I was working at a craft show this weekend, the kind of show with a central checkout. Not only do these allow us vendors a break and save us from having to be on location the entire run of the show, they allow us to interact with far more customers than we would ordinarily see in an individual booth.
Anyway, I was working the register and a tall, elegant woman with gorgeous white hair, cut very stylishly, used a credit card. I always read the name on the card, and this one was rather unusual so rather than butcher it I asked her how to pronounce it. She looked a little peeved, but said, “Moh-rahg” – rolling the r in the most delicious way. Open a, like “bog”.
“That’s beautiful!” I exclaimed, for I truly thought so.
“It’s perfectly dreadful. A horrid name. My mother must have been drunk,” she replied.
I didn’t know how to respond, but neither did I know what it must have been like to grow up with a name like Morag. Admittedly, her pronunciation did wonders for the name, but even so it sounds faintly Renaissance. Or Greek mythology. On paper it lends itself to all kinds of awful rhymes and taunts.