carbonated drinks/beverages, fizzy drinks [in a survey question]

meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi, if you participated in a survey and the first question were "How often do you drink carbonated drinks?", would you think of not only the non-alcoholic ones (e.g. cola, sparkling water) but also the alcoholic ones (e.g. sparkling wine, champagne, beer)?

What about if the question said "carbonated beverages" or "fizzy drinks"?
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Sparkling wine and champagne are not carbonated and I rather think beer isn't. So carbonated drinks means non-alcoholic to me. I don't called alcolholic drinks with bubbles fizzy drinks except as slang references, such as "Who's bringing the fizz?". There's a drink called 'Buck's Fizz' which is champagne and orange juice. 'Fizzy' sounds a littl bit childish to me, in a good way, like talking about 'pop'.
     
    Last edited:

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Unless the title of the survey provided a clue to the contrary, I would associate all three of your options only with non-alcoholic drinks, and indeed it wouldn't make me think of alcohol-free beer/wine either.
    In other words, I agree with HG.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Oh...I didn't know there was natural carbonation in sparkling wines (and beer too?)
    I thought the only drink with natural carbonation was sparkling water (maybe sparkling wines use sparkling water?)

    I know little about carbonated drinks and alcoholic drinks since I stopped drinking them many years ago. :)
     

    Minnesota Guy

    Senior Member
    American English - USA
    Responding to #1: to me, "carbonated drinks" means non-alcoholic beverages. For me, this is a question of usage, not logic.

    If I wanted to include both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks, I'd say "carbonated drinks [or beverages] including beer and sparkling wine." I can't think of a simpler term.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Responding to #1: to me, "carbonated drinks" means non-alcoholic beverages. For me, this is a question of usage, not logic.

    If I wanted to include both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks, I'd say "carbonated drinks [or beverages] including beer and sparkling wine." I can't think of a simpler term.
    :thumbsup:
    A well-designed survey question should be unambiguous and stand on its own, regardless of how people answer the OP's question.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    If I wanted to include both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks, I'd say "carbonated drinks [or beverages] including beer and sparkling wine." I can't think of a simpler term.
    A well-designed survey question should be unambiguous and stand on its own, regardless of how people answer the OP's question.
    Thank you both very much for the replies. What about "sparkling drinks/beverages"? Would it also mean non-alcoholic carbonated beverages to many people?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Thank you both very much for the replies. What about "sparkling drinks/beverages"? Would it also mean non-alcoholic carbonated beverages to many people?
    We've sampled a few respondents who have said it might be interpreted differently by different people, depending on how pedantic they were feeling (the reductio ad absurdum is that all drinks will contain some carbon dioxide!:)) . Would you risk wasting money on a survey with an ambiguous question? I personally would include all sparkiing drinks in the category because the question did not restrict it to non-alcoholic and sparkling is widely used to describe both.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Would you also exclude sparkling water if the question said "carbonated soft drinks"?
    Probably. Suppose you didn't use the word "carbonated". Would you exclude non-sparkling water from "soft drinks"? You won't get unanimous answers to this, but somehow, I feel anything called "drink" would need to be in some way more "exciting" than just plain water.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Probably. Suppose you didn't use the word "carbonated". Would you exclude non-sparkling water from "soft drinks"? You won't get unanimous answers to this, but somehow, I feel anything called "drink" would need to be in some way more "exciting" than just plain water.
    Such vagueness is important and should be avoided in survey questions*: there are sparkling waters that have traces of other things added - vitamins, flavour essences etc but are still >99.9% water :)

    *Unless the survey is about how peope understand the words themselves!
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    The natural carbonation in sparkling wine and beer is the result of fermentation. Some spring water is naturally carbonated, I believe. This is about what people understand by various terms, isn't it. To me, a carbonated drink is one that has had the fizz added to it and is non- alcoholic ('soft'), excluding water of any sort.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you all very much. The purpose of the thread was to see how you native speakers would understand or interpret the terms "carbonated drinks/beverages" etc., and all your replies really helped.
     
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