Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Crocosmia - You like tomato and I like tomahto

Latin Pronunciation: kroh-KOZ-mee-uh

As Louis Armstrong said in the chorus of
Let's call the Whole Thing Off

You say either and I say either
You say neither and I say neither
Either, either Neither, neither
Let's call the whole thing off.

You like potato and I like potahto
You like tomato and I like tomahto
Potato, potahto, Tomato, tomahto
Let's call the whole thing off

But oh, if we call the whole thing off Then we must part
And oh, if we ever part, then that might break my heart

So if you like pyjamas and I like pyjahmas,
I'll wear pyjamas and give up
For we know we need each other so we
Better call the whole off off
Let's call the whole thing off.

A couple of weeks back, I attended the play
Showtime at First Baptist
at the Barter Theater along with some coworkers. A non-gardener in group wanted to know the name of the lovely red flowers blooming in front of the theater. Two of us offered the correct name, but with very different pronunciations. We varied on our versions of the vowel sounds and had accents on different syllables.

Both of us admitted this was a word we were familiar with in print, but had never heard. Either of us could be correct.

As we discussed this conundrum outside the theater entrance, a stranger offered yet another pronunciation. As my mind tried to absorb this, I wondered why this woman was certain enough of her pronunciation to advise two strangers. Never particularly shy, I asked. Turns out she is a retired national flower show judge.

Well, all righty then!
Turns out neither of us was correct.

The Chinese master Confucius believed all wisdom came from learning to call things by the right name. So perhaps I am one tiny step closer to wisdom.


1 comment:

  1. All I know is that I have it in my yard and I like it.