Document 1767

Scots Tung Wittins 116

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 116
Julie 2003

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

Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydently uphaudin the Scots Leid Campaign
e-mail: [CENSORED: emailaddress] Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

© Copyricht for awthin written in this wittins blat bides wi R. Fairnie. The Scots Tung Wittins can be fotie-copied in hail or in pairt athoot limit o nummers an this hauds guid an aw for ony pairt o the wittins blat that's furth-set in ony ither publication.

European Coort o Human Richts
FOR aw that the 1953 Convention o Human Richts o the Cooncil o Europe daesna mak ony mint o linguistic richts, it daes bield citizens an groups agin abusive discrimination on racial, sexual or linguistic grunds. It's particlar on thae grunds that a nummer o Breton organisations haes pit forrit a complaint agin the French State tae the European Coort o Human Richts.

They threap that the French state haes abuised a nummer o human richts throu its policy anent regional languages an, in particlar, a raicent decision bi the French Cooncil o State that maks immersive teachin o regional languages illegal. The Cultural Cooncil pynts oot that the Bretons haed nae ither wey tae gaun syne the Cooncil o State haes makit the uiss o regional languages in education illegal ayont a certain limit in schuil life an in ony social area.

Whit it byles doon tae is that the Bretons haes the richt tae lairn thair language but no tae uise it. Bi rulin that immersive teachin gauns weel ayont the wants o lairnin a regional language, the French state haes makit it plain as parritch that thae languages cuid be teached for thair cultural value but no as languages o communication.

Thae Bretons threaps that bi thon decision, the French Cooncil o State haes in the first place breached the richt tae respeck for private an faimly life, as setten oot in Airticle 8. Paurents haes the richt tae respeck for thair chyce tae haund doon thair language. It's weel seen this canna be duin athoot uphaud frae the schuils that pairt o the bairns' education is delegated tae. The fack that schuils daesna allou for this haundin doon tae tak place is a muckle breach o the richts o private an faimly life.

They considered an aw that freedom o expression (Airticle 10) is foondit on content, i.e. the ideas, but on the vehicle for thae ideas as weel. Language is a tool that sairs, but conditions an aw, thair expression. Freedom o expression is the richt an aw tae express culture throu the language that it lippens on.Makin reference tae Airticle 9 on the freedom o thocht, conscience an religion, the Bretons threaps that, as the law stops the language frae existin at a level that allous it tae be a tool for expressin particlar thochts an picterin ideas, then it maun be taen tae be a breach o this richt.

A successfu ootcome tae aw this cuid hae a dunch on effeck tae the guid for ither endangered minority languages includin Scots. Howanever, unlike maist ither endangered minority leids, Scots haes its ain particlar rood tae beir that micht weel conter ony sic legal complaint on behauf o the Scots language.

It cuid be mair fykie tae win similar human richts for Scots whan sae mony kenspeckle Scots language upsteerers na-says, bi thair ain chyce an bi example, thair ain human richt tae uise Scots as a tool o communication in public. Whit wey is coorts an governments gaun tae encourage the estaiblishment tae forder thae richts whan the verra fowk that speirs for thaim winna mak uiss o thaim for thairsels? The government micht tak guid tent o thae kinna ongauns gin they're o a mind tae jouk thair linguistic responsibilities.
Uphauders o Scots shuid aye be on the kee-vee tae mak shuir that the uiss o Scots as a communication tool in public, an spoken forms o the language in general, isna gien less wecht nor cultural an literary forms is.

"It cuid be mair fykie tae win similar human richts for Scots......"

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 copy 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)

ON 29t. o Mey, bairns' nursery nurses wis on strike at Campie Primary Schuil in the Honest Toun. Thon day there wis twa posters hingin frae the front gates o the schuil playgrund an ane o thaim in particlar wis gey ee-catchin. This particlar poster haed a big picter o Oor Wullie on it an the wordin alangside said:-

We dinnae want tae live like Posh
But nursery nurses need mair dosh!

£12m For Scots!!
THE crack comin oot o Northern Ireland threaps that, as pairt o the dale tae revive the devolved Assembly o Northern Ireland, it wis greed tae mak the fundin o Ulster Scots the maik o the fundin for Irish. Thon wad mean baith Ulster Scots an Irish wad each be gien £12m ilka year. If this cam aboot, Scots in Scotland shuid bi richts be leukin for fower times thon soum - £48m pa.
Noo there a thocht tae stert aff a new pairlament an Cross Pairty Group wi!!!!!!!

CPG Re-convenes
[NOTE: a photograph here of Rob Gibson in original]
THE Scots Pairlament's Cross Pairty Group on the Scots Leid wis reconvened on Thursday 19t. Juin in Cannonba Hoose, juist ootside the esplanade o Edinburgh Castle. The forgaitherin wis hauden at denner-time on the day the First Meinister wis tae be speirt anent a nummer o important maitters sae thare wis a nummer o MSPs that wad hiv been at the forgaitherin itherweys but haed tae gie thair apologies insteid. Howanever, the forgaitherin wis tendit bi Rob Gibson MSP, (pictered), Eleanor Scott MSP an Alex Johnstone MSP alang wi a richt guid turn-oot o the nonpairlament maimbers o the group. Rob Gibson wis electit Convener o the group an Michael Hance o the SLRC greed tae tak the pairt o Secretar. It wis greed that fowk wad be canvassed bi e-mail for the Vice-convener an Thesaurer positions syne some o the fowk maist suitable for thae jobs wisna at the forgaitherin.

A nummer o ploys for the group tae get yokit intae in the comin months wis brocht up includin the Statement o Principles an the Education Comatee's Report on languages frae the last pairlament, an hou the CPG shuid taikle the Scots Executive anent thaim.

Nixt Forgaitherin
Date tae be decidit (September)
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
Comatee Room C.
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

Language an the EU Constitution
IN Brussels, an amendment for linguistic diversity wis includit in Airticle 3 alang wi cultural diversity, tae the new draft EU Constitution. This merkit nae sma loup forrit for the threitened an minority languages o Europe. The new clause threaps that: 'The Union sall respeck its rich cultural an linguistic diversity, an sall mak shuir that Europe's cultural heirship is bieldit an biggit up'.

The successfu amendment wis proponed bi a group heidit bi MEP Neil MacCormick (SNP) that said, "A'm fair awa wi the eikin o linguistic diversity intae the Convention. The hail airticle noo, thanks an aw tae the line afore that uphauds economic, social an territorial cohesion, an solidarity amang the maimber states, is a real loup forrit. We noo howp an aw that the third pairt o the Convention will be the maik o this an it will constitute a legal foond that we can hing on tae. In general tho, A maun say that this draft is better nor A expeckit an it shaws that the projeck is weel thocht oot. It's plain as parritch there still aye a puckle anxieties anent the hinmaist ootcome an whuther this will be uphaudit bi the IGC in the hinneren. For aw that tho, this is a muckle achievement areddies."

An EBLUL collogue gaun on at the same time in Bozen cried, Best Weys o Forderin Linguistic Diversity in the Braidened European Union wis tendit bi forspeakers frae mony o the minority language commonties in kintras that's set tae jyne the EU in 2004.

Frae a Western European pynt o view, John MacIntyre o EBLUL's UK Comatee, while walcomin the inclusion o eastern European minority leids, said that it wad chynge EBLUL's appearance an ootleuk. He said that, "Up tae noo, the western European wecht wis maistlins airtit tae languages that wis threitened but noo we're in a situation whaur German or Russian is 'minority languages', baith o thaim bein muckle languages an A think there micht be a gravitation o resources tae thaim. A think EBLUL will hae tae start sortin oot the kinches. There a different set o kinches facin western European threitened languages in compare tae eastern European minority anes."

As the centre o gravity shifts eastwards an the nummers o minority an threitened leids in the EU is biggit up, some forspeakers wis o the consait that the time haed come tae start prioritisin the maist threitened languages sic as the Celtic anes an Basque, for example, insteid o 'minority' leids that haes a high level o bield an micht be the official language in a neibourin kintra.

Thae consaits wis touched on bi EU Commissioner, Viviane Reding, in Aprile when she said, "nae maitter hou muckle or hou wee, we hae tae wark thegither tae sauf threitened languages."

"The Play o the Wather"
A review bi Irene Brown
JOHN Heywood's English morality play seen its first audience in 1530 at the coort o Henry VIII. Scots writer, Edwin Stiven, haes owerset it intae maistly modern rhyming Scots for this contemporary vairsion o The Play o the Wather.

Whan the audience first cam intae the auditorium o Traverse 2, it wis faced wi the prospeck o a promenade performance wi juist a puckle enticin deckchyres dotted aboot. The soond o the wind gurled in the backgrund, biggin up tae a crack o thunner afore the place turnt bleck. The 'sun' bleazed doon on the bonnielike wather lassie as she gied Scotland's wather forecast, an tae the soond o the melodeon-box playin o Fiona Young, the cast kythed, appearinly frae nae-whaur an sorted oot the striped picnic chyres, invitin us aw tae tak oor ease. We sattelt doon, tae the soond o the rain, then a flaucht o lichtnin wi a flaucht o fiddle, bi Lori Watson, gied an inlat tae the weel faured god Jupiter, but no afore we war treated tae a cantie sang that telt us that Scots haes ower 40 words for rain!

Jupiter kens the fowk's no blithe aboot the wather sae he appynts a forspeaker tae ingether consaits. The forspeaker is the richt credible Merry Courant, a lusty, forritsome, flyman that's aye on the kee-vee. In his owersetter's note, Edwin Stiven pynts oot that Merry Courant is a Scots expression for a 'revel' an that his pairt is that o the 'Maister o the Revels', a character that wad hiv led Scots fowk-dramas o the period. Merry Courant listens in turn tae forspeakers o the different levels o society stertin wi the Inglified laird that speaks Scots whan it suits him, but wi an English accent. He then meets a merchant, a gamie, a watter-muller, a win-muller, a coortesan, a wash-wife an a laddie that wis forspeaker for a hunner ither laddies, wi nae mair valid raison ither than they aw loued playin in the snaw.

Ilka character threaps his/her ain case as tae whit wey thair wather wants shuid be met tae Merry Courant. He skeelie-like sympathises wi ilk ane, acceppin bribes frae ilk ane accordin tae thair walth, an takin ane whan it's no offered, while promisin tae fleetch thair case tae Jupiter, that's seein whit's gaun on frae a tennis umpire's sate in the neuk.

Whan Jupiter is cried on in the hinneren tae mak a decision, aw the forspeakers is gethert thegither tae hear the judgement, aw howpin thair ain case will beir the gree. Howanever, wyce Jupiter concludes that things shuid stey the wey they are, mindin awbody they are aw Jock Tamson's bairns an the maist important thing wis that they, "shuid leuk efter yer neibour, it's nae mair nor yer duty".

The 21t century vairsion o a 16t century morality play micht no hiv been played at the Royal Coort, but the words pit intae Jupiter's mooth haed a moral for listeners. Edwin Stiven haes him mindin us that the climate cuid be in pairt some o wir ain daein an that we shuid tak tent for the oncome.

At the efternuin performance on 7 Juin, the feck o the audience watched the ongauns wi smilin pleisure. This wisnae juist at the ful-boukit, unstintit, lippenin performances bi the actors o the Nutshell Theatre Company, but at the pleisure an fun o the language, that didnae miss a beat in its rhythm nor in its modern references aw the wey throu. A cuid juist descrive the hail ongaun as real theatre in ilka kinna wey!

The Play o the Wather wis premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2002. It wis performed in the Traverse theatre in Edinburgh on 6 and 7 Juin 2003 an efter that it went tae the Tron theatre in Glesca frae 11 tae 14 Juin 2003.

The Nutshell Theatre Company will be performin 'Meat’ bi Sarah Colvin on the Fringe this year atween 31 July an 25 August in the Smirnoff Underbelly, Cowgate, Edinburgh. The Company can be contactit on [CENSORED: phonenumber] or at [CENSORED: emailaddress].
McCash Poetry Prize
ATWEEN thaim, the Herald an Glesca University is haudin the abuin poetry competition for verse written in Scots an open tae awbody in the hail warld.

Poets is speirt tae pit forrit as mony as three original, unpublished poems o aboot 20 lines on ony subjeck an uisin sufficient uiss o Scots tae be descrived as forderin the Scots language. Poems shuid be clear prentit, typed or written on ae side o A4 paper, wi the author's name, address an contack nummer on the back. Entries shuid be pitten forrit tae:-

Scots Poetry Competition, The Herald, [CENSORED: postaladdress], bi 1st August 2003.

The McCash Poetry Prize micht be sindert an awairdit tae a nummer o entries. 1st Prize - £750, 2nt Prize - £350, 3rd Prize - £200 an £200 for the best unner 17 entry.

Makar's Neuk

An as he swithert sae in harns an hairt
a muckle swaw heized him tae the craigie shore
an thare his skin wad hae been flyped an his banes brak
hadna the goddess, yon bricht-eed Athene,
pit in his hairt a thocht.
In his bygaun he raxt baith haunds oot tae a craig
an held on wi a grane until the swaw gaed bye.
But back it breenged its wey an duntit him
an flung him oot yince mair intil the deep,
an lik the hosack ruggit frae his byke,
the paibles hingin frae the sookers,
sae wes the hide scartit frae his strang haunds
an the muckle swaw gaed ower him.
An yonner he wad hae perisht ayont his doom
hadna bricht-eed Athene stellt his thochts.
He raised himsel frae the laundrist by the shore
an soomed ayont it lukkin tae the laund,
ettlin tae finn a sklentit claddach or a hine.
Syne he cam soomin til the firth o a quait-rinnan watter,
a bit that shawed the eithest tae his een,
smooth frae the craigs an beildit frae the wund.
He felt the watter rin an prayed til the river-god:

William Neill (1922 - )

Reproduced wi couthie permission o the Saltire Society

This work is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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


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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 116. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 17 June 2024, from

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


Information about Document 1767

Scots Tung Wittins 116


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2699
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2003
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