I was reading a book this afternoon, which contains the line:
"you say tomato, I say tomahto"
It's not that I haven't heard this phrase before, but I don't think I've seen it written down, and it made me do a double-take.
You see, I pronounce 'tomato' as tomAHto anyway. So I read those words on the first pass as "you say tomahto, I say tomahto"... which doesn't mean anything. I assume the author is a tomAYto man.
This got me to thinking about which pronunciation is most prevalent - so I decided to google it. Here are the numbers:
This would seem to suggest that around twice as many people find the tomAYto pronunciation natural, compared to tomAHto (of those writing web pages about this phrase... the demographic of that set is rather a different question)
Of course, these results are from the UK Google (the only one I can access without complicated proxies). I'd be interested to know if the counts are different in the US.