Document 1770

Scots Tung Wittins 119

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 119
Oct 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
Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Minority Leids Resolution Passed Bi European Pairlament
"Minority languages is no tae be taen as threats or a danger an naither is the speakers o thae languages"
ON the 4t September, the European Pairlament, in its plenary session in Strasbourg, passed the resolution o Italian MEP Michl Ebner when the feck o MEPs in the chaumer votit for it. Oot o the 471 MEPs in the chaumer, 423 votit for the resolution, 27 wis agin an 21 didna vote.

The resolution wis tae dae wi Linguistic Diversity an Regional an Minority Languages athin the European Union. Efter a week's collogue wi aw the EP's political curns, MEP Ebner wis able tae fund greement amang thaim aw an see his initiative win throu.The collogue wis stertit bi MEP Ebner praisentin his report that wis first pit forrit in Mey 2003. He spake aboot his ain experience in his hamelt Italian airt o Trentino-Alto Adige, Südtirol, whaur the three leids, Italian, German an Ladin is spoken, makin a true European microcosm. Ebner threapit, " It's ma consait that Regional an Minority Languages shuidna mak ony kinch but shuid be seen as assets, as eikin tae the vailye o Europe an its rich linguistic diversity. They're gey aften brigs atween different cultures an syne they are helpfu tae European integration."

Education an Culture Commissioner Viviane Reding follaed, pittin vyce tae her doots anent the twa heidmaist pynts o the Resolution that rowes in the European Commission direck like tae big up a European Agency for Linguistic Diversity an Language Lairnin an tae lench an EU program for Linguistic Diversity. For the first ane, the Commissioner proponed that a feasibility study shuid be cairried oot for its implementation. As for the hinnermaist, she didna regaird the norrie o a program for Regional an Minority Languages in a positive wey. Yet, the program proponed in MEP Ebner's report pynts mair tae Linguistic Diversity nor tae minority languages in particular.

E'en mair dootfu wis MEP Theresa Zabell (Spain), that threapit, "A dinna see whit wey mair siller shuid be daled ower tae minority leids......Spain as a country peys for eneuch ettles on thon maitter areddies." MEP Myrsini Zorba's consaits wis raither different. The MEP (Greece) an Vice-Preses o the Inter-group for Regional an Minority Languages threapit, "A walcome this ettle, that's uphaudit an aw bi the inclusion o the mention on linguistic diversity, raicently endorsed bi airticle 3 o the European Convention. Coorse, aw this shuid be cairried oot in the speerit o European Cooperation."

Catalan MEP Joan Vallvé (Spain), forspeaker for the European Liberal, Democratic an Reform Pairty, fully uphaudit the Ebner Resolution an pyntit oot the laich staundin o the Catalan leid in the EU, a 'minority' language spoken bi ower 7m fowk. MEP Eurig Wyn (UK) stertit oot his speech in his hamelt leid, Welsh, than cairriet on in English. He threapit that minority languages is no tae be taen as threats or a danger an naither is the speakers o thae languages. Sean Ó Neachtain (Ireland) jyned his colleague an gied the report his ful uphaud.

A nummer o ither Maimbers o Pairlament taen an uphaudin pairt in the collogue. Amang thaim wis, Alain Esclopé an Bruno Gollnisch (France), Maria Martens (Netherlands), Christa Prets (Austria), Astrid Thors (Finland), Miguel Mayol i Raynal (Spain), Mathieu Grosch (Belgium), Ulpa Livari (Finland), Josu Ortuondo Larrea (Spain), Mario Borghezio (Italy), Michael Gahler (Germany), Raimon Oboils i Germá (Spain) an Johannes Voggenhuber (Austria).

Aw thae positive ootcomes will pit a particlar wecht on tae the European Commission, but the hinnermaist ootcome is still aye dootfu, gien the thrawn naitur o thon institution. Howanever, the report is pairt o a lairger ettle that taks in the abuin European Convention an the Action Plan on Linguistic Diversity raicently pit forrit bi the European Commission.

The European Buroo for Lesser Uised Leids in Brussels gied a hail-hertit walcome tae the report, that in ane o its pynts (pynt 12) up-steers the EU tae gie mair uphaud tae this organisation. EBLUL Secretar-General, Markus Warasin threapit, "Thanks tae thae raicent ongauns, EBLUL noo expecks the EU an its programs tae uphaud regional an minority languages mair eydently in its raicent mainstream policy. We howp that, in the oncome, projecks comin frae minority language airts winna juist be mair hertily considered, but gien positive priority an aw."
Aw thae ongauns wad seem tae be a guid step forrit for aw the minority leids o the EU includin wir ain Scots an Gaelic. It wis guid tae see an MEP frae Wales an ane frae Ireland takin sic a kenspeckle pairt in the collogue an, tho the Verbatim Report (the maik o Hansard) didna gie ony verbal inpit frae ony o the eicht Scots MEPs, due tae plenary session speakin procedures, they war aw thare an aw votit tae uphaud the resolution.

Garage Doors
[NOTE: image of the garage doors with painted saltire in original]
THE biggest saltire in the Honest Toun beilds this garage door frae the wather. Is thon no a braw sicht tae come hame tae? Daes ony ither garage door mak sic a guid statement or tell sic a guid story?

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:-
Tae hae a free PDF copy sent bi e-mail ilka month, phone 0131-665-5440.
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)

Nixt Forgaitherin
Mon. 29 September
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
Comatee Room C.
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

Maureen Sangster's 'The Unseen Hospital'
A review bi Irene Brown
THE Scottish Pamphlet Poetry wabsteid tells us that, "Mony poets, weel-kent an published in buik form areddies, turns tae pamphlets an aw alang wi, an complementin thair buik publications." This is whit Aiberdeen born poet, Maureen Sangster, haes duin wi her hinnermaist publication bi Kettilonia, The Unseen Hospital. The poems in the pamphlet wis inspired bi hospital warkers that Maureen wis alloued tae follae aroond on a residency an, that's jobs is no sae kenspeckle as thaim o the medical staff, the likes o porters, caterers, hairdressers, seamstresses an launderers. In Maureen's words, she haes, "...been concairned wi giein mense tae hou thae unseen warkers sees thairsels at wark."Maureen reinges wi feelin ower the topics, that, tho on the mairches o the hospital's heidmaist ongauns, can still aye be awaur o the sad an the sair. Oot o the 18 poems in the pamphlet, 3 haes been written in Scots: A Keek intae the Hospital Kitchen aifter an appointment wi the OT, Sanctuary Time an The Bridge.

The first poem is written frae a patient's pynt o view, that's thrawn vizzie on life wis soothered bi the order an rhythm o the kitchen's wark. It feinishes wi,

Tae hae a place in the scheme o things,
I thocht - a blinkin sliver o Chance
Afore Daith packs ice roon me.

In Sanctuary Time, Maureen uises the rhythm and repetition o street fowksang (It cuid be sung tae "Weel may the keel row")an sees wi sympathy, the aince loved bairn in the adult that's noo no weel an incarcerated.

An noo ma fair wee babby
Thou noo ye're no a babby
Thou ye greet jist like a babby
Doon the corridors, the day.

The hinnermaist poem in Scots in this pamphlet, The Bridge, A've read as bein a metaphor for the poet's residency an the gruesome things she's seen whan she wis daein it. It haes the dowie an wabbit souch o a body that's dreed eneuch an noo's juist weary tae hae a breck.

A bridge can brak
Can tak nae mair snell
Offerings or irksome sichts
Bauld pain or thirl onymair
Tae limbs far nerve ends hae deid.
I wes a bridge but naebody sa I wes.

Maureen haes includit an aw, 3 Scots poems frae her buik Out of the Urn. They are By the burnie that feeds the muckle Dee, Being Intimate an To Christ. No like her pamphlet, there nae particlar theme ither nor the unnerlyin femininity that the title propones. Wi a rowein rhythm, By the burnie that feeds the muckle Dee tells aboot a bairn-less wumman ettlin tae git haud o a stravaigit bairn-prince as he plays in the River Dee.

But he pit his tongue oot rudely
an passed by ma misfortune
an I've heard, syne, that he crawled oot
at the Palace up the Dee.

Being Intimate is gret fun as it rollicks alang at a guid lick descrivin a spontaneous loup o blithe, movin passion.

The angles are a altered
the ceilin's bashin through
O knobble nibble knobble
knobble knobble nibble noo!

To Christ is an ootburst tae a visitin meinister bi a sair wrocht, worn oot dochter that's nursin her mither an is mair in want o practical help nor whit we can tak tae be sanctimonious words.

ma life is juist a constant roon
o meals and bloody peels
if the hand o God's in this, Christ
it's a mystery nae revealed.

The braidth o subjeck maitter an the sindry styles maks baith thae sma volumes weel worth the read.

The Unseen Hospital (ISBN 1 902944 16X) can be gotten for £2.50 frae Kettilonia,
[CENSORED: postaladdress], or frae The extracks wis reproduced wi the kind permission o the poet.

Out of the Urn (ISBN 1 898218 65X) wis first furthset in 1997 bi Scottish Cultural Press. They're noo at Newbattle Abbey College, Newbattle Road, Dalkeith an kindly gied permission for the reproduction o the abuin 3 extracks.

The Handsellin o Sir Jimmy's Statue bi oor Stravaigin Reporter
[NOTE: image here of the statue in original]
UNNER a sunny Fife sky, an tae the fameeliar soonds o the Bluebell Polka an ither weel loved tunes playin canny like in the backgrund, a respeckfu an eydent crowd o mair nor 300 fowk frae aw the airts, forgaithert at the Upper Greens in Auchter-muchty at 11am on Friday 12 September 2003. They war thare tae witness the handsellin o the £40,000 bronze statue o Sir Jimmy Shand, sculpted bi David Annand, that wis the ootcome o the wark ower twa an a hauf year bi „fower auld freends' that haed setten up the Sir Jimmy Shand Sculpture Projeck. The sculpture shaws Sir Jimmy in a pose, walit bi his faimly, staundin in his kilt playin his accordion an leukin the wey he did at the hicht o his fame in the 1950s. (The fotie shaws the model uised for makin the statue) It staunds on the plinth complete wi thon wee hint o a smirk, alang wi the text:-

Happy to meet
Sorry to part
Happy to meet again

The ceremony wis opened bi Dr Sandy Tulloch, ane o the warkin comatee for the Sculpture Projeck, that minded the crowd o the 'quiet, blate man' wha's maxim in life haed been, "Keep it simple, son." John Simpson, Convener o Fife Cooncil, spake o Sir Jimmy bringin 'fame tae Auchtermuchty' an hou he haed been 'an unofficial ambassador for Scotland', uisin the international language o his fit-tappin music for his warld-wide audience. Jimmy Shand Jr. then thankit awbody that haed taen pairt in this hert-fu occasion.

Lady Anne Shand, Sir Jimmy's weedae, cled in bluebell purpie, wis praisentit wi flouers alang wi Lady Elgin, that haed a bluebell in her lapel. Is thare onywhaur ither nor Scotland whaur the weedae o an exminer can share the same rank as the landed gentry? Lord Elgin, the Projeck's patron, wis gien a herd's crummock afore makin his speech whaur he quotit frae the Apocrypha wi the words,

"Let us now sing the praises of famous men, the heroes of our nation's history..."

He gaed on tae speak o 'the happiness an precision' o Sir Jimmy's music afore hand-sellin the fine likeness o the man himsel tae the applause o the crowd whaur the colour o the purpie bluebell wis rowth in pairts throuoot the crowd.

A blithe an kenspeckle day!

A Guid Judge o Tea
IN the airly 1800s a puir wumman wis brocht afore a Greenock magistrate for pauchlin a kist o tea that haed juist been loaded aff a ship. It wis her first offence an the bailie spiert, "Whit tempted ye tae dae sic a thing wumman?"

The prisoner stertit greetin an reponed, "It wis the deevil tempit me sir."
"The deevil, honest man," answert the magistrate, "haed naethin tae dae wi't; at least I never kenn'd he wis sic a grand judge o tea, for it wis the best kist in the ship; sae ye maun gang tae the lock-up for a week."

Makar's Neuk
The Sting

Granny, A've cut ma knee.
Pit TCP oan it.

Granny, A've burnt ma haun.
Pit TCP oan it, hen.

Granny, A've goat a big plook oan ma neb.
Pit TCP oan it.

Granny, ma thrapple's sair.
Gargle it wi TCP, ma hen.

Oh, Granny
Naebody loves me.
Ma hairt's crazed.
Ma spirit's dowie.
A'm oan ma lain

An A've nae TCP in ma hoose.

Irene Brown 2003

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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 119. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 23 February 2024, from

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Information about Document 1770

Scots Tung Wittins 119


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2301
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