TF (tortillafactory) wrote in linguaphiles,
TF
tortillafactory
linguaphiles

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Familiarity with the term "fountain drink/soda"

I was visiting NYC earlier this week and stopped by a McDonald's in Time Square to get a soda. I asked for a "fountain drink," and the cashier had no idea what I was talking about. (He also laughed at me and acted really strange, but that's a story for a different community.) After the incident I started looking for the term on menu boards and such, and I saw it many times, which settled the question (IMHO) of whether or not it was a regional term that New Yorkers wouldn't be familiar with. My husband, who grew up in Boston and upstate NY, knew the term. I've heard lots of people use it, both in upstate NY where I now live and Seattle, where I'm from.

I've discussed it on some forums now and didn't get the response I expected at all: people seem to think it is an obscure term that is used only in the South (which I've never even visited) and/or that no one under the age of 60 uses it.

So my question to the community is this:

1. Do you know the term "fountain drink", "soda fountain," and similar terms? Would you know what someone was asking for if they ordered it a fountain drink?
2. Where are you from/where have you heard it?
3. How old are you? (Or age range, whatever if you're not comfortable answering this)

I had never thought about it before, but now I'm very interested to find out where the term is common and where it isn't. I guess I'd assumed it was common because the term "soda fountain" was universally used, but perhaps it isn't and I never knew!
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