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You say tomato, I say tomahto

In 1937, George and Ira Gershwin’s song “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” was featured in a film called “Shall We Dance” with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It was apparently part of a dance number done on roller skates.

I haven’t seen the movie but I love the song. Correction – we love the song and over the years, Matthew and I have come up with quite a medley of verses as we have discovered the slight differences in pronunciation between British English and American English. Our song goes something like this …

You say scheduled, I say sheduled,
You say oREGano, I say oreGAHno,
Scheduled, sheduled
oREGano, oreGAHno,
Let’s call the whole thing off.

You say aluminum, I say aluminium,
You say mom, I say mum,
Aluminum, aluminium,
Mom, mum,
Let’s call the whole thing off.

You say wahter, I say wohtah,
You say BAYsil, I say BAAAzil,
Wahter, wohtah,
BAYsil, BAAAzil,
Let’s call the whole thing off.

You say garAHj, I say gare-edge,
You say airplane, I say aeroplane,
GarAHj, GARE-edge
Airplane, aeroplane,
Let’s call the whole thing off.

We can sing like this for quite a while. Can you add a verse?

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Posted on 5, September 2011, in British, Culture and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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