Okay, so maybe that's not really so much of a problem. I mean how often do you really need to employ the sentence "I feel merry because I wish to marry Mary", and wouldn't the context be enough for your listeners anyway? Or maybe just you have no idea what gibberish I'm spouting now, and don't much give a hoot.
But bear with me. Remember Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City? Okay. Now, does anyone remember Doctor Kerry Weaver from ER? The gruff lesbian with the limp and the adopted baby? One Sunday evening, out of the blue, my Mum brought up the possibility that Kerry's name was actually Carrie. I was horrified. How could Americans, with their lazy pronounciation, not make this clear for us? What if I'd been thinking she was a Kerry all along, and she turned out to be a Carrie? I'd have to reorganize my whole viewing attitude.
(My mother was given to dropping epiphanies on me during the 9.30 to 10.30 slot on Sunday evenings. One day she remarked that Dr Doug Ross was really very good looking, wasn't he; and my life has never been the same since I realised that she was right - and that she'd noticed first. She rose in my estimation that evening. As did a certain Mr Clooney. (To be fair, this was when he still had the bad haircut.))
Since this was before the days of the IMDB, I had to kneel in front of the TV as the credits went up, trying to catch the character's name in the scrolling text. I'm not sure if I got it that week, but eventually I was lucky, and I was able to relax, safe in the knowledge that she really was a Kerry, not a Carrie. She didn't look like a Carrie.
A little later, it occurred to me to wonder if there was any possibility that Carrie Bradshaw was, in fact, Kerry Bradshaw. I decided not to go down that rabbit hole.
Now, if you're American (and I have to face it, most of you are), you may have found all of that totally intelligible. As far as you're concerned, probably, Kerry and Carrie are just two spellings of the same name. THEY'RE NOT. Sorry, but YOU'RE WRONG.
Kerry has a flat eh vowel sound. Carrie has a long aaa vowel sound. Totally different. But it's hard to tell that to people who say wadder for water.
And then, we come to Cary Grant.
I always had a problem with his name. As far as I was concerned, it was Cary, to rhyme with dairy. But my mother (my mother again... I'm beginning to see a trend) told me that she'd heard the Americans pronounced it Cary to rhyme with Larry. AS IF IT HAD A SECOND 'R'. IT DOES NOT HAVE A SECOND 'R'. SEE THAT? ONE 'R'.
One day, many years later, it turned out one of the parents in my daughter's class had the same name, leaving me with a massive dilemma any time I spoke to, or of, him. How should I say it? Should I rhyme with dairy or Larry? Would I mortally offend him if I picked the wrong one? As I voiced my dilemma to a friend, I saw her eyes glaze over slightly. "Well, how do you say Cary Grant?" I asked her. And then I realised. As far as she was concerned, it's all the same. She could barely discern the difference between the noises I was making when I said the two options. It was like a Chinese person telling me about the differences in intonation in Mandarin that make what would otherwise be homonyms into different words. "To be honest," she said, "he probably won't notice either way."
It's a great load off my mind. Even if it does mean my son has been known to speak of the great hero Hairy Potter, to my undying shame.