For those of us down south, the ins and outs of Scottish politics can often prove impenetrably confusing. Nevertheless, the intricacies of Scotland’s biggest political scandal since devolution found itself plastered over English front pages earlier this year. It was the second most shocking thing to come out of Scotland this year, and rather more important than the dull 0-0 draw at Wembley. The details of the fallout between Scotland’s Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon are vital to the prospects of Scottish independence. But the scandal deserves to be remembered not only for its impact on nationalism but for its representation of a systematic failure on the part of Scotland’s leaders and institutions to properly deal with sexual harassment claims against a powerful man.
This week’s wordwatch looks at the use of “commonplace” and how it has evolved from denoting something exceptional to mean something trivial.