Document 1759

Scots Tung Wittins 108

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 108
Nov. 2002

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]

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 furth-set in onie ither publication.

Meenister o Cultur's Veesit tae Cross Pairty Group on Scots.
[NOTE: a photograph here of Mike Watson MSP in original]
LORD Mike Watson MSP tendit the Cross Pairty Group (Scots) forgaitherin on Tuesday 10 September an this haed a wee report in the STW for September. A mair parteeclar report anent the crack atween the Meenister an the Group's maimbers is noo tae haund an is set oot ablo:-

Tae stert wi, the Meenister telt the forgaitherin o his surprise, in a pleisured wey, tae see hou sindert the maimbership o the CPG wis baith wi regaird tae the airts they cam frae an the interests they war forspeakin for.
He awned that his meenisterial blad haedna gien him onie muckle contack wi Scots tho, pairsonal like, he haed aye been awaur o the Scots question aw his life.Thon forgaitherin wis the first direck contack the Meenister haes haed wi the CPG an he howped it wad be ane that micht learn him aboot some o the kinches that micht a been passed ower.
He thocht the learnin o Scots history wis wantin in mony weys an it, alang wi the Scots language, haed the kinna real deep doon values that aw young Scots shuid be gien the inlat tae git tae ken aboot. He greed that it wis a true fack that bairns at the schuil uised tae hae thair Scots dingit oot o thaim. He threapit the Scots Executive haed makit certain commitments areddies tae the language, sic as the National Cultural Strategy, but he wis awaur the Executive haedna gaed as faur as fowk haed wantit anent the implementation o the European Charter for Minority Languages.

The Meenister feinisht wi sayin that he wad be blithe tae see whit government an hissel cuid dae tae gie young fowk a better inlat tae the language. He haed nae norries areddies anent whit can an canna be duin but he wis shuir the shuidna be onie competeetion atween Scots an Gaelic.

Efter aw the questions wis speirt frae the body o the kirk, the Meenister gied the follaein answers:-

In repone tae a speir aboot whan the Scots Executive's gaun tae awn that it haes a policy for Scots an whan is it gaun tae lat fowk ken hou sic a policy will be cairiet oot, he said it wisna juist aboot guid ettles, it wis a maitter o resources an aw but, tho the'r nae strategy tae haund this meinit, he wad walcome some inpit frae the CPG. He thocht the CPG wis leukin for the same kinna chynges that wis kythin for Ulster Scots efter the Guid Friday greement an he didna ken gin thon wad be possible or no but thocht an greed that consaits anent the language can be chynged.

He thocht that thon incident whaur a Sheriff haed daured a laddie frae uisin Scots in the coort chaumer haed mair tae dae wi the Sheriff's ain pairsonal consaits aboot Scots nor ocht tae dae wi the law an fowk shuid be alloued tae uise Scots gin that wis whit they wantit tae dae.

Wi regaird tae cultural tourism, the Meenister didna see onie raison whit wey the Scots language shuidna be uised tae mak Scotland a mair intrestin place for fowk tae veesit.

In repone tae a heckle aboot the National Cultural Strategy no kythin onie parteeclar guid for Scots, the Meenister speirt the CPG tae tak tent that the Strategy haes juist been gaun for twa year an that the Executive is takin a wheen o things forrit. The saicont yearly scance o the NCS will hae exemplars o hou the Executive wis cairiein oot the ettles o the Strategy. He said an aw that he wad walcome ocht proponed aboot whit maitters frae the Strategy cuid be taen forrit. Still aye on aboot the NCS, the Meenister telt the forgaitherin a curn o twal fowk haed been set up tae tak the strategy forrit an that the Executive haes jaloused that the'r a want for sma-er groups tae tak forrit indiveedual maitters an he wad be blithe tae conseeder the estaiblishment o a sub-group wi owerance for maitters tae dae wi language. He suggestit that gin sic a sub-group wis tae be estaiblisht, it wad be mair nor likely that maimbers o the CPG wad be invitit tae tak pairt in it. He invitit the maimbers o the CPG tae tak pairt in mair discussions wi him on the subjeck o estaiblishin sic a group.

The Meenister greed that mony o the issues that haed been pyntit oot bi maimbers o the CPG haed tae dae wi the furmin an cairiein oot o eddication policy sae he wad hae words wi Cathy Jamieson, Meenister for Eddication an Young Fowk. He greed an aw that he wad report back tae the CPG an lat thaim ken the oot-come o thae talks.

The Meenister proponed that it wad be a guid thing for the Executive tae big up a strategy on Scots an he felt that the CPG shuid tak a pairt in the throu-pit o onie sic like strategy.

ON Friday 20 Sept. 2002, Mike Watson in Belfast, said that:-
(1) Whan he haed met wi the Cross Pairty Group on Scots Language in the Scots Pairlament last week, ane o the heid demands wis juist that the Executive shuid mak a sitable public threap recognisin that a guid lot is bein duin tae uphaud the Scots language.

(2) But he thocht it wis fair tae speir whaur the Executive wis heidin frae thare anent uphaud for the Scots language. In his speech the nicht afore, Dr. Kirk proponed the shuid be a Scots Language Agency alang the lines o the Ulster-Scots Agency, an the Meenister thocht that micht weel be whit's taen on as the best gate tae tak for the Scots language.

(3) But whit he wad say wis that he wantit tae hear the consaits o the fowk in Scotland that's at the hert o aw the mauchts bein makit tae forder the leid an mak siccar its staunin is richt estaiblisht. An thare an effective cross-pairty group in the Pairlament that's a guid exemplar o thon Pairlament's accessibility an its abeelitie tae cleek wi an ken the guid o the wice frae thae groups athin ceevic associe in oor kintra. An thon group is rowed intae furthsettin its Statement o Principles, an he (the Meenister) wad want tae conseeder thaim in time, then git back tae discussions wi the group, an he said that when he met wi thaim last week, he invitit thaim tae git thair wice yokit tae bi consultin on an then pittin forrit tae him, a strategy for the forderin o the Scots language. Thon wisna an ettle tae jouk the maitter as faur as he wis concairned for the group greed tae dae it an he walcomed sic birr for the'r nae gretter body o kennin anent the Scots language nor the maimbers o thon group, an it seemed tae him tae mak sense no tae leuk furth o thon group for the settin oot o the strategy that'll tak the leid forrit. An he wad be blithe tae gie a haund in uisin thon strategy that's brocht oot, as a wey o forderin the Executive's policy on Scots.

(4) He telt hou he haed dookit his tae in the watter at the CPG the week afore an his lugs wis still dirlin but the consait haed been taen that whan the UK government pit oot its ettle tae sign the Chairter, that Scots wis richtlie acceppit as a language an this wis the first offeecial recognition, as faur as he wis awaur, o Scots as a language.

Scots Tung the first tae clype!
O N the 1 Julie 2002, ae towmond efter the requirements o the European Chairter For Regional Or Minority Languages cam intae force, the British an Scots governments wis speirt a nummer o questions bi the Cooncil o Europe tae fin oot juist whit they've duin in the last towmond tae pit the requirements o the Chairter, Pairts I & II in the case o Scots, intae effeck.

Nummer 106 o the Scots Tung Wittins (Sept 2002), cairiet a copy o the questions for Pairts I & II that haes tae dae wi the Scots language, alang wi the answers gien bi the Scots government. As wis pyntit oot, the scant o answers anent Scots bi the Executive wisna acceppit bi Scots Tung an sae it taen up the invite bi Regína Jensdóttir, ane o the admeenistrators for the Chairter in the Cooncil o Europe, tae rax forrit its ain feedback tae the Cooncil o Europe. This wis pit in the haunds o the Cooncil on 12 Sept. 2002 an neist day Regína telt Scots Tung that the feedback wad be owerset intae a document for pittin afore the Comatee o Experts. This Comatee micht want tae hae words wi the curn whan it comes ower tae Scotland efter the New Year. Onie maimber ettlin tae see a copy o Scots Tung's clype tae the Cooncil o Europe shuid e-mail the follaein address:-
[CENSORED: emailaddress]

At the time o writin (28-10-02), the anelie curns or associes, uphaudin or upsteerin for the Scots language, that haes raxed forrit onie feedback tae the Cooncil o Europe, is Scots Tung, the Scots Language Resource Centre an Scottish Language Dictionaries. Coorse, the'r aye the chance that ane or twa ithers haes duin the same an STW juist haesna gotten word o't yet.

It wad be an awfu peetie gin kenspeckle Scots curns, sic as the Cross Party Group, Scots Leid Associe, Saltire Society, Scots Speikers Curn Glesca, Aiberdeen Univairsitie Scots Leid Forum an the Broadly Scots Society o West Lothian, didna git repones awa, for it micht gie the Comatee o Experts the consait that thae curns haes juist aboot the same scant o smeddum for uphaudin an hainin the Scots language as the Scots government haes. The time left for gittin repones oot isna as cuttie as wis thocht at first but it's rinnin oot fast for aw that.

The hinnermaist wittins frae the Comatee o Experts is that they wad expeck tae veesit the UK in Mairch an they wad accepp consaits up tae the end o Aprile but wad raither hae a keek at thaim afore thair veesit. The better-maist time wad be tae hae awthin in thair haunds bi the end o Februar. This soonds aw richt but tent maun be taen o the fack that maist curns is like tae hae juist ane or aiblins twa forgaitherins afore the New Year breck an anither ane or aiblins twa efter the year an afore the end o Februar.

Noo's the time tae mak a stairt for sic a document winna screive itsel.

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
The Scots Tung Wittins can be vizzied or doon-haunnelt an prentit (noo in PDF format forbye) frae the wabsteid o:-
The Scots Speikers Curn, Glesca.
Wabsteid backin:-
A hard copie o STW is sent free o chairge tae aw maimbers o Scots Tung ilka month.
Maimbership subscreivins is £5 (Scotland/UK)
Peyed ilka September.
£6 (Ireland/EU) $14 (Americae)

Nane sae blin!
Braille traffic
signs ootside
the Pairlament?
THE requirements o the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, signed an ratified bi the government, haes been in force noo for a year past the 1 Julie, an ane o thae requirements is, "The facilitation and/or encouragement of the use of regional or minority languages, in speech and writing, in public and private life."

For aw that, the Scots Pairlament's Corporate Body haes turnt doon a request bi the Cross Pairty Group on Scots tae hae signs athin the new £350m Holyrood biggin shawn in Scots as weel as English an Gaelic. The raison gien bi Sir David Steel's Corporate Body is that it's thair consait that a braider reinge o the Scottish public cuid be reached bi leemitin the languages on thae signs tae English an Gaelic an eikin on Braille tae the signs insteid o Scots.

In answer tae a question speirt bi the Cooncil o Europe's Comatee o Experts (see column afore this) anent whit the Scots government haes duin aboot pittin the abuin requirement intae action, the Executive left thon question,like maist o the ithers anent Scots, wantin for onie answer at aw an didna e'en pit forrit an excuise o onie kind.

The Comatee o Experts is wechtin thae answers noo an will nae doot be ower tae see for thirsels juist whit's gaun on efter the new year. Gin it wisna sic a serious maitter, it micht be gey hard for thaim tae no tak a snicher tae thirsels at the kinna logic that's comin oot the Scots pairlament thae days.

Efter aw, the Scots government tells awbody the'r mair nor 1.5m Scots speakers in this kintra sae, gin the'r e'en mair nor that canna see, whit wey is it the'r no a wheen mair white sticks gaun aboot? Wi this muckle braidcastin o the Corporate Body's unco pouers o logic, hou lang's it gaunnae be noo afore it comes oot wi the pure dead brilliant idea o pittin up Braille traffic signs ootside the Pairlament?

"The'r nane sae blin nor thaim that winna see!" as the weel kent saw tells us.

Neist Forgaitherin
Monday 18t November
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
The Sma Lounge.
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

Thochts on Gluttony
WATCH twa men eatin. As lang's there's a power or capacity o smilin on their cheeks, an in an about their een, - as lang's they keep lookin at you, and round about the table, attendin to or joining in the tauk, or the speakin cawn, - as lang's they every noo an then lay doon their knife and fork, to caw for yill, or ask a young lady to tak wine, or tell an anecdote, - as lang's they keep frequently cawin on the servant lad or lass for a clean plate, - as lang's they glower on the framed picturs or prents on the wa, and keep askin if the tane's originals and the tither proofs, - as lang's they offer to carve the tongue or turkey—depend on't they're no in a state o gluttony, but are devourin their soup, fish, flesh, and fowl like men and Christians. But as sune's their chin gets creeshy—their cheeks lank, sallow, and clunk-clunky—their nostrils wide—their een fixed—their faces close to their trencher— and themsels dumbies—then you may see a specimen o the immoral and unintellectual abandonment o the sowl o man to his gustative natur; then is the fast, foul, fat feeder a glutton, the maist disgustfuest cretor that sits—and far aneath the level o them that feed, on aw fowers, out o trochs on garbage.
The Ettrick Shepherd.

Statement o Principles
AT Scots Tung's forgaitherin on the 14t. October 2002, it wis decidit tae pit £100 tae the cost o prentin an furthsettin the CPG's "Scots: A Statement o Principles".

The SLRC an aw haes greed tae mak anither £100 available tae the projeck forbye offerin tae gie a haund wi the distreebution o the buikies thirsels.

The launch o the abuin document is expeckit tae kythe athin the neist twa-three weeks settin oot whit Scots expecks tae hae bi richt.

Makar's Neuk
Nor will the search be hard or long:
For tho tis true that Mither-tongue
Has had the melancholy fate
To be neglekit by the great,
She still has fun an open door
Amang the uncurruptit poor,
Wha be na weent to treat wi scorn
A gentlewoman bred and born,
But bid her, thoch in tatters drest,
A hearty welcome to their best.

There aft on benmaist bink she sits,
And sharps the edge of cuintry wits,
wi routh of gabby saws, an says,
An jokes an jibes of uther days:
That gie sik gust to rustic sport,
And gar the langsome night leuk short.

Alexander Geddes 1737-1802

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Information about Document 1759

Scots Tung Wittins 108


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2828
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2002
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