It’s inspired songs, wars, restaurants and Kickstarters. It is the potato. And now a father and son have embarked on a mission to find out how people say the name of our most popular vegetable. Author and linguist David Crystal along with his son Ben, who is famous for performing Shakespeare in the original pronunciation, have authored a book on accents around the world called You Say Potato. It examines where our accents come from, what they say about us and vigorously defend the claim that there’s no “correct” way to say anything. To promote the book and illustrate just how different we all sound they are collecting sound bites of the word potato from all over the world. Click on any of the potatoes on their map below to hear how different it sounds from the Russian “buh-day-to” to “pah-tay-do” in Wisconsin. The Crystal’s have collected well over 700 different accents from around the world and plan to reach 1000 very soon. You can add your own potato to the map by going here and clicking the “start recording” button. If you’re one of those weird people that says “po-tah-to” they definitely want to hear from you.
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