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Sure ay and ah are reasonable ways to express /ei/ and /a:/ informally. Splitting into syllables helps signal that these are phonetic spellings. But note that while there is a difference in British and American pronunciation of Tomato (Brits say to-mah-to, Yanks say to-may-to) The same is not true of "potato". Brits and Yanks both say "Po-...

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