Document 1705

Scots Tung Wittins 54

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 54
Juin 1998

Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydentlie uphaudin the Scots Leid Campaine
E-mail: [CENSORED: emailaddress] Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

"Whaur's yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?"
Thon's the title o Allan Morrison's new buik o Scottish historie ower the lest thoosan year unveiled bi Sam Galbraith lest month. He maun be weel awaur o the ee-grippin pooer o scrievit Scots tae hae yaised it in his title in sic a wey but he gies it aw awa an spiles the effeck in atween the batters bi scrievin aboot oor historie in English. Thare nae compare atween it an the likes o Glen Telfer's Scots Legend Series o historical biographies furthset bi Argyll Publishing an scrievit in Scots (See Jock Stein – A Scots Life faurer on). Ye canna scrieve aboot oor historie in English. The closest ye cuin get is Scottish historie. Thon's the diffrence atween Telfer an Morrison whaur Telfer cuin say oor historie, oor king or oor airmie while Morrison wad be leemitit tae scrievin Scottish history, the Scottish king or the Scottish army, the same wirds onie ither fremmit scriever wad hae tae yaise. It's aye mair pairsonal tae oorsels tae hear oor historie telt bi yin o oor ain an in oor ain wirds.

Forby aw this, Allan disna seem tae ken that Maggie Dickson (Hauf Hangit Meg) wis fae Musselburgh an no Edinburgh at aw, as he says in his buik. Whit's mair, he's wrang tae say she lived tae enjoy a richt auld age for she murthert anither o her bairns at hame-comin an wis hangit agane. She didna jouk the hangie the saicont time.

Dunblane Primary Scuil.
Efter the wittins anent TESCO an the bairns fae Dunblane Primary Scuil in Scots Tung Wittins nummer 53, yin o oor maimbers, a raicent retired primary scuil teacher, threapit that Elaine Wyllie an the bairns o her cless, Primary 5(3), micht weel be intrestit in readin a copie o STW, sae ae copie alang wi a letter wis sent on tae thaim. In juist aboot nae time at aw, Elaine wis on the phone tae say hoo she haed read baith the letter an the wittins tae the bairns an hoothai wur aw fair pleased an chuffed tae hear it. The scuil haes noo been pitten on oor distreebution leet tae get a copie o the Scots Tung Wittins ilka month an onie wittins thai hae, tae dae wi the mither tung, micht kythe in thae pages ilka noo an agane; wittins sic as "The Heid-maister o Dunblane Primary Scuil whiles pits oot a wee wittins-blat (news letter) scrievit in Scots." an "Thare a wheen o bairns fae furth o Scotland at the scuil, maistlie fae England an, tho thai micht no hae a ful grip o the accent, thai hae juist as muckle birr for the Scots language projecks in the scuil as thair Scottish feres haes."

Scots Tung WITTINS
on the wab.
The Scots Tung Wittins cuin be vizzied or doon-loadit an prentit (noo in HTML format) fae the wab-steid o:-

The Scots Speikers Curn, Glesca.

Wab-steid backin:-

Jock Stein A Scots Life.
Efter William Wallace an Robert the Bruce, Glen Telfer haes noo brocht oot anither buik in the Scots Legend Series, cried Jock Stein – A Scots Life an aw scrievit in Scots juist like oor historie haes a richt tae be. Like the ither airlier buiks in this series, this yin is scrievit in language that shuidna fash onie o the abeelities o younger an new readers o the Scots language tho we hae tae awn that the Scots in this yin is a wee thocht mair peelie-wallie nor the airlier yins an Glen haes a haunt o owersettin English intae Scots literally athoot takin onie tent o Scots gremmar an eediom. A guid exemplar cuin be fund in Robert the Bruce whaur he owersets way beyond intae wey ayont. Noo, way micht weel be a cuttie form o away in English, but thare nae wey ye cuin yaise wey as a cuttie form o awa in Scots. Shuirlie a better chice wad hae been awa ayont or e'en weel abuin? The singularitie o maist Scots plural verbs is anither pint he taks nae tent o but, for aw that, sellin at £6.99, it's shuir tae be a walcome eik tae onie scuil leebrarie or wicelike Scots clessroom.

TESCO in Ireland misses oot bi no yaisin the Blarney fae the stert.
No lang syne TESCO set up a cheen o muckle-mercats in the Irish Republic an for a while, it wis gey hard gaun, ettlin tae compete wi the hamelt Irish shops. Tae stert wi, aw the scrievit wirds in the new muckle-mercats wis in English an, tho English is weel yaised ower thare, the fowk cuidna tak tae onie shop that haed a hail want o onie Erse or e'en onie o the tradeetional Irish letterin (font). TESCO fair got its fingers burnt for a while or the baw-bee drapped an thai makit a maucht tae hae a guid dale o Irish language an font kythe in thair mercats. TESCO haes noo stertit tae big a new muckle-mercat in Musselburgh (the Honest Toun) an, follaein on fae the success o the bairns in Dunblane, Scots Tung haes scrievit tae the mercatin director o TESCO tae fleetch thaim tae mak yiss o the Mither Tung in the Honest Toun an aw.

The yiss o Scots in adverteesin.
We spake afore aboot hoo Ally McCoist wis like a fish oot o water ettlin tae get his mooth roond the English phrase, "The best signing I ever made!" in his raicent double-glazin ad. Weel he's got a new yin noo aboot the Warld Tassie whaur he shaws aw the actin skeels he's gaithert ower the years o divin in the box in sicht o the ref. Ally haes nae bother at aw comin oot wi a muckle convincin "Och Ma!!!" Whit a diffrence it maks whan ye get yersel a dacent wicelike script-scriever.

Fordyce Maxwell, in The Scotsman Diary, gies us wittins o a notice that kythed in Penicuik High Scuil at the time o the Standart an Higher Grade exams:-
"Exam – Wheesht!"
[NOTE: image of a slogan 'See fish? Seafish' in original]
The abuin adverteesin slogan wis thocht up bi the Scots Language Resource Ha that speired Scots Tung tae offer it tae the SFIA, the Sea Fish Industry Authority that mercats itsel unner the nem o "SEAFISH". We think this is a braw exemplar o Scots eediom in adverteesin an keep oor fingers crossed as we wait for a repone fae SEAFISH. Gin onie o oor readers cuin think o ither slogans for ither companies, juist sen thaim in tae STW an we'll see whit we cuin dae.

Neist Forgaitherin. Mon. 14t. Sept. 1998 7.30pm tae 9.00pm Comatee Rm. C. Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

Scots in the media.
Thare nae doot at aw that whan Jock Tamson's bairns yaised tae be interviewed on the wireless or tellie, the feck o thaim wad pit it on an try tae speik 'proper'. It's naethin like that thae days but, oor harns is that yaised tae lowpin atween ae leid an the tither, that ye hae tae keep yer lugs weel cockit tae be awaur o the guid Scots ye're hearin. Ye hae tae listen oot for the A insteid o I, the ye insteid o you, the tae or ti insteid o to an the cannae insteid o can’t an monie ithers. Ferry Tales, a documentary anent the island ferry-boat, Lord of the Isles, wis a guid exemplar. Amang the passengers an crew, ye heard English, Scots an Gaelic spoken but, gin ye cockit yer lugs, ye'd aiblins jalouse that Scots haed a wee lead, e'en amang Gaelic speikers that thocht thai wur speikin English. The feck o the crew wis Scots speikers an it wis plain as parritch wi the likes o the cook (C'mon! Gie's a brek!) an yin o the officiars (A'll hae tae juist gaun an get on wi it.).

The hinnermaist shawin o Scottish Women haed a dale o men in it an aw for, yin o the things thai wur speikin aboot wis, gin it wis the mither's faut that some men turned oot tae be mauchtless mammie's laddies. Andy Cameron wis helpin oot Kaye Adams wi the praisentin an his furst threap wis "The puir wee sowls." Thare wis a fair dale o Scots tae be heard in this program an aw gin ye kept yer lugs cockit.

We unnerstaun that Channel 4 is ettlin tae hae sax programs anent the Scots language for the scuils praisentit bi Billy Kay wi a guid inpit fae Liz Niven an, the bairns o Dunblane Primary Scuil, amang ithers, haes been daein thair bit afore the cameras o Channel 4 for this program areddies.

We hear tell an aw o the strang possibeelitie that STV micht hae a bairns' cartoon comin oot aw in Scots in the days tae come.

The Scots Magazine (Juin) haes its raigler dale o Scots language stertin wi John MacLeay scrievin anent stushies, stramashes an collieshangies in Speaking Scots. Forby thae Scots wirds, John's text is maistlie aw in Scots an aw. It's juist a peetie that a muckle fotie o Muriel Gray is gowpin intae the scrieve fae the opposeet blat – efter thon time she threapit hoo hearin the Scots language affeckit her erse. Thare a Scots pome cried The Feartie-cat bi Rowena M. Love an this is follaed bi Jenny Chaplin's cuttie storie, A Hermit Afloat. Jenny aye sterts aff in English wi the occasional Scots wird driftin intae her scrieve like the antrin white flecks o snaw at the stert o a snaw-shooer an, as she gets faurer intae her storie, the snaw gets heavier an heavier till it dawns on ye that whit ye'r readin is guid growthie Scots prose.

Council of Europe Charter for Regional Minority Languages.
The Government’s decision to sign the Council of Europe Charter for Regional Minority Languages with the intention to specify Gaelic language in Scotland under Part III, when the necessary procedural arrangements are in place, was announced today in answer to a Parliamentary Question. The Scots language will be covered by Part II of the Charter.

The abuin text is taen fae a Scottish Office News Release wi the heidin o EUROPEAN RECOGNITION FOR GAELIC an the follaein wales is taen fae its expoondin notes.

...In ratifying, the Member State must specify one or more languages for which it will undertake to apply at least 35 paragraphs. The Government meets these requirements in respect of the Welsh language in Wales. In Scotland, a provision needs to be made for the use of Gaelic in the courts before the Government can specify Gaelic in Scotland under Part III of the Charter. This provision will be made later this year for use of Gaelic in defined circumstances in civil proceedings in areas of Scotland where Gaelic speakers form a substantial proportion of the population. (Dis this mean that Stirling Sheriffs cuin still gie fowk the jyle for sayin "Ay." in the coorts?)

...The Charter calls for action to safeguard the languages, to facilitate the use of the languages in public life, and to promote mutual understanding between all linguistic groups in the Member States. The provisions of Part III are more exacting, and cover obligations in education, the judicial system, public services, the media, and economic and social life.

…..The position of the Scots language is different from that of Gaelic. By applying Part II of the Charter to Scots, the Government will be recognising the distinctive nature and cultural value of the language. Scottish studies are included at all stages in the school curriculum through to Higher Grade and Sixth Year Studies, and the Higher Still courses will provide further opportunities for the study of Scottish literature. Study can also be undertaken at university level.

Sae noo ye ken! It's a walcome muckle step forrit for the Gaelic an a wee'er step forrit for the Mither Tung but a step forrit nane the less. Thare thaim as says that the Gaelic haes mair want o hainin nor Scots for it's haed tae dree mair skaith an, wi juist aboot 65,000 speikers left, agin the Scots leid's 1.5m+, it's the yin that's mair liker tae dee oot furst. For aw that, thare nae compare atween the siller the Government gies oot tae the twa leids. For ilka Gaelic speiker, the Government gies oot £173 a heid an ilka Scots speiker gets 5p a heid at maist.Whit haes the Scots language duin tae hae tae dree sic a puir farin?

Wi mair nor 1,5m speikers, Scots disna want for as muckle a heid as the Gaels an some wad threap that £2 a heid wad be eneuch but it's oor consait that the richt soum shuid be nearer tae £4 a heid tae kythe aboot £6m wi the feck o the siller gaun tae language development an eddication raither nor the tellie companies.

For aw the siller the Scottish Office haes been dalin oot tae Gaelic ower the years, the Gaels thirsels, scrievin in the raigler Scotsman's Gaelic column, is noo awnin that the nummer o bairns takin the language as a scuil subjeck in the hie scuils haes been gaun doon fast, e'en in the likes o Stornowey an Uist, an the feck o thaim as dis tak it is lassies. Teenager lassies speik tae yin-anither in Gaelic then chynge ower intae English tae speik tae the laddies. English is cool for coortin.

Dinna think thare ocht in aw this for onie o us Scots speikers tae craw aboot for, whit fashes the Gaels the noo, micht weel be fashin oorsels no that monie mair year alang the gait athoot we mak a muckle maucht noo tae mak sicker it disna. The pliskie that Gaelic's in pruives that onie's amount o siller bi itsel isna gaun tae hain the leid. It's nae yiss waitin on thoosans an thoosans o bairns comin oot the scuil, in the days tae come, an aw speikin fluent Scots as thair furst chice o languages. Scots wull onlie be thair furst chice o language gin Scots is the furst chice in the hoose. Bairns wull onlie stert yaisin Scots gin we learn thaim tae yaise it bi oor ain exemplar an that disna juist mean in the hoose but in the media an societie in genral an aw. It faws tae us aw tae shaw thaim the wey. Dinna hing back an juist leave up tae the scuils. The weird o the Mither Tung lippens on you an me; aw you mithers an faithers, grannies an granfaithers, aunties an uncles, freens an relations. We maun aw pit a stoot hert tae a stey brae. Ding doon oor ain Scots Creenge an aiblins the bairns micht growe up wantin for yin o thair ain. Thon wad be a richt guid stert.

Fitba an the Warld Tassie
hae tae awn, an A'm no prood o it, that onie time A wis watchin England playin, A wis aye rootin for the ither side. E'en watchin ither fremmit teams playin, gin it wis English commentators, A aye rootit for the opposite side tae thaim. Ae nicht, A wis watchin England an A got fair scunnert hearin the commentators sae A turnt the soond aff. Help ma boab, did A no find thair fitba a pleesure tae watch an A stertit rootin for England. It wisna the team nor the kintra A cuidna thole efter aw, it wis the arrogant language o the commentators. Onie time A turnt the soond back on, A wis back tae willin the ither side tae score.

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Information about Document 1705

Scots Tung Wittins 54


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2686
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 1998
Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series Scots Tung Wittins

Text type

Prose: nonfiction
Other mixed text type


Author details

Author id 95
Forenames Robert
Surname Fairnie
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1930
Educational attainment College
Age left school 16
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Consultant Marine Structural Engineer (Retired)
Place of birth Musselburgh
Region of birth Midlothian
Birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Musselburgh
Region of residence Midlothian
Residence CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Fisherman
Father's place of birth Musselburgh
Father's region of birth Midlothian
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Fishwife
Mother's place of birth Musselburgh
Mother's region of birth Midlothian
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At work
German Yes Yes Yes Yes In Germany to communicate with two grandsons
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Wherever Scots is understood