scandal“Shouted or whispered, it was a powerful word. Intimidating. Terrifying, even. Marriages were ruined by scandals. Businesses, reputations, lives. A mere threat could be devastating. People went to great lengths to prevent them. Threaten someone with a scandal and you had power over him. Leverage. Control.”  This quote from The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly, a saga set in London and New York in the late 1880’s could just as easily be describing a modern tale. Scandal also happens to be the title of the television show my husband and I recently got hooked on (and watched every episode of), thanks to our daughter. She liked it for the drama, the setting (Washington DC), and the clothes. She talks about it here, in What I’m Watching: DC Intern Edition.  Scandal is an apple of a word that didn’t fall far from its tree in the garden. Etymology online tells us it comes from the Greek, skandalon, which means a trap or snare laid for an enemy. And that in the New Testament, it refers to a stumbling block, offense. It’s a delicious word, isn’t it? Though I imagine the taste would be quite bitter.

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