Nation and state: we have grown used to treating these terms interchangeably. The British nation, the American nation, the Spanish nation and so on, are, of course, states, and that is largely what we mean when we say ‘nation’. Those, however, who live in ‘stateless nations’ such as Scotland, Catalunya and Quebec, find the equating of state and nation problematic and exasperating, but it is one which is so widely used that they too have grown accustomed to it, although they are careful of and sensitive to the distinction. In contemporary Scotland, for example, the epithet ‘national’ is now ambiguous and has come to be prefixed by ‘Scottish-’ or ‘British-’ as appropriate. To some this sounds pedantic: ‘it’s only words’, they say, but the women’s movement has taught us that ‘only’ does not mean trivial, but basic. The use of male pronouns or adjectives to refer to all human beings is now widely avoided. ‘Mere words’ carry a basic template for seeing the world and ordering it according to a hierarchy of power.