Here we go with the latest New York Times errors and typos. I think this is wrong:

Sparkling beverages is an industry term for soft drinks.

It’s right smack on the cover page of the Business section in Saturday’s paper (May 26, 2007) in an article about Coca-Cola buying out the manufacturers of vitaminwater (all lower case, according to the bottle, please). I think “sparkling beverages” is one of many kinds of soft drink, but certainly the relationship is not one-to-one.Beverages

I thought the definition of “Soft Drinks” would run something like this: “Anything But Booze.” And the American Beverage Association seems to agree:

Soft drinks are distinguished from “hard drinks” or alcohol beverages, such as distilled spirits, beer, or wine. Soft drinks do not contain alcohol. Consumers can choose from a wide variety of beverages including regular carbonated beverages, diet and caffeine-free beverages, bottled water, juices, juice drinks, sport drinks, and ready-to-drink teas. [http://www.ameribev.org/faqs/index.aspx#soft]

Wikipedia tells us:

The term soft drink commonly refers to almost any cold drink that does not contain alcohol. Beverages like colas, sparkling water, lemonade, and fruit punch are among the most common types of soft drinks, while hot chocolate, tea, coffee, milk, tap water, and milkshakes do not fall into this classification. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_drinks]

And if you don’t trust anything with the word “Wiki” in it, how about the Feds? The NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) defines Industry #31211 Soft Drink Manufacturing as follows:

This U.S. industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing soft drinks and artificially carbonated waters.

Their categories include Carbonated Soda, Carbonated Waters, Fruit and Vegetable drinks, Iced Coffee, Fruit Drinks, (except juice), Flavored water, Iced tea and Soda (Pop). [http://www.naics.com/censusfiles/ND312111.HTM].

Am I right, Sir? (from Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps)

Oh, yeah, the typos:

The Coke rival snapped up Gatorade as part of its acquisition of Quaker Oats in 2000 after the Coke board turned rejected a Quaker deal, an action that has haunted the company.

Yeah, I think the word “turned” is left over from a previous draft. Sorry, Mr. Martin, the writing error is yours. The typo is your copy editor’s. C’mon New York Times, you’re making my job too easy.

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