Sunday, February 18, 2018
In a world where Coke is the only cola in existence, it's perfectly acceptable to refer to a Coke as simply a "cola". But add Pepsi to the mix, and it becomes reasonable to distinguish what type of cola you're referring to. Is it a Coke, or is it a Pepsi? Most people may continue to assume that "cola" refers to a Coke, but especially in restaurants that serve Pepsi, if you want to actually talk about Coke, it makes sense to refer to it as "Coke" (or "Coca-cola"), and not just "cola", which would be confusing, because Pepsi is another type of cola. Coke lovers don't have to stop referring to their preferred beverage as simply "cola" - the usage of the term "Coke" as a differentiator primarily benefits those who handle Pepsi. Yet, many Coke lovers feel as though they're being "hassled" by this change in terminology, and, feeling victimized, fear that Pepsi lovers are trying to shift the discourse and get Pepsi recognized as the "default" cola.* But this is a strawman fallacy; Pepsi lovers are not campaigning to get Pepsi referred to solely as "cola". That would be counterproductive - their goal is to use clearer language to distinguish one cola from another. This reactionary attitude is nothing more than Coke-privilege in action. All Pepsi-lovers are asking Coke-lovers to do is acknowledge that theirs is not the only cola in the universe. Refusing this minor, yet critical concession cannot be considered anything other than insensitive arrogance, born out of a lazy sense of entitlement, and deserves to be called out as such. Die, Coke-scum!
*Instead of using Coke's biggest competitor, if we replace Pepsi in this analogy with a minority cola - say, RC Cola - it becomes even more obvious that the competitor is not trying to usurp the crowned soda's position, but merely expand the selections available in the vending machine, and that the reigning champ is - far from being legitimately threatened by some no-name soda - merely throwing its muscle around to intimidate the competition, maintain a monopoly, and disguise its feelings of inadequacy.