Document 1739

Scots Tung Wittins 88

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 88
Mairch 2001

Keep a guid Scots tung in yer heid an in yer hert! But mind an uise it tae!

Scots Tung WITTINS

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

Cross Pairtie Group i the Scottish Pairlament on the Scots Leid.
THE saicont forgaitherin, the furst real workin ane, wis hauden on Wadensday 31t. Januar 2001 in Comatee Rm. 1 o the pairlament offices in George IV Brig, Edinburgh. It wis greed that the registration o the group wad be pit forrit tae the pairlament as the "Cross Pairtie Group i the Scottish Pairlament on the Scots Leid" wi the English owersettin o "Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on the Scots Language". The ettles o the Group wad be pit forrit as "Tae forder the cause o the Scots Leid, lat maimbers ken aboot the cultur an heritage o the leid an shaw the want for action tae uphaud Scots."

Office beirers wis eleckit an the ootcome o this wis:-
Convener:- Irene McGugan
Depute Convener:- Cathy Peattie
Secretar:- Amy Chalmer
Thesaurer:- Joy Hendry

Wi twa forgaitherins ablow its belt noo, the CPG haes been tendit bi the follaein MSP's:
Irene McGugan, Cathy Peattie, Mike Russell, Colin Campbell, Alex Fergusson, Margaret Ewing an Fergus Ewing. The follaein ithers haes ettilt uphaud but hinna been able tae git alang or noo:- Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, Alex Johnstone, Maureen Macmillan, Kate MacLean, Helen Eadie, Rhoda Grant, Ian Jenkins, Nora Radcliffe, Robin Harper, Gill Paterson, Brian Adam, Winnie Ewing, George Reid an Tricia Marwick.

Dargs Duin bi CPG MSP's
Cultural Strategy.
Parteeclar subjecks tae dae wi Scots haes been brocht up wi the Eddication, Sport an Cultur Comatee an it haes acceppit an greed tae cairrie oot a survey tae meisure hou muckle uphaud is gien tae the Scots language the day.

Uphaud for Screivers in Scots.
A quaisten wis pit forrit tae the Scottish Executive speirin, "To ask the Scottish Executive if it has any plans to emulate the actions of the Norwegian Government and support authors writing in indigenous languages, by buying the first 1000 copies of books written in Scots and placing them in the libraries throughout the country". The follaein thochtie repone wis gied bi Allan Wilson, we jalouse wi a muckle tung in a muckle chowk for it wis plain tae aw, the repone didna belang the quaisten, "No. The acquisition of books for libraries is primarily the responsibility of the library authorities".

Education Provision for Scots Language.
The abuin paper wis pit forrit bi Liz Niven giein a guid accoont o whit's tae haund but Maistlins whit wis wantin in the learnin o Scots language in Scottish schuils.

Neist Forgaitherin Mon. 12t. Mairch 2001 7.30pm tae 9.00pm Comatee Rm. C. Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

The CPG wis hanselt bi the Scots Leid Associe wi a gift o £250.

A nummer o ither dargs is aye ongaun yet an shuid be brocht up at the neist forgaitherin o the CPG that taks place on Wadensday 14t Mairch.

Thochts o Speakin Scots.
Is it onie wunner at aw that mature professional Scots daesna feel aw that cantie tryin tae speak Scots in formal or e'en in informal forgaitherins o thair peers? Efter bein telt for years at the schuil tae stop uisin thon common street slang an lairn tae speak proper, they war fleetched tae redd thae common words an habits oot thair speech. As they gaed thair wey throu eddication on the gate tae professionalism, they got better an better at no uisin thae words, that thair forebeirs kent as freends. "Pittin thair fit in it" wis somethin that kythed less an less as time gaed by. The mair they lairned tae think in English, the easier it wis tae keep thae scunnersome Scotticisms oot the wey. Some, nae doot, creenged an leukit doon thair nebs at the orra misfortunate sowel they whiles heard uisin thae auld maukit words frae the sheuch an shawin tae the yird the puir cheil's want o a guid eddication. Aiblins fowks the likes o thaim wisna heidie eneuch tae lairn hou tae speak proper oniewey.

Haed the Scottish estaiblishment no been sae nairrae-nebbit in the bygane, an seen insteid the guid o twa-leiditness or e'en monie-leiditness, Scotland wad hae been a sicht better place the day. Wi nae "inarticulate Scot" an nae tongue-tackit bairns wi inferiority complexes in the schuils, juist think whit a croose an wycelike society we cuid hiv haen. Ay, we'v aye been able tae haud wir ain wi the bettermaist at tred an in the mercat but think hou muckle better we micht hae been. Ye canna be ower guid whan it comes tae biggin up the prosperity o a nation an naethin beirs the gree better nor a side that is croose an cantie wi itsel. But the Scots language wis sic an ugsome thing tae thae cheils, that haed the best intrests o North Britain at hert. It haed tae be redd oot richt tae the hinnermaist vowel. Tae thaim the wis juist eneuch room in fowks' heids for juist the ae language an that language wis tae be English. Wi thaim, lairnin tae speak it meant unlairnin tae speak Scots an Gaelic tae. Ethnic Linguistic Cleansing (1872 - ?).

Howanever, life lowps alang the gate o time an fowk, alang wi thair consaits, gits aulder an whiles oot o fashion. Leirit fowk noo pynt oot the psychological skaith that's bein duin tae the bairns an hauflins bi doonhaudin an makin a bauchle o the language that thae young fowk brings wi thaim frae the hame an the community. On the ootside awbodie grees wi the siccar pedigree an wirth o the Scots language an maks oot they're scunnert that oniebodie cuid think o't as slang but for aw this ootby swall o uphaud for the mither tongue, pairts o the estaiblishment hinna chynged muckle deep doon inside.

Tae mature professional Scots, that maks up the feck o Scots language upsteerers the day, the skaith haes been duin areddies an tho thair herts an thair heids kens noo that aw thae lees they war telt, wisna true, it's a diffrent maitter wi thair mooths. Thair mooths, it wad seem, haes a mind o thair ain an is gey sweir tae gie up thair hard won English. Forbye, the'r the shaddae o thon puir cheil's want o a guid eddication lirkin at the back o thair heids an awbodie's sweir tae be the first tae tak the lowp. If they cuid juist gaun intae a chemist shop an coff some conter-creenge patches tae steek on thair airms, things wadna be sae fykie. We hear tell that whan Catalonia got its ain devolution an the TV braidcasters stertit readin oot the news in Catalan, the fowk wis smitten wi the creenge an thocht it "common" an ugsome. They didna hae airm patches thare aither but the creenge juist gaed awa bi itsel efter aboot sax weeks an noo they wadna hae it onie ither wey.

Aince thae professionals ken athin thirsels the'r nocht in speakin Scots as shuid gie thaim a rid face, it's juist a maitter o thaim gittin tae be croose in the speakin o't. Tae dae thon, they wad be weel wyced tae pit thair minds back tae thair bairnheids an mind whit fasht thaim then whan they war first lairnin tae speak English. Whit wis it that gart thaim pit thair fit in it sae aften then in compear wi the noo? As bairns they stertit tryin tae speak English at a time in thair lives whan maist o thaim war still thinkin in Scots. Noo they're no croose an cantie wi speakin Scots cause, maistlins, they're still thinkin in English. We'r speakin here aboot fowk that soond guid Scots speakers tae ither fowk but dinna think thirsels they're aw that guid cause the'r aye a breck in the rin o thochts gaun throu thair heids wi the words haein tae be owerset aw the time frae English intae Scots. The wey o gittin ower this is tae lairn tae think in Scots or raither tae lairn tae be able tae think in aither Scots or English at will.

Lairnin tae think in Scots soonds easier said than duin but it's dumfoonerin tae fund oot whit a skoosh it can be. Practisin thinkin in Scots is a thing that awbodie can dae gey near onie-whaur an onie time. Ye cuid be hurlin alang in yer motor wi hunners o thochts gaun throu yer heid. Juist git intae the habit o owersettin aw thae English thochts intae Scots anes. The same thing can be duin juist as easy whan ye'r gaun ower the carpets an brats wi the stoor-sooker, cuikin the denner, hingin oot the claes, daein the airnin, cuttin the gress, diggin the gairden an hunners o ither seetiations whan thochts is gaun throu yer heid. They dinna aye hae tae be in English. The neist sairest thing that haes tae be owercome is gittin uised tae lattin ither fowk hear ye speakin Scots an pittin oot yer heid, thochts o whit ithers thinks aboot yer want o eddication. Ye ken yersel the'r nae want. The mair fowk in the company that jynes in, the easier it's gaun tae be for awbodie. Sax weeks it taen the Catalonians. Lat's see hou lang wir mature professional Scots can dae it in.

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.

The Scots Tung Quaichs.
SCOTS Tung haes gien an invite tae aw the schuils in East Lothian tae tak pairt in a Scots screivin competeetion in baith prose an poetry. Permeesion wis first speirt for, in Scots, frae Maister A. Blackie, Eddication an Community Services High Heid Ane for East Lothian Cooncil an here a copie o his repone on East Lothian Cooncil heidit paper:-

Thanks tae ye fur screivin tae seek appruval tae contack heid teachers aboot the competeetion in Scots Tung.

I wad be mair than pleased fur ye tae send details tae the schuils an I hae attached a list o addresses sae ye can screive tae the schuils yersel. Ma hope is that mony bairns will tak pairt an A look forrit tae seein the cuttie poem an story.
Aw the best tae ye.
Alan J. Blackie,
High Heid Yin O Education an Ither Stuff."

Bairns in P6 an P7 an collegianers in S1 an S2 wis invitit tae screive aither a cuttie poem in Scots (up tae 16 lines) or a story in Scots prose (nae wee-er nor ae side o A4) aboot onie subjeck at aw. It wis jaloused that this ongaun wad mell weel wi lessons taen on in the month o Januar whan Scottish leeteratur aft funds itsel a neuk in the curriculum. Teachers wis speirt tae wale oot the bettermaist three frae ilka cless an rax thaim forrit tae Scots Tung bi 28t Februar.

The three entries frae ilka cless will be gien a certeeficate an the winnin schuils (ae primary an ae secondary) will be praisentit wi an engraved quaich that it will haud for a towmond. The twa winnin pupils (ae primary an ae secondary) will be gien a meenitur ane tae keep an the twa winnin entries alang wi twa ithers will be furthset in the Scots Tung Wittins, that's postit in aw the East Lothian libraries ilka month.

Scots Tung WITTINS on the wab.
The Scots Tung Wittins can be vizzied or doon-haundelt 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 £5 (Scotland/UK) peyed ilka September. £6 (Ireland/EU) $14 (Americae)

Mair Wittins Frae Scots Tung.
MATTHEW Fitt, owthor o the kenspeckle "But an Ben A-Go-Go",haes greed tae veesit wir forgaitherin in the Brunton Ha, Musselburgh, on Thursday 12t. Aprile tae gie a wee "Creative Writing" warkshop frae 7.30pm tae 9.00pm. Tak guid tent, tho wir forgaitherins is aye on a Monday for ordinar, this ane haes been chynged tae a Thursday tae suit Matthew's wark schedules. Try an bring alang a freend if ye can.

MITHER Tongue, the Scots language caird company rin bi Marguerite
Cruikshank, a Scots Tung maimber frae Keith in Banffshire, haes juist brocht oot its ain braw wee wabsteid for stravaigers o the Warld Wide Wab. Whit for no gie it a veesit on:-

Uisin I.T. tae learn Scots.
TV news haes gied oot wittins o a pilot ploy bein tried oot in North Lanarkshire whaur ae Latin teacher is able tae learn bairns Latin in monie o the schuils athin the N. Lanarkshire Eddication Authority. She sits afore a computer that haes a wab-cam an can learn bairns face tae face sittin afore the same kinna graith in ither schuils. This ploy haes been stertit tae big up an intrest in whit maist fowk see as a deid language. Gin the'r juist the ane or twa bairns spreid ower a haundfu o schuils intrestit, it's no worth the Authority's while tae pey a nummer o teachers or gie the bairns a hurl tae ither schuils. Ae teacher cuid haunle the hail coonty tae stert wi.

Some o the kinches conterin the learnin o Scots in the schuils the noo is (1) A scant o qualified teachers. (2) A scant o teachin graith. (3) The cost o haein teachers o Scots in schuils whaur juist a haundfu o bairns micht be intrestit.

Wad this no be a guid wey o biggin up an intrest amang the bairns (tae stert wi) for lairnin Scots at a price maist Eddication Authorities micht cuid afford? The scant o learnin graith wadna be sae sair wi sic a ploy as lang's the teacher haed eneuch tae git by wi. The collegianers cuid doon-haunle copies o't frae the wab.

The Callum MacDonald Quaich for Pamphlets o Poetry.
THE Gaelic airticle in the Scotsman gies wittins anent a new prize for poetry pamphlets that's gaun tae be estaiblished as a mindin o the umquhile furthsetter Callum MacDonald, frae Bernera, Lewis, that dee'd in 1999. His weedae, the makar Tessa Ransford, threaps pamphlets is gey important tae poetry cause poetry is nivver gaun tae ingaither muckle siller in the mercat. Nooadays, fowk can furthset thaim thirsels an it's nae bother for thaim tae fetch oot braw pamphlets in compear wi aw the trauchle they haed in the bygane. She says that poetry is thocht tae be nae guid gin ye'r no that kenspeckle but she conters thon consait an threaps the'r a guid wheen o guid makars an the'r nae raison whit wey thair wark shuidna be tae haund. Pamphlets allous thae poets tae hae an ootlet an tae fund thair ain follaein.

The prize o the Callum MacDonald Quaich an £500 is tae be praisentit on the 4t Mey ilka year. Poems can be screivit in onie o the leids uised in Scotland. Fowk ettlin tae tak pairt shuid hae thair pamphlets in bi 4t Aprile tae The Callum MacDonald Memorial Fund, Naitional Library o Scotland, George IV Brig, Edinburgh, EH1 1EW.

Makars' Neuk
Crawlin aboot like a snail in the mud, Covered wi clammy blae,
ME, made after the image o God –
Jings! but it's laughable, tae.

So I gie my life to the Nimmo squad
For eicht and fower a day;
Me! made in the image o God –
Jings! but it's laughable, tae.

Joe Corrie.

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Information about Document 1739

Scots Tung Wittins 88


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2712
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2001
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