You say potato: the story of English accents

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(Image shows cover page of the book, displaying the title of the book ‘You say potato’ and the names of the authors: Ben Crystal & David Crystal. Photo credit: Pan Macmillan)


Everyone has an accent, though many of us think we don’t.

We all have our likes and dislikes about the way other people speak, and everyone has something to say about ‘correct’ pronunciation. But how did all these accents come about, and why do people feel so strongly about them? Are regional accents dying out as English becomes a global language?

From reconstructing Shakespeare’s accent to the rise and fall of Received Pronunciation, actor Ben Crystal and his linguist father David travel the world in search of the stories of spoken English.

You Say Potato is a celebration of the myriad ways in which the English language is spoken – and how our accents, in so many ways, speak louder than words. Written in the form of a dialogue, where Ben narrates one chapter, followed by one narrated by David, this is a fun book containing many witty and fascinating facts.

Further details of You say potato can be found on the main catalogue, available in ‘Catalogues’ on the Library’s website.