Exquisite and fun!
The Montagues and Capulets placed great store in their brand names, even to the point of stabbing one another, but the Capulet girl was a wistful voice: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Move from Verona across a few centuries to the United States, and the tension persists, especially among cranks whose affectation of being scandalized for personal gain outdoes the least righteous of the Pharisees. Ignorance of etymology fuels the fire of such people, and consequently there is the foolishness of banning the term “tar baby” from storybooks even though it has nothing to do with race. It is like an untutored man who is shocked to hear that his daughter has matriculated in public on her first day at college. There is the actual instance of the forced resignation of a mayoral aide in Washington, D.C., for using the word “niggardly” with reference to the city budget. A member of the city council, who objected that the term was racist, was weak in his grasp of Old Norse, origin of the root word nigla, which means “fussing pedantically over nonsense.”