why do we let things divide us? I have it in my heart to accept that man who calls Dr. Pepper a coke. This man, who uses coke instead of soda, may come to work for me and be the most loyal worker I will ever know. (Point of Fact: I do not currently own a business where I would employ another, but this is a futuristic hypothetical situation in which all options may be possible). That woman, who names the delicious citrus Mt. Dew a pop, may end up the love of my life and write with me a love story unparalleled anywhere in human literature. (Point of Fact: the position of Love of my Life is currently open and every conversation with a woman is an interview) My point is how much do we miss with our bitter discontentment? Moreover, we waste our hate; Hate, which is the most extreme negative of all human emotions, on something so stupid as what to call a beverage. For shame!
This is not the country I was raised to love. This is not the nation those who came before us built that we might have, (Point of Fact: This country was actually built on a lot of hate, but not over anything so idiotic as this.) nor are we taking it in the direction requisite for it to be a pleasing world for our children to live in. (Point of Fact: I don't have kids.) But, we can evolve our neanderthal brains and shake off these thick generations of misplaced malice and ill will. Let us be brothers and sisters in this and all things. You, me, them we will continue to be different. Our vernacular may always seem peculiar to others and that is fine, but let us embrace our differences and join hands in brotherhood and unity and let us foster hate no more in our hearts. Because seriously, this is a really really stupid thing to get uppity about. Really very stupid.
*I prefer the term soda because, to me, it sounds less colloquial. It sounds, to me, like a word to be used in formal gatherings and important events. Not that I ever go to those, but it's good to be prepared. You never know. Having said that, I do not care a hair what you call what you drink.