What’s in a name?…
28 other unfortunate URLs at Bored Panda’s “30 Unintentionally Inappropriate Domain Names.”
As we retreat to invocation of the saints, we might recall that it was on this this date in 1598 that The Merchant of Venice was entered on the Stationer’s Register. The copyright regimen was strict in Elizabeth’s time, as is now. But back then, copyright was literally that, the right to make a (first) copy: the Queen, concerned with sedition and determined to keep a tight rein on any and all published material in her realm, had decreed that no work could be printed in England without a license from the Stationer.
Shakespeare– himself a nabob of naming– had written the play sometime between 1596 and 1598 (when a performance is mentioned by Francis Meres). It wasn’t actually printed until 1600– in the First Quarto– by which time (the title page suggests) it had been performed “divers times.”
Title page from the First Quarto (source)