Document 1702

Scots Tung Wittins 51

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 51
Mairch 1998

Scots Tung WITTINS

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

Nae Want o siller for the Gaelic.
For a guid wee while noo, the Scottish Office haes been giein a guid baw-bee or twa tae the Gaelic leid. It stertit wi mullions o punds for Gaelic braidcastin, than siller for Gaelic nursery scuils follaed wi Gaelic medium lairnin. Forby aw that Gaelic wis pit forrit as a subjeck for lairnin in its ain richt in monie scuils an nicht-scuils. Mair raicent, Brian Wilson haes proponed the Scottish Office pittin up anither £10,000 tae gie a lift tae Gaelic singers an musicians an pit a haun tae thair abeelitie tae bring thair Gaelic cultural music an sang intae mair an mair pubs an clubs aw ower Scotland. Het kail noo fae the Scottish Office is that Brian Wilson is giein a guid thocht tae pittin forrit mair siller tae pey for a feasabeelitie study anent the ploy tae estaiblish a Gaelic Education Centre on the Isle of Islay. This centre, we unnerstaun, wad form pairt o the proponed new Univairsitie o the Hielans an Islands. The hettest kail yet tho is that forby haein Gaelic medium lairnin units athin normal primary scuils, the Meenister for Gaelic is proponin tae set up dedicatit Gaelic medium primary scuils in aw Scotland's cities an thare e'en talk an aw anent Gaelic medium lairnin units in saicondary scuils in the oncome.

Noo, we'r shuir we speik for aw the Scots leid upsteerers whan we threap we dinna grudge oor Celtic brithers ae baw-bee o this siller an we howp thai get a guid muckle mair in the oncome but, we wadna be aefauld gin we didna awn tae bein a wee bit chawed ower the Scots leid no getting the same lift fae the same Scottish Office. Whaur did the mither tung miss oot?

Gin the siller wis daled oot tae the twa leids in the same proportion tae the General Register Office (Scotland)'s threapin o hoo monie fowk speik ilka language the day, Scots wad hae tae get peyed aboot twintie-three times the siller gien tae Gaelic. Syne this wad gie Scots a soum no wantin muckle for a quarter-billion pund, thare no muckle chance o us getting thon but, wha wadna sattle for Scots bein eeksie-peeksie wi Gaelic – tae stert wi oniewey?

Scots Tung campaines, in the bygane, tae fleetch the fower TV braidcasters (BBC, STV, Grampian an Border) tae hae some Scots language programs haes aye kythed a wheen excaises an in parteeclar, the fack that the Goverment siller helps tae pey for the Gaelic programs thai braidcast an Scots disna hae sic a lift. Cuid we no fleetch the Scottish Office an Sam Galbraith tae pey for or subsidise the BBC an the ither TV companies tae braidcast a jint news, sports news an wather program in Scots ilka day? Wad that no gie the Scots language a muckle stert alang the gate tae respectabeelitie an set the leid's snawba rowin doon the brae? We dinna threap that Scots Tung shuid dae this fleetchin on its lane but that we shuid hae a jint maucht alang wi aw the ither Scots leid upsteerer associes an curns. Aiblins we shuid be haein a thocht noo on hoo tae big up a mair formal infrastructure amang us aw juist in case some siller dis come oor wey insteid o gaun strecht tae the braidcasters. We wad hae a want for some kinna setup that cuid haunle an dale oot siller or wad oniebodie lippen the likes o the SAC tae dae sic a thing tae oor likin???

We onlie gae by this wey the yince sae, gin ye dinna mak yer merk the day, the warld micht nivver hear tell o ye.

The Scots Speikers Curn Glesca - Wab-steid.

Faurer tae the wittins gien lest week anent the Scots Speikers Curn's new wab-steid, we'v haed an inveet fae thaim tae E-mail a copie o Scots Tung Wittins ilka month tae David Gray, thair wab-maister. Thai'v gien us a bode tae hae oor ST Wittins eikit tae the wab-steid sae that oniebodie cuin doonload an prent it oot thirsels. We'r richt behauden tae oor Glesca feres for this guid-willie bode an a copie o Scots Tung Wittins Nummer 50 haes been E-mailed areddies an is noo eikit tae thair wab-steid.

Independence for Book Trust Scotland.
Come Huntie-gowk this year, Book Trust Scotland, that haes been thirlt tae the Book Trust in London as juist a brainch office in Scotland syne 1956, growes up an pits on the claes o full independence athin Scotland. Wi £200,000 o siller fae the Scottish Airts Cooncil, an suin tae be its ain maister, the Book Trust Scotland haes a guid gaun naitional identitie an ettles tae forder the pleesures o a guid buik an readin in genral ower the hail o Scotland. It ettles an aw tae big up the ingate tae buiks athin aw the airts o Scottish society. Bi wey o the press witterins, it furthsets leeterarie guidals, witterins haun-bills, poetrie postcairds an posters in English, Gaelic an Scots an tyauves awa in the backgrund o the Scottish airts warld athoot onie carfuffle.

Neist Forgaitherin Mon. 27t Aprile 1998 7.30pm tae 9.00pm Comatee Rm. C. Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

[NOTE: image here of an advertisement 'Furthsettin o new buik anent the Scots' The Scots Language: Its Place in Education in original]

Language in Eddication.
The abuin new buik is set tae hae its formal lench at 5.30pm Friday 20t. Mairch at the Hunterian Museum, Univairsitie o Glesca bi thon Univairstie's Professor Graham Caie.
Furthsettin o the buik comes at yin o the maist kenspeckle times in oor Scottish historie that taks in the re-foondin o oor ain Scottish Pairliament. Yin o the bindin threids that rins throu this buik is hoo the Scots language is a necessar keystane that hauds oor naitional heritage an cultur thegither an hoo it shuid be biggit up stieve an growthie an traisured bi aw.

In his forescrieve tae the buik, Sam Galbraith, MP, Meenister for the Airts an Cultural Heritage at the Scottish Office, says, "This buik wull fend a weel-gaithert funtain o graith for flytin an chawin the fat ower anent the staunin o Scots athin an ayont the curriculum in the years tae come." (Owerset intae Scots bi STW.)

Professor Caie says, "….this braw ingaitherin o essays is gey walcome, no juist in the warld o eddication, but in the hail o the kintra an aw." (Owerset bi STW.) Yin o the contreebutors, John Hodgart fae Garnock Academy, pints oot in his essay, "…..we need tae mak siccar that aw weans leave the schuil literate in their ain native tungs as weill as oor ain distinctive form o standard English."

Oot o nineteen contreebutors, aichteen is fae Scotland an yin is fae furth o Scotland:- Koen Zondag, Research Officer, Frisian Centre for Bilingual Education, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

Yin o oor newer maimbers in Scots Tung haes wirked a nummer o years wi the Frisian leid in the Frisian Islands an we thocht thae wittins wad be o nae sma intrest tae her.
Gin oniebodie's wantin for mair wittins anent the abuin buik, ye micht try ringin:-
[CENSORED: phonenumber] or [CENSORED: phonenumber].

Electronic Pen feres.
We unnerstaun a new ploy is bein set up on the Internet for scuils bi Matthew Fitt complouterin wi the Scots Language Resource Centre at Perth. Tae be kent as Net Neibours, this is a wey for the bairns o yin scuil tae scrieve e-mail letters, aw in Scots, tae the bairns o anither on a yin tae yin foond. It's proponed tae set it up for aw the Scottish scuils tae stert wi an then aiblins tae gaun furth o Scotland (internaitional)

An unalike wey o thinkin
Yin o oor maimbers haed a raicent want tae contack wi yin o thae saftware helplines efter haein bother wi a wird-sorter program. Wi the vice on the ither end o the phone bein gey English, it wis necessar tae chynge ower tae a Scottish Standard English. Efter bein speirt gin the licht at the floppy disk drive wis oot, he reponed, "There's three lights around the floppy drive. Two are on and one is off." Efter a pause, the English vice speirt, "I don't understand. Have the lights moved? How could one of them come off?"
"Sorry, I'll start again." quo the maimber,
"Two of the lights are in and one of them is out" Tho the twa sets o prepositions haed the same meanin tae him, yin o thaim wis giein the English vice naethin but fash. Funny fowk – an aw at 50p a meenit tae.

Kinna like the twa English bairns veesitin wi thair Scottish grannie. Efter the grannie haed feenished giein thaim an innin tae the faimlie dug, she speirt, "Are ye no gaun tae gie the dug a wee clap then?" The twa bairns gied yin-anither a bumbazed leuk then thai baith stertit tae clap thair hauns.

Anither exemplar came aboot in the days whan thare yaised tae be a guid gaun herrin fishin roond the coasts o oor kintra. A hauflin went aff wi his grandfaither in the ring-netter "Felicity" (LH142), on a week's fishin for herrin oot o Seahooses. Ae forenuin whan the yole wis in the herbour liverin the catch fae the nicht afore, he wis sent ashore tae the shops for the messages. Amang ither things, he wis telt tae get fower hauf-loafs an whan he speirt the baker, did he no juist tak haud o twa hauf-loafs an cut ilka yin in twa wi a muckle knife. Ivver syne thon day, that laddie his aye wunnert whit wey a hauf-loaf is cried a hauf-loaf whan it leuks juist like a hail yin. He cuid aye unnerstaun whit wey a cuttin-hauf wis cried "cuttin" for day-auld breid wis aye easier tae cut but whit wey wis it cried a "hauf"? Aiblins the SNDA micht hae the answeir.

The kinna advert tae pit fowk aff awthigither.
Ally McCoist is aye richt joco on the tellie, parteeclar on thon sports quiz program, A Question of Sport, whaur he aye comes ower knackie, relaxed an naitral. Ye canna no tak tae him or listen tae whit he says. But whit aboot thon Living Design windae advert whaur Ally says, "The best signing I ever made!"? Hiv ye ivver heard oniebodie warslin like that tae get oot wirds his mooth wisna yaised wi? He comes ower like somebodie that kens whit he's sayin isna true an he's haein a bother getting his tung oot o his chowk. We canna see oniebodie bein taen in wi thon threap whan Ally hissel disna leuk as if he believes whit he's sayin. But thare wis nae need for it tae be that wey at aw. Aw that wis wantin wis tae alloo him tae say, "The best signin A ivver made!" Ally cuid hae haunelt that nae bother an pit the pint ower wi a bit mair owerance. Adverteesers shuid tak tent but, whit cuin ye expeck fae fowk that thinks an American souch's the best for sellin oniethin fae cosmetics tae double-glazin? Wha, forby adverteesin fowk, wad lippen an American vice mair nor a Scottish yin?

The Complaynt of Scotland.
On Friday 20t. o this month, BBC 2 pit on a televised adaptation o the abuin poleetical afftak scrievit in 1550 bi the upsteerin Scots priest, Robert Wedderburn. As the scriever sets oot at the stert, he scrievit it in the tung o the common fowk o Scotland raither nor onie fantoosh, lang-syllabled English sae that he cuid tell o hoo the land o Scotland (personified bi Sarah o Take the High Road) an its honest common fowk wis sae sair duin tae bi the English invasions ower the times o the Ruch Wooin. But it wisna juist the English that herriet the land an the fowk in thae days an the guid priest pints tae hoo the
land an the fowk didna get the bield an the uphaud thai haed the richt tae expeck fae thair ain nobles an clergy. Faur ower monie o thaim wur sindert atween thair lealtie tae thair kintra an its fowk an thair lealtie tae thair ain pootches whan English gowd wis thare for the askin. It wisna the furst time oor kintra haed dreed sair times for the want o a common lealtie amang oor rulin clesses an clergy, an it wadna be the lest time aither. Thon parcel o rogues haes been wi us for monie a year. The shaw taen the furm o a nummer o soliloquies bi twa-three fowk in language that wis a guid respectable Scots.

Haud yer Wheesht?
That wis the title o Rennie McOwan's airticle anent the Scots Leid Resource Ha that kythed in Aprile's edeetion o The Scots Magazine. Tho he scrieves in English, he gies a guid couthie an uphaudin scrift o whaur the Scots leid is the day an whit's bein duin for it bi the SLRC an ither upsteerers. His backgrund cultur is pairt Gaelic an pairt Lawland an this shaws wi his threap at the stert whaur he says that, "Monie o us haed twa vices in the bygane – yin for oor freens an yin for the hoose or the scuil." (owerset fae Eng.) Maist o us wad nae doot awn tae haein ae leid for the scuil an anither for the hoose an oor freens but for aw that, he shaws a guid kennin o the leid, in his hert as weel's his heid, an he's no sweir tae fend it fae time tae time.

For aw that the airticle is scrievit in English, thare monie dauds o it quotit in Scots sic as this yin bi Stuart McHardy,

"Ane o the constant joys o warkin at the SLRC is the feedback we get fae teachers tellin us aboot how muckle thair bairns like Scots lessons – hairdly surprisin gin ye think it's the language maist fowk in Scotland first hear. Ah see the main thrust o ma job as helpin tae remove the discrimination an prejudice agin Scots that his led tae sae monie folk bein turned aff eddication fer life whan first meetin wi the teacher saying "Dinna say dinna!' "

At the hinneren, he gies a quote fae Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Sunset Song,

"You wanted the words they'd known (family, neighbours and of the land) and used, forgotten in the far-off youngness of their lives, Scots words to tell your heart, how they wrung it and held it, the toil of their days and unendingly their fight. And the next minute you were English, back to the English words so sharp and clean and true – for a while, for a while, till they slid so smooth from your throat you knew they could never say anything that was worth saying at all".

An owerset o his feenish says, " Aiblins that's ower dangin tae English, but the souch o Scots language is thare sae hert-grippin like. The Scots Language Resource Centre tyauves awa, an bit bi bit an gey sickerlie it spreeds its ain hank. It haes selt its consaits tae me….an mony a mickle maks a muckle".

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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 51. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 27 May 2024, from

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 1702

Scots Tung Wittins 51


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2596
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