Document 1728

Scots Tung Wittins 77

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 77
Aprile 2000

Keepin a guid Scots tung in yer heid's nae guid! Lat it oot an uise it!

Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydentlie uphaudin the Scots Leid Campaine
e-screive: [CENSORED: emailaddress] Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Keepin the Census Pat Bilin!
ON the 9t. Mairch, the Scots pairlament gied the aw richt tae the Executive's Bill that allooed a question on religion tae be pitten intae the neist census. Irene McGugan taen the inlat tae mind the pairlament that, tho a question on Scots haed been kep oot, it wisna gaun tae be forgotten. She haed anither dirl at Hugh Henry's sair fit an aw – the ane he shot hissel in. Pairt o whit she sayed in the pairlament is gien ablow.

"I note that the Policy Memorandum accompanying the Bill confirms that while alternative procedures such as household surveys can provide some relevant information for the Executive's purposes, only a Census can give comprehensive coverage of all households to enable authoritative, accurate and comparable statistics to be produced for all parts of the country and for small geographical areas and sub-groups of the population.

It is still a matter of regret that the Executive was not persuaded of the need to include a question on the Scots language in the next Census, for these reasons, but I would like to assure the Minister that efforts to promote the language and confer some status and recognition to Scots will continue – hopefully on a cross-party basis, because there were many expressions of support articulated from all sides of the Chamber in February.

It is therefore regrettable that the Convener of the European Committee chose to write in his column in the Paisley Daily Express of February 21st a most insulting and ill-informed article, which attempted to ridicule the language and those who speak it.

Such a pity that he does not seem to subscribe to the Executive view that the Scots language is an important part of Scotland's distinctive linguistic and cultural heritage and as such merits support. Nor does he seem to appreciate that Scots is the language many children bring to school and that the Executive indeed advocates the inclusion of Scots in the curriculum as this would appropriately teach a proper awareness and appreciation of the language - much needed by Hugh Henry!"

Copiericht for awthin screivit in this wittins blat bides wi R. Fairnie. The Scots Tung Wittins can be fotie-copied in hail or in pairt athoot leemit o nummers an this hauds guid an aw for onie pairt o the wittins blat that's furthset in onie ither publication.

An the Scots Leid Pat an aw!
IRENE McGugan – ay, it's that wumman agane – pit forrit a screivit question tae the Scots pairlament tae speir the Eddication Depairtment o the Scottish Executive whit ettles it haes tae uphaud an bield the Scots language an whit siller it ettles tae pit up for this. The follaein wis gien as a screivit answer bi Sam Galbraith:-

"The Executive directly supports the Scottish National Dictionary, the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue, the Scots Language Resource Centre and the Scottish Poetry Library (which promotes poetry in Scots as well as other languages). These grants amount to £135,000 in the current year. Curricular guidelines encourage the teaching of Scots literature in schools and contain numerous opportunities for including Scots in the curriculum. The forthcoming national cultural strategy will provide an occasion to review the position of Scots and the means of support for it. Scots will also attract the provisions of Part II of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages which the UK Government signed on 2 March.


Sam Galbraith's first three sentences is juist the same auld guff he's been giein us syne 1997 an Ian Forsyth afore him. Thon £135,000 he quotes, includes siller spent on English an Gaelic poetry an aw an the Scottish Executive haes agreed areddies tae tak the Scottish Poetry Library oot o the reckonin for the Scots Language Factsheet. A letter frae Jill Wereszczuk o the S.E. Education Dept. tae David Wilson (Scots Tung maimber frae Pitmedden) dated 21-12-99, says:-

"Thank you for your letter of 24 November about the entry of the assistance given to the Scottish Poetry Library on the Scots Language Factsheet.

The information on the factsheet for the Scottish Poetry Library does give the impression that the support from the Scottish Executive is for Scots Language projects, which is not the case. I have therefore amended the Factsheet accordingly. Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention."

Uisin the abuin siller an dividin it bi the GRO(S)'s jalousit feegure o 1.5m, this works oot at 9p a heid for ilka Scots speaker. Is this aw the Scottish Executive thinks the Scots language is worth when they gie £147 a heid tae Gaelic speakers?

We leuk forrit tae Rhona Brankin's National Cultural Strategy bein furthset an we'r keepin oor fingers crossed that it is really her's an Cathie Peattie's strategy an no Sam Galbraith's.

We'r gled tae hear an aw the UK Govt. haes signed the European Chairter in the hinneren but aboot twa year syne, the Scottish Office wis threapin that it haed met juist aboot aw the condeetions o Pairt II for Scots areddies. Nane o us can see hou they cuid threap sic a thing but they did.

Neist Forgaitherin Mon. 10t. Aprile 2000 7.30pm tae 9.00pm Conference Room Twa. Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

Scots Tung WITTINS
on the wab.
The Scots Tung Wittins can be vizzied or doon-loadit an prentit (noo in HTML format forbye) frae the wab-steid o :-
The Scots Speikers Curn, Glesca.
Wab-steid backin :-
A hard copie o STW is sent free o chairge tae aw maimbers o Scots Tung.
Maimbership subscreivins is £4 peyed ilka September. (£5 furth o United Kinrik)

New Curn o Schuil-buiks For Scottish Schuils.
HODDER is tae furthset a new curn o schuil buiks on Language an Communications for Scottish schuils suin. The screivers wi the owerance for pittin the graith thegither is Jenny Allen an Sheila Hughes o Jordanhill eggit on bi three fowk o skill frae the clessroom, Anne Donovan, Brian Fitzpatrick an Sheena Greco. Robbie Robertson is the convener wi owerance ower editin an garrin awbodie tae wark weel thegither.

The warkin title o the first twa buiks an for the curn itsel is Spirals wi Spirals1 for S1 an Spirals2 for S2 an, lippenin hou weel thae sell, thare micht weel be a Spirals3 an a Spirals4 tae jyne wi thaim.

Juist ower 25% o the text will be tae dae wi Scotland an Scottish maiters wi the lave o the texts an subjecks in Suddron reengin athort the yird tae gar 21st century bairns growe intae 21st century men an weemin wi an unnerstaunin o the ongauns o language in culturs ither nor thair ain. Picters will be uised as learnin texts richt throu the buiks an mass media texts will sit aside leeteratur an ither forms o prentit language, an the'll hae a CD ROM for picters (movin), sangs, soonds an mair words.

Scots an Scottish Suddron will kythe naitral like in the texts as forms o language the maik o Suddron - nae debate - juist guid ensample.The heidmaist ettle o the texts will be impruivin screivin bi wey o content an expression but, cause language is noo learnt in an integrate wey, the'll be muckle scowth for readin, listenin an talkin. Coorse, the uiss o Scots will be gien a lift tae, aw the wey throu.

Heidie Heidlines.
[NOTE: image here of newspaper headline saying "Paranoid? Naw, yer just pickin' oan Celtic" in original]
HIS ane wis taen frae The Scotsman on Seturday 25t. Mairch. A peetie aboot the auld farrant apostrophe but at least we ken the Offeecial Reporter tae the Scots Pairlament kens no tae uise thaim thae days.

Eikin tae the Offeecial Screivit Scots.
THE'R juist aboot nae haud back at aw on the uiss o spoken Scots in the Scots pairlament an its comatees, apairt frae the owersettin o the orra no sae weel kent word or phrase, gin it's speirt for bi the Preses.

Howanever, the'r no the same scowth thare for screivit Scots an it is offeecial screivit Scots we maun hae tae gie the leid the staunin it needs tae survive weel intae this new century. Aw richt, screivit Scots haes makit a wee bit ingate tae the pairlament but it still haes a lang wey tae gaun. New MSP's noo haes the inlat tae read a Scots vairsion o the offeecial sweirin in aith an onie Scots that's spoken in the pairlament or its comatees is screivit doon in Scots in the Offeecial Report. Forbye that, it's noo allooed tae pit forrit a motion screivit in Scots as lang's it haes an English owersettin. The uiss o Scots signage in the biggin alangside o the praisent Anglo/Gaelic anes haes been dingit doon (for the noo) bi the Pairlament Corporate Body an the question anent Scots language leaflets at times whan offeecial leaflets is pit oot in languages ither than English, haes juist been gien a richt deefie or the noo.

Ye'd think that, gin it's aw richt tae pit forrit a motion screivit in Scots, it wad be aw richt tae pit forrit a question screivit in Scots an aw, an this is juist whit's gaun tae be preed in the pairlament suin. Gin a richt tae pit forrit thae screivit questions in Scots is estaiblished, the neist step micht weel be tae pit forrit the norrie that gin a screivit question's speirt in Scots (wi an English owersettin) it micht no be awfu guid mainners if the screivit repone isna screivit in Scots an aw (wi an English owersettin). The days is shuirlie lang gane whan the English language its lane haed the monopoly for bein polite. Lat fowk git uised tae polite Scots an aw.

Hamelt Prose Hirples Back Frae the Altar o English Gowd.
JUIST like Burns wis fleetched bi his furthsetters tae Inglify some o his spellins tae pander tae a bigger mercat an English gowd, we'r telt noo that Robert Louis Stevenson's wark haes dreed a siclik weird. War nor juist the spellin chynges that Burns haed tae dree, RLS haes haed the verra language o some o his dialogues chynged bi his furthsetters an compositors. Thae chynges fell maistlins on his uiss o Scots language an eediom in the dialogues tae Inglify his prose for an English mercat.

A maucht wis makit no ower lang syne tae mak guid some o the skaith duin tae the Bard's wark bi furthsettin thon "Bleck an Blue Burns" whaur the reader wis gart tae gaun back tae Burns' intended pronunciation bi giein thae ill-moothit words anither phonetic spellin an prentin thaim in blue.

Weel, noo Professor Barry Menikoff at the Univairsitie o Hawaii haes gotten haud o a copie o RLS's oreeginal haund-screivit manuscript for "Kidnapped" an is gaun tae hae a new oreeginal edeetion furthset wi aw RLS's parteeclar punctuation an hamelt Scots dialogue pitten back in.

If this is the wey the estaiblishment haes mangelt the leeteratur o Robert Burns an Robert Louis Stevenson in the by-gane it gars a bodie wunner hou monie ither leeterary jewels o the mither tung haes been camouflaged intae English an reivit in siclik mainner.

Eurolang - EBLUL's New Wittins Wabsteid.
EUROLANG is a new wab-foondit news sairvice lenched bi the European Buroo for Lesser Uised Leids (EBLUL) in Februar. It can be fund on an is airtit aefauldlie tae the media athort Europe an fends reports ilka day (in English) on maiters tae dae wi the diversity o language athin the EU kintraes. Ane o its raicent reports tells o the European Pairlament in Strasbourg votin tae include the bield o minority leids intae the proponed EU Chairter o Fundamental Richts. Media reports threap the Chairter cuid strenthen offeecial recognition o Europe's minority leids – includin the Government's uphaud o Gaelic an Scots.

The ettles o Eurolang is tae plenish naitional an regional media wi wittins o genral intrest anent Europe's sindrie leids. It gies maist wecht tae minority an regional language maiters an wittins frae European Institutions that affeck the minority communities o Europe.

Eurolang sairs naitional media athort Europe forbye minority an regional language media. It kivvers ilka day wittins as weel as plenishin langer reports anent maiters o parteeclar intrest tae European readers. Eurolang ettles tae fill a want o wittins gaitherin athort Europe bi giein mair wecht tae maiters that affeck linguistic an cultural minorities in aw the EU maimber kintraes.

John Walsh, the Editor-in-Chief, can be gotten at [CENSORED: emailaddress] or at:-

The journalist wi owerance for Scotland is Alex Hijmans an onie ongauns aboot Scots that's wirth crawin aboot can be raxed ower tae him on [CENSORED: emailaddress]

Makars' Neuk
Nae man wha loves the lawland tongue
But warstles wi the thocht –
There are mair sangs that bide unsung
Nor aa that hae been wrocht.

Ablow the wastery o the years
The thorter o himsel,
Deep buried in his bluid he hears
A music that is leal.

And wi this lealness gangs his ain;
And there's nae ither gait
Though aa his feres were fremmit men
Wha cry: Owre late, owre late.

William Soutar.

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The SCOTS Project and the University of Glasgow do not necessarily endorse, support or recommend the views expressed in this document.


Cite this Document

APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 77. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 21 May 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 77." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 21 May 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 77," accessed 21 May 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

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


Information about Document 1728

Scots Tung Wittins 77


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2278
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2000
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