Document 1699

Scots Tung Wittins 48

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 48
Januar 1998

Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydentlie uphaudin the Scots Leid Campaine

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

Scrievin in Scots tae London an the Estaiblishment. (Conteenit)
The wifie fae the Edinburgh Office for National Statistics (Susan Harkins) phoned the Secretar agane tae mak a tryst for speirin her quaistens an her Scots, on the phone, wis a wee bit impruivit fae the time afore.

On the day o the tryst, her Scots souch haudit up weel but her Scots leid keepit comin an gaun, parteeclar wi the speirin o the quaistens, tho aw the answeirs wis gien in Scots an she didna hae onie fash wi that at aw.

Efter the speirins wis ower, she mintit that whan the Secretar's letter kythed in the London office, awbodie went intae a richt steer an swither for thai thocht it wis Gaelic but it turns oot the high heid-ane wis Scottish an wis able tae pit thaim richt. The Survey Manager, Chris Ash, appearinlie is a richt bool in the mooth RP speiker, an wis gaun tae phone the Secretar but she wis feard she wadna unnerstaun him an chickened oot. She phoned the Edinburgh office insteid an sent on a copie o the letter. Susan Harkins, fae Edinburgh, didna hae onie fash wi the letter. Tho thare wis ane or twa wirds she wisna yaised wi, she still got the gist o it aw. She threapit the hail thing haed gart a muckle steer o intrest an tent that wadna hae kythed at aw haed the letter been scrievit in English. Afore she depairtit, she left a fortnicht's diary whaur onie siller spent haed tae be scrievit doon alang wi whit it wis spent on. The Secretar's diary includit a pair o troosers, twa serks, a bunnet an a pair o shuin alang wi aw the uswal messages for the hoose.

It wis anither maitter whan the Secretar haed tae sen a fax (in Scots) anent a local pillar-box, tae the Royal Mail office in Edinburgh.Athin twa oors, a wumman, wi a broad Geordie souch, wis on the phone girnin aboot no bein able tae unnerstaun it an speirin for an owersettin. She didna get an owersettin intae English ower the phone, but she did get an exposeetion in Scots. For exemplar, she didna ken whit a kist fou o road saut wis an she wis telt that it wis a muckle kist o saut yaised for pittin on the roads whan thai wis happit wi frost an ice. She owerset this hersel as a box of road grit.

The high heid-ane at the Royal Mail haes anither letter on the wey pintin oot the diffrent sets atween London an Edinburgh an speirin gin thir onie Scots at aw wirkin in the Edinburgh office.

A fax wis sent an aw tae the East Lothian Cooncil anent the same speak an efter some speirin ower the phone in Scots bi thaim, baith the Royal Mail an the Cooncil taen tent o the Secretar's proposeetion an the wark wis feenished tae awbodie's saitisfaction. The Cooncil's hinmaist letter is shawn ablow an the laist paragraph is wirth takin tent o :-

[NOTE: image here of a letter written by an assistant manager, Mr Keating, written on 09.01.1998]

For oniebodie that fins the wirds ower wee tae read, here a copie o whit it says:-

"A dae hop that this sorts oot the problem ye haed encoontird wi the saut kist. If ye hae ony ither bother wi it dinnae linger in gein me a caw."

Aw this shuirlie beirs oot the threap o Scots Tung that aw letters tae the government an estaiblishments in genral shuid aye be scrievit in Scots alane athoot onie inclusit English owersettins. Letters sic as thae anes haes nivver gart oniebodie yet tae awn thai didna ken nor unnerstaun thair ain mither tung. (Exceppin for the English Geordie wifie at the Royal Mail). The want o English gars fowk mak a maucht tae read an unnerstaun the scrievit Scots an, as the Cooncil letter shaws, gies thaim the inlat tae try thair ain haun at the scrievin o Scots. Is this no whit we shuid aw be ettlin tae gie a lift tae? Forby aw that, the mair letters, aw scrievit in Scots, that fins thair wey intae the files o the estaiblishment, the eithier it maun be for thae fowk wirkin thare tae accep that thare anither muckle yaised language oot thare forby English.

Glasgow Bible Fairlie Gauns its Dinger.
A Glasgow Bible bi Jamie Stuart, furthset bi St. Andrew's Press, Edinburgh, haes been a best seller syne it stertit sellin in the shops in Mey. Scrievit in Glesca urban Scots, it haes been sellin weel in the wast o the kintrae an forby that, the prenters canna keep up wi the demand for it furth o Scotland in airts sic as Australie, Canadae an Americae. Syne the furst furthsettin, it haes haed tae be prentit agane anither three times an ilka time a guid wheen o thaim haes been shippit oot tae Americae. Nae suiner are the buiks sent nor the wird aye comes back that thai'r selt oot agane an thai'r speirin for mair?

Ither Split-new Buiks
A new dictionar o the Orkney byleid haes been furthset in raicent days an wis gien a guid airin on the wireless bi Radio Scotland.It haes gane doon awfu weel wi the teachers an bairns in the Orkney scuils an a wheen o thaim wis giein thair consait o't ower the wireless. The byleid haes its ain hamelt souch an a pickle o hamelt wirds but, for aw that, it's weel unnerstuid bi ither Scots speikers. Tho some o its speikers, lik some o the Doric speikers o the nor-aist, micht be sweir tae awn that thair byleid is a byleid o Scots, thir nae doot at aw that Scots is the mither o aw the byleids fun in Scotland ootside o Gaeldom.

Davie Purves' Scots Grammar and Usage maun shuirlie be gaun weel an aw for, whan it wis speired for o Thin's at the Gyle, thai sayed that thai haed haen it in but it wis aw selt oot weel afore Yule. We unnerstaun the heidmaist brainch o Thin's on Edinburgh's Sooth Brig aye haes a wheen copies tae haun. The buik itsel is weel wirth the haein an brings the rules an haunts o Scots gremmar tae onie English speiker as ettles tae lairn aboot thaim. It's juist a muckle peetie it wisna scrievit in Scots but, wi the want o a Scots vairsion, Scots speikers an aw cuin aye mak yiss o't.

Scots Leid Resource Ha.
Wee bittocks o wittins blawin in the wund fae the Resource Ha tell o hoo thair Scots Data-base projeck is gaun fair weel an makin unco guid weygate. Ae exemplar o hoo it cuin be yaised tae gie a heize tae the weel-daein o the Scots leid is bi leetin aw kinna fowk sic as Scots scrievers an Scots speikers an that in ilka airt. Gin onie scuil or ither institution wis ettlin tae ken whit fowk wis in thair airt that cuid gie thaim a haun or advice on oniethin tae dae wi Scots, aw thai hae tae dae wad be tae mak ingate tae the Scots Data-base. Coorse the Data-base haes monie mair airts an monie mair yisses.

A new buik, Scots in Education , is set tae be furthset gey suin. Scrievit bi Liz Niven an Robin Jackson, we unnerstaun that Sam Galbraith, the Meenister for Scots, micht be daein the forescrieve for it. Bein aboot the Scots language (no the Scots fowk) in eddication, nae doot it'll be scrievit in English but, for aw that, its wirds shuid be o muckle intrest tae oniebodie tae dae wi eddication that howps tae see the weel-daein o the Scots leid an tae ithers an aw that hauds the weird o the language dear tae thair herts.

For oniebodie as disna ken an that micht hae a want for it, here the new E-mail backin for the Scots Language Resource Centre :-

[CENSORED: emailaddress]

Tellie Scots.
Looking After Jo Jo, the new crime drama bein braidcast on the TV bi the BBC thae days, haes a wheen o guid urban Scots in it.

Robert Carlyle, in parteeclar, comes oot wi some awfu guid modren Scots twa-haundit crack.

SNP Forespeiker for the Scots Language.
Wittins haes juist been haundit on tae Richard Heinsar, oor Convener, bi the SNP that thair Forespeiker for the Scots leid is nane ither nor Anne Lorne Gillies, that happens an aw tae be the Forespeiker for Gaelic. Gin oniebodie wis o a mind tae contack her, thai cuin gie her a caw ower the phone on :-

[CENSORED: phonenumber]

Her tendance o the plaint at Parliament Square on Seturday for a wee while maun hae been ane o her furst turns for the Scots leid.

Scots Leid Owerband Plaint, Parliament Sq. Edinburgh, Sat. 24t Jan.
Afore the abuin plaint taen place, we haed a guid dale o publeecitie an muckle intrest bi the media. The furst mint wis bi the Scotland on Sunday the week-en afore an on the Seturday mornin o the plaint, it wis mintit on the Radio Scotland news an forby that, Dauvit Horsbroch, the Owerband Preses, wis interviewed on the wireless. He telt whit it wis aw aboot an eikit the General Register Office (Scotland)'s threap that 30% o Scots (1.5m.) wis Scots speikers. Aboot twa hours efter that, a wifie fae Radio Scotland phoned Richard tae speir whaur aw thae 1.5m Scots speikers wis, for she haedna ivver met wi onie. Whan she wis speirt whaur she bid aboot, she reponed that it wis atween Glesca an Aiberdeen. Aiblins the nem o the place is ower Scots for her tae mind whit it is. We aye kent that Scots wis an inveesible leid tae the media but hoo, in the name o the wee man, cuin oniebodie wirkin wi Radio Scotland be that blin tae it? Aiblins its thon English Cocoon agane that thae fowk cairrie aboot wi thaim whan stravaigin aroon the kintra an we'r ower blate tae jag throu it bi speikin the mither tung tae thaim. We maun tak tent o the fack that thae fowk nivver na-say the existence o Scots leeteratur an canna hide fae Burns an ithers sae, gin thai nivver hear oniebodie speikin Scots, we canna faut oniebodie else but oorsels.

The Plaint wis tendit bi aboot fortie fowk fae a guid reenge o Scots leid upsteerers. Thare wis fowk fae the Scots Leid Owerband, Scots Tung, Glesca Scots Speikers Curn, Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Quorum, Scots Language Society an the Broadly Scots Group fae Bathgate alang wi monie ithers.

Aboot 12.00 nuin, a table wis set up in Parliament Square, happit wi a Saltire an the peteetion papers an that wis set oot an we set aboot fleetchin fowk tae subscrive tae it. Thare wis a guid shawin o weel thocht oot placket buirds an monie's the passin ee that wis grippit. A guid stert wis makit tae the ingaitherin o nems for the peteetion an fowk fae aw the airts wis comin forrit. The BBC Scotland TV an wireless fowk wis thare takin picters an recordin an interview wi Dauvit Horsbroch (SLO Preses) an Bill Wilson (SLO Heid Press Secretar). A reporter an photographer fae the Sunday Post wis thare an aw an haed us posin for a wheen o foties. Whan aw this wis gaun on, Dauvit an Bill cairried oot a token birnin o papers that maimbers haed been sendin tae the Scottish Office anent the Census an tae the BBC anent the want o Scots on thair programs. Efter aw this, Dauvit climmed on tae the steps o the moniment in the square an gied a cuttie speik tae awbodie.

He pintit oot that, tho the GRO wis threapin 30% o the fowk wis Scots speikers, baith the GRO an the Scottish Office wis feart tae hae a quaisten on Scots alang wi the anes on Gaelic an English for aw the fash thai thocht it wad gie thaim. "Hae aw the three leids on thegither" he sayed, "or nane at aw!"

Neist Forgaitherin
Mon. 2t. Februar 1998 7.30pm tae 9.00pm Sma Lounge Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

"For Scots tae win ower, we'r wantin tae mak a coont o speikers fae aw the airts. It's time the GRO an the Office o Scotland stoppt haiverin."

He cawed on the media tae dae somethin aboot thair negleck o the leid an pintit oot that the tung spoken bi hauf the fowk o Scotland wis juist aboot inveesible in braidcastin an in prent. He sayed that onie time the media daes think on Scots at aw, it's tae pit its speikers doon as daft or gar us flyte wi the Gaels for thon maks a rare funnie storie at the hinneren o the News."

(It's a weel kent ploy that gin ye set oot tae ding doon onie naitional cultur, ye maun furst ridicule its language.)

The BBC wis gien a richt scauld for takin the £91 stents we pey an steekin thair lugs tae the wants o Scots speikers. Dauvit sayed he haed tae scrieve tae BBC London an get thaim tae fleetch BBC Scotland tae gie an answeir tae his speirins anent Scots. He thocht it wisna ower muckle tae speir for, for Grampian, STV an Border tae dae a puckle surveys the noo anent Scots an tae stert aff wi makin Scots programs for oor bairns. (Eikin Scots on tae auld cartoons wadna cost the yird! Anither thocht – haes oniebodie thocht o speikin direck tae ITN an invokin thair cultural responsibeelities?)

His message tae the BBC an the lowse TV companies wis, "We winna gaun awa, we'r juist gettin stertit. We'll yaise ilka means athin the law tae gar thaim gie us somethin for the siller we pey oot."

Anent the scuils he sayed that, "The ilka day speik o hauf this natioun disna even hae a place inower the curriculum. The Kist is braw, sae faur as it gauns, but monie teachers in Scotland disna even ken whit the Kist is let alane yaise it. The Owerband disna think we shuid thole oor bairns comin fae the scuils illiterate in thair mither tung. We'r wantin the government tae caw thegither a bodie o fowk tae keek ower the staunin o Scots in the scuils, an tae big Scots a sickert neuk inower the curriculum insteid o haein it as a floatin flotsom. Ilka bairn shuid hae the option o takin Scots as a subjeck in its ain richt, gin thai'r seekin. For a lang time Scots wis aboot Burns an pomes, an aw the time the scuils an Inglified pouers that be telt us we spak orra English. Oniebodie that haes a guid keek throu the historie o Scots wull ken that thon's a lee. Scots wis the leid o state at ae time an haes a 700 year historie ahint it, an it belangs tae us, the fowk o Scotland. In oor time, Scots haes been doonhauden, but as lang's we oxter thegithier, we'll dae aw we cuin tae heize it back up."

Peteetion Sheets.
Awbodie is speirt tae get as monie fowk as thai cuin tae subscrive tae the enclosit Peteetion sheets an gie or sen thaim back tae the backin on the sheet. Gin ye need onie mair, caw [CENSORED: phonenumber] or [CENSORED: phonenumber]

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Scots Tung Wittins 48. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 24 July 2024, from

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Information about Document 1699

Scots Tung Wittins 48


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2614
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