To Ma, To Pa, Ooh-wa, Ooh-wa

The English who live in the ex-urb of Slough
Don’t have a cough but an audible cow.
The ways of our language are so very strange,
Subject to rules yet subject to change.
I am told as a rule, I must say to-may-to,
To rhyme with that tuber, the utile potato.
But why should that be, as one is a root,
The other we know is an edible fruit.
They vary not only in the way that they grow,
They’re different in taste, different in show.
The fruit has a drawl, it just feels like to-mah-to,
The root feels much quicker, best said in staccato.
The truth of what’s right is hard to divine,
It’s felt in the gut and not in the mind.
Tomato, potato, they aren’t closely related,
So what is the need to have them collated?
If you are like me and the English of Slough
You’ll choose the long “a” and say that’s enough.

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