Document 1707

Scots Tung Wittins 56

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 56
Aug. 1998

Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydentlie uphaudin the Scots Leid Campaine

E-mail: [CENSORED: emailaddress] Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Report Version 4. o theScots Spellin Comatee.
Tho we aye hae a muckle lang gate ti traivel on the wey ti winnin a standart orthography for the Scots language, the abuin spellin comatee haes been dargin awa for aboot twa year nou, uisin the words in the Scots School Dictionary as a foond, an is stertin ti mak some heid-wey. The maist raicent report is the abuin Version 4, a gey an wycelik screive that cairies a guid short leet o the maist frequently uised words. This leet is foondit on Fry's Instant Words, a scientifically walit leet, uised in the primary schuils ti learn the bairns the maist important words in English. Thay threap that the words in the leet micht mak up for aboot 65% o the words in aa screivit texts sae, gin aabodie wis ti uise it, we cuid hae 65% uniformity in the spellin o Scots, a bonnie wey alang the gate ti a standart orthography for the leid. Frae the time that the Concise English-Scots Dictionary wis first furthset aboot five year syne, Scots Tung haes foondit maist o its spellins on, first thon dictionar an than the Scots School Dictionary efter it cam oot. The'r a puckle chynges in the new leet frae the anes that Scots Tung chysed ti uise, oot o thae dictionars, an a hantle o thaim isna aa that easy ti pit ower yer thrapple. 'Frae' daesna sit aa that weel in oor S.E. Central byleid whaur the raigler soond is 'fi' an feels mair sib ti 'fae'. Ti us, 'fra' haes a wee bit o the 'tartan shortbreid ti' aboot it. 'Ti' can hae its kinches an aa for, whaur we uised ti cuid screive,'Pou the door tae!', nou we hae ti git uised wi, 'Pou the door ti!'. It's juist no the same. 'Aa' is a wee bit fremmit ti the ee efter gittin uised wi 'aw' an, whan Oor Wullie haes spent the best pairt o this century playin 'fitba' (efter gittin shot o the apostrophe) will his tackety-buits be juist as skeelie whan he finnds hissel playin 'fitbaa' insteid? Nae dout we cuid gae on an on till the kye comes hame an, gin aabodie else daes the same, the mither tung micht aye be wantin for a standart orthography this time neist century. We'r shuir nane o the ither Scots leid upsteerers wad ettle ti see that.

The hainin o the language is sae weel cleikit ti the estaiblishment o an orthography that only a parcel o rogues wad daur pit thair ain chyce o spellins afore the estaiblishment o sic an orthography.

It's juist wi this in mind, an this alane, that Scots Tung haes taen it on itsel ti accep the Short Leet frae Version 4. The spellins frae this short leet haes been keyed intil oor word-sorter's pairsonal Scots dictionar areddies an we'll mak a maucht nou ti stick by it as weel's we can frae this issue o the STW on.

We henner aa the ither Scots leid upsteerers, curns, groups, associes, academics an aabodie else ti dae the same, for the sake o the mither tung.

Scots Tung WITTINS on the wab.
The Scots Tung Wittins can be vizzied or doun-loadit an prentit (nou in HTML format forbye) frae the wab-steid o:-
The Scots Speikers Curn, Glesca.
Wab-steid backin:-

Siller for Scots an Ulster Scots or the want o it?
The'r onie's amount o scowthe for horse treddin in Ulster thae days an language upsteerers thare, baith for Erse an Ulster Scots, isna hingin back. Juist lik here, it's the Gaelic that taks the feck o government siller but the Ulster Scots upsteerers isna slaw at gaun forrit. Thay'v speirt the NI Office for an Ulster Scots Resource Centre wi a permanent staff o fower fowk an £2m o siller in thair pootches for the leid. Wi oor ain Scottish Office peyin oot nae mair nor £78,000 a year on the hail o the mither tung (5p a heid for ilka Scots speaker) an turnin a blin ee ti oor ain Scots Leid Resource Haa, that's in sic sair want o siller the nou that it's gowpin for braith, aabodie is shuir ti be leukin ti see gin the NI Secretar's pootches is gaun ti be deeper nor the pootches o the Scottish Secretar. This is a kinch that's no gaun ti gae awa for aither o thae Secretars an, in Scotland in parteeclar, suiner or later the baw-bee's gaun ti drap that Scots speakers is voters an aa. Whaur speakin's concairned, the'r mair o thaim nor onie ither linguistic group in Scotland. Juist cock yer lugs ti onie o Jock Tamson's bairns on the tellie for the pruif.

Scots in the media an in adverteesin.
Tennent's Lager haes a new advert oot the nou, on the tellie, anent a puir Scot that gets reincarnatit as a Jenny-langlegs an gauns for a douk in a can o lager (weel, mair o a souk nor a douk). "Ay! No sae bad then!", he says whan he comes oot. "Ay! No bad at aa!", says us.

A cartoon bi Ian White in the Scotsman, tho no screivit in Scots, maks guid uiss o the Scots eidiom whan a „Middle Scot' is seen walcomin the P.M. ower the door inti his hoose an sayin, "Come away in, you'll have had your Chablis?"

Ae Wadensday nicht screenin o Top Club (team quiz shaw) seen ane o the contestants, a boolin club maimber, giein the richt answer ti a quaisten wi, "Mickey Moose!"

Alan Cochrane haed a screive in the Scotsman cried, "Whitaboot giving Blair a break?" He uises the ee-grippin pooer o screivit Scots ti pit quotes inti voters' mooths, quotes sic as, "Aye but whitaboot a Scottish parliament?" an "Aye but whitaboot the schools?" an sic-lik ithers he cries - The Whitaboot Factor. It's plain as parritch that he sees the feck o Scottish voters as Scots speakers, itherwise he wad hae screivit anent The Whatabout Factor. Tho he haes aa thae quotes in his screive, he keeps the narrative bit in English. Nae doot he thinks this is for the convenience o the Scotsman readers an that thay canna be expeckit ti thole a hail airticle screivit in ee grippin Scots. Nou, daes this mean that Alan Cochrane is o the consait that Scotsman readers daesna vote or is it juist that he thinks thay'r in a different cless frae the common ilkaday Scottish voter?

Pinkies, staves an skelfs is John Macleay's chyce o words in the Speaking Scots page o this month's Scots Magazine. Forbye thae words, he gies a wee mint an aa ti the nirls, the blabs, the scaw, kinkhost, branks an the worm, aa ailments ye wad gae ti the doctor wi. Owerset inti English, thay read as measles, nettle rash, the itch, whooping cough, mumps an toothache (In the bygane, fowk uised ti believe that tuith-ache wis

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

Scots in the media (Conteenit)

caused bi a worm). The prose he uises ti expone the meanins an uisses o thae words is aye a guid growthie Scots.
"Pree my mou ye canty callant!" is a screive bi Joan Biggar anent Jean, the famous Duchess o Gordon, that uised her kisses ti heize a regiment o Gordon Heilanders. Tho screivit in English, a leid scant uised bi the Duchess for she wis weel kent for her uiss an command o Scots, aa her monie quotes, includin the title, is in her hamelt tung. The'r twa scrapes o verse an aa, some say wis screivit bi Robert Burns.

Jenny Chaplin's "Swanky Fur Coats....And Nae Takers!" is weel up ti her raigler standart. Screivit in her hamelt Scots, her language haes the pouer ti pit the reader at thair easement athoot onie fash or bother.

Radio Scotland 'Oot o Doors'
Ane o the bettermaist exemplars o Scots language braidcastin wis ti be heard atween seeven an aicht in the mornin o Seturday 8t o August. For ordinar, the abuin program is cried Out of Doors an praisentit bi Freda Morrison but aiblins she micht hae been on holiday for, this parteeclar mornin, it wis praisentit bi Dave Grey, speakin frae Kirkwall in Orkney. He signed aff ane o his reports wi, "This is Dave Grey, Oot o Doors, Orkney!" The saicont hauf o the program wis aa aboot the veesitin cruise ship QE2, an Aist German ship that sunk nearhaun a guid wheen year syne, a stane age yirdin chaumer an a bronze age yirdin kist that wis baith bein onkivvert bi archaeologists. The quality an breidth o his guid Orkney Scots didna chynge at aa, nae maitter gin he wis speakin ti a native Orkney Scots speaker, an'eddicatit' Scottish English Speaker or e'en the Standart English o the Captain o the QE2, wi his ain braid Yorkshire tune. For aa that his language wis hard up agin the Scots end o the continuum (the ae exceppins wis his rite, lite an nite wi the glottal stap insteid o the mair classic richt, licht an nicht) nane o the English speakers seemed ti hae onie fash or bother unnerstaunin him. His Orkney Scots wis nae bother ti us frae the Lothians aither, e'en whan he tellt a lassie that the Orkney words, unkin bodie, meant a bodie that didna fit in wi the place (his face didna fit) juist the same wey that we wad uise, unco bodie. The sinkin o the Aist German ship wis weel tellt bi ane o the local Orcadians:-

"Whan the ship hit the skerrie, the rocks ripped the braidside oot o her an the engine room wis floodit. The men thare wis in richt danger afore thay cuid mak thair wey oot."

"The howld wis fou o sugar frae Cuba but, efter a while, it wis aa meltit awa bi the sea an divers haes reportit seein a shiny steel cylinder wi radiation warnin symbols on it fixed ti the bottom o the howld."

Auld Farrant Apostrophe
Naethin haes duin mair ower the years, nor the auld farrant apostrophe, ti uphaud the norrie that Scots wis nae mair nor a byleid o English, or e'en juist ill moothit English, insteid o whit we aa ken ti be richt, that Scots is a language in its ain richt wi its ain faimlie o Scots byleids. Tho Scots language upsteerers haes redd oot aa thae 'unco bodies' frae thir ain screivins lang syne, ye aye come ower thaim nou an agane, maistlie in the press. Papers like the Sunday Post haesna gotten roond yet ti cuistin thaim oot. An awfu guid exemplar o whit wey an apostrophe shuidna be pit inti a Scots word ti represent a „missin' English letter, is ta'en (acceppit modren spellin = taen). Fowk that uise thae apostrophes threap that the richt word is taken but thae sweir Scots speakers leave the 'k' oot an sae an apostrophe haes tae be pit in its place. In 1375, John Barbour, in his muckle pome, The Brus, uises this word but spells it „tane'. Gin thare wis nae 'k' soond in the word in 1375, it micht weel be wyce ti assume that thare wis nae 'k' soond in it for aboot 50 or 100 year afore that an aa. Sae, here we hae a word that haes been moothit 'tane' for gey near seeven hunner year athoot onie hint o a 'k' soond sae, wha's gaun ti hae the neck ti say that John Barbour didna ken whit he wis screivin aboot an keep on uisin apostrophes? Apairt frae the Sunday Post a coorse.

Scots Medium Lairnin?
Ilka Wadensday the Scotsman haes its raigler muckle swatch o Gaelic an ilka week, the'r a wee bit in English cried Coltas Ceart. As faur as we ken this means Leuks Richt but, no bein awfu guid at the Gaelic, we micht be wrang (cearr). Oniegate, the ettles o Coltas Ceart is ti learn fowk the meanin, spellin an moothin o Gaelic words an, this parteeclar day, it stertit aff wi each, the Gaelic for cuddie an moothit (ech). Ti gie the word mair wecht, thare wis a photie o the Lone Ranger wi his cuddie, Silver, an a caption ablo that read "Learning Gaelic? Neigh bother." The Scots language inpit ti the forderin o lairnin Gaelic is plain here for aa ti see. Is this the stert o whit ye micht cry Scots medium Gaelic lairnin?

Tuim Pootches at Scots Leid Resource Haa.
The wabsteid o the SLRC haes gien oot wittins anent a scant o siller in thair kist follaein efter ane or twa raicent stammygasters. Efter the Scottish Office steikit its pootches an mair or less sayed that the Scots language in general an the SLRC in parteeclar haes been peyed eneuch siller ti lest a guid while langer, the Scottish Arts Cooncil haes juist turnt doun a speir for a puckle siller frae the "New Directions" Lottery funds. The SLRC wis fair taen aback wi this for the fund haes areddies peyed oot capital fundin ti coff aa the graith for its Scots Database Projeck an thocht it wad be a skoosh ti git a puckle siller ti pey for in-pittin the data but, appearinlie the SAC daesna uise the same kinna logic, gin it uises onie at aa. The ootcome o aa this is that the Resource Haa is haein ti dae athoot ful-time staff or sic time as thay can big up a growthier siller-flow. Thon staff, in the shape o Director Stuart McHardy an Development Officer Gordon Beange, haes ti dree the thocht o signin on the Buroo an seekin ither weys o winnin the bairnie's meal. We wish nocht but weel ti twa sic kenspeckle fechters for the Mither Tung an baith o thaim will be weel thocht o an sair missed.

The Scottish Fund For The Disabled.

[NOTE: A wheelchair sign here in original]

A a the darg for the neist issue o the magazine for The Scottish Fund For The Disabled haes been mair or less feenisht an it wis weel on its wey ti wun itsel a muckle neuk in history wi bein the first publication (as faur as we ken) ti fend a horoscope screivit in Scots. The feck o the Scots language inpit, includin the horoscope, wis aither fendit, owerset or editit bi Scots Tung. But Rabbie wis richt whan he sayed,

"The best-laid schemes o Mice an Men
Gang aft agley."

for, wha wad hae thocht that juist afore aathin wis ready ti send ti the prenters, Larch Fraser, the lassie that haundles the word-sortin an desk-tap furthsettin, wis gaun ti tak a heider aff her cuddie an end up in plaister? Furthsettin o the magazine leuks lik endin up twa three weeks ahint but, nae doot, weel wordie o the waitin on in the hinneren.

Whaur-iver rests this Holy Stane.......?
It maks ye wunner whit wey the Scottish Office, efter aa thae words frae Sam Galbraith an ithers uphaudin the Scots leid, shuid aa on a suddentie turn roond an caw the feet frae Scots whaur siller's concairned. Cuid it be that, juist lik the Calton Hill, it nou sees Scots as some kinna SNP shibboleth an, hou lang nou afore it sends the Stane o Destiny back - juist in case?

Makars' Neuk
A! Fredome is a noble thing
Fredome mays man to haiff liking.
(John Barbour c. 1375)

Ah! Freedom is a noble thing
Freedom lats a man hae pleisure.
(Modren Scots owersettin)

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Information about Document 1707

Scots Tung Wittins 56


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2683
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