When you are French and your name is Bernard you will be used to hearing Bearrrnaarr' as the pronunciation; When you marry an English woman and cross the Channel to meet your in laws you will be called Ber-nerd; Upon arrival in the U.S. your identity changes again, to B'r- naard; all of which you can get used to. The difficulty arises when said Frenchman wants to pronounce his own name in a way that whichever foreigner he may be dealing with (and yes, to the French, all others will always be foreigners) can understand.
Waiting for a table at a restaurant he goes to put his name down with the Host or Hostess.
- My name is Bearrrnaarr'- "What?"
Attempt number two - I am Ber-nerd- "Sorry?"
Last try - I can't even attempt to write how a Frenchman tries to pronounce the American version of his name. He just can't do it. Much rrr-rolling and digestive noises, but nothing recognizable!
But he is wily and tenacious and, above all, wants his lunch.
"My name is Bob", he says, triumphant to have overcome the obstacle.
So we linger, we wait, we sit or stand patiently. We have no idea how hard our gentleman has worked in order to get us on the list. The Host or Hostess occasionally call other diners, but we don't hear ourselves invited to take our place.
A few times someone is heard calling "Bob, Bob, Bob?", in vain. We know no Bob. We wish we did, he seems well liked here, they keep calling his name.