Document 1777

Scots Tung Wittins 126

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 126
Mey 2004

A guid Scots Tung in yer heid's nae guid if yer mooth's ower blate tae uise it!

Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydently Campaignin for the Scots Leid
Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Scots Tung Wabsteid: 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 furthset in ony ither publication.

Palmie an Rid Face for the Executive
"European observers is dumfoonert that it's the devolved Scots government that's daein nixt tae naethin"
IT'S a richt sair day when the Scots government haes tae be telt bi the Cooncil o Europe's Comatee o Experts tae uphaud an promote the Scots language. European observers is dumfoonert that it's the devolved Scots government that's daein nixt tae naethin tae help its ain Scots language in Scotland for aw the muckle expectations that wis hauden bi maist folk when the Pairlament wis re-estaiblisht five year syne. The British an Irish governments' efforts tae uphaud the Ulster Scots language in Northern Ireland an pairts o the Republic, tho in thairsels no up tae the standarts needit bi the European Chairter for Regional or Minority Languages, leaves the Scots government's want o ony positive effort, richt oot o sicht. A year efter ratification, the Scots Executive wis speirt bi the Comatee o Experts whit they haed duin ower that year tae pit each an ilka ane o the Chairter's requirements intae force. Oot o 20 questions speirt, the SE gied nae answer at aw tae nae less nor ten o thaim an they micht as weel hiv duin the same wi the ither ten for aw the sense the answers makit. Here an exemplar o ane o the questions they did 'answer' but shuidna hae bothered.

Please indicate the measures taken (in accordance with Article 6 of the Charter) to make better known the rights and duties deriving from the application of the Charter.Article 6 o the Chairter threaps, The Parties undertake to see to it that the authorities, organisations and persons concerned are informed of the rights and duties established by this Charter.The SE's answer tae this haes tae be seen tae be believed.

"The Minister of State for Scotland, George Foulkes, issued a press notice on 27 March 2001 welcoming ratification of the Charter. Opportunities are taken to highlight the Charter in speeches given by Ministers."
Here's whit they've been telt bi the CoE wi regaird tae the Scots language:-
The Commitee of Experts recommends that the British authorities take account of all its observations and, as a matter of priority - create conditions for the use of Scots in public life, through the adoption of a language policy and concrete measures, in co-operation with the speakers of the language.

In a written answer tae Brian Adam MSP, Educ. Minister, Peter Peacock said in Feb,
"The Council of Europe's CoE are due to report soon on the UK's record on the Charter. Following this the Executive will write to local authorities, public bodies and other institutions reminding them of the UK's treaty obligations with regard to Scots and Gaelic."

When the Scots Executive finally gits roond tae informin aw thae authorities, organisations an folk concairned aboot the richts an duties estaiblisht bi the Chairter, let's howp it disnae forget the S.P. Corporate Body.

Huntie Gowk?
On Huntie Gowk nicht, 1 April, STV's Scotland Today reportit the Scots Executive wis considerin a law tae daur pubs frae sellin alchohol on a Monday wi sales restrictit tae non-alchoholic drinks on that day. At the hinneren o the program they awned that it wis juist a huntie gowk but mony folk wisnae aw that shuir for it wisnae ony mair oot o the wey nor the Scots Executive's norie o spendin £600,000 o taxpeyers' siller tae gar young mithers stop uisin disposable nappies an gaun back tae uisin the auld farrant claith hippins, safety-peens an plastic breeks on thair bairns. Wha ever cam up wi thon bricht idea, it shuirly wisnae ony young mither nor ony nursery nurse an it maist certainly wisnae ony o the bairns. If they cuid come oot wi somethin as glaikit as thon, then daurin pubs frae sellin alchohol on a Monday wad be juist par for the coorse. Maist folk tho wad nae doot think the hippins ane wad mak the best huntie gowk. But it wisnae ane tho.

Spreedin the Word
FOR a guid puckle year noo, Scots Tung haes been pittin oot copies o the Scots Tung wittins tae libraries in the Lothians airt. Tae stert wi it wis maistlins hard paper copies alang wi some laminated anes but as time gaed bye an mair an mair fantoosh technical graith alang wi aw the necessar programs wis aquired, it becam possible tae rax on copies o the STW as pdf files peened on tae e-mails.Thae airly years seen it gien oot tae aw the cooncil libraries in East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian, Edinburgh Central Library, the National Library o Scotland an the AK Bell Library o Perth. Last month seen the distribution leet swall tae tak in aw the rest o the cooncil libraries in Edinburgh alang wi aw the cooncil libraries in the Scottish Borders an Fife. Scots Tung is ettlin tae see its distribution leet growe even mair tae tak in the ither cooncils as weel as suin as thair e-mail addresses can be eikit tae the leet. Tho no juist a hunder per cent feinisht, the leet raxes noo frae the Pentland Firth tae the Solway Firth, bydin clear o the Hebrides an a puckle wee pockets o Hieland Cooncil tae gie a distribution kivverin aboot 430 libraries. Ilka ane o thae libraries wis gien the inlat tae hae thair e-mail address taen aff the distribution leet at ony time bi reponin tae the e-mail wi "Nae thanks" in the subject. Up tae the noo, six libraries haes said "Nae thanks". A nummer o coonties (nine at the last coont) haes speirt for the pdf copy o STW juist tae be sent direct tae thair central library or library heid-quarters sae that they can rax the files on tae aw the ither brainch libraries thairsels.

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
The Scots Tung Wittins can be vizzied or doon-loadit an prentit (noo in pdf format forbye) frae the wabsteid o:-
The Scots Speikers Curn, Glesca.
Wabsteid backin:-
Mair raicent copies can noo be gotten in pdf format frae Scots Tung's ain new wabsteid at:-
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
Monday 24 Mey 2004
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
Comatee Room C. or if no available,
in the restaurant on the grund flair.
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

A Wee Keek At Tom Leonard
Bi Irene Brown
MA first sicht o Tom Leonard's wark wis in 1983 when A read his 6 Glasgow Poems in Noise and Smoky Breath. Thae poems wis written in the "proletarian urban diction" o Glesca. "Urban diction" is a tairm uised bi Tom Leonard in his innin tae the poetry anthology, RadicalRenfrew tae descrive the development o warkin cless language frae the 19t century on in Britain, an mair particlar in the west o Scotland. For exemplar, poem 5 o the 6 Glasgow Poems is The miracle of the burd and the fishes.

Ach sun
jiss keepyir chin up
dizny dae gonabootlika hawf shut knife
inaw jiss cozzy a burd

luvur dae ye
ach well
gee it a wee while sun
thirza loat merr fish in the sea.

This radical style is a tredmerk o Tom Leonard's writin that lens itsel weel tae bein performed, particlar bi him. When A got telt o a new publication in pamphlet format bi Tom Leonard, A expeckit mair o the same. Mind you, Leonard, like his freend James Kelman, "writes, thinks and speaks in English, but always with a Glasgow accent."*
O the 12 poems in inside looking in, juist twa comes awthegither athin the category o West o Scotland urban diction. The first is (1) o 2 Forlorn Poems. It's like a body's hert sair strind o thochts when a lang staundin relationship is breckin doon.

yi keep jist kerryin oan
zif nuthin wiz really

happnin, izif
it wiz aw jist the wey
it wiz yisstirday an
the day afore

The second, Hans Arp: je suis un cheval gits e'en mair abstrack, orra an awfu funny efter thae first twa-three lines.

ahma hoarss
ahm oana train
packt ti the gunnilz
ma compartmints fuhll
a wummin in ivri seat
a man oan ivri wummin'sknee
helluva hoat
lik sumhn oot thi troapics

As the pamphlet's title propones, the twal tersely written poems is introspective an chaws mony a thocht. Gret vailyie at £2! Scotland haes mony vyces an mony different Scots vyces an as Tom Leonard airgied in RadicalRenfrew, "It is the right of equality of dialogue that is being fought for". We cannae airgie wi that.

inside looking in (ISSN 1368 - 305520) can be gotten frae Survivor's Press, [CENSORED: postaladdress] price £2.50 incl p&p.

Tom Leonard's collection, Intimate Voices haes raicently been re-furthset bi Etruscan Books. His poems 1984 - 2004, access to the silence, is tae be furthset bi Etruscan Books in Juin 2004.

Noise and Smoky Breath - an illustrated anthology of Glasgow poems 1900 - 1983 (ISBN 0906474280) editit bi Hamish Whyte.

RadicalRenfrew - poetry from the French revolution to the First World War (ISBN0748660526 an ISBN0748660283) editit bi Tom Leonard.

*said at a lecture bi Kelman at Strathclyde University in the 1980s.

(Narrative owerset intae Scots bi Editor)

Wittins Frae The Broch
[NOTE: a photograph here in original]
THE Broch's local weekly paper, the Fraserburgh Herald, carries three or fower contributions frae Ian B Johnstone but ane in particlar is o muckle interest tae the STW. This is a column cried Tuney Loon's Low Doon an the interest in this ane kythes frae the fact that it's written aw in the Doric Scots o the Broch an haunelt in sic a wey as tae be gey reader freendly tae thaim that's aquent wi the speakin o the leid. This is a reglar column for the Herald an haes been gaun on for mair nor five year noo.Ian is haein thochts o fetchin oot an anthology in the oncome, foondit on the TLLD. He is speirin an aw for ony inpit or news sneddins that micht be o local or general interesttae his readers particlar if it haes tae dae wi the Scots leid. Ae wee bit o wittins that micht weel be o interest tae him an the folk that bides in an aroond the Broch follaes on frae the report ower the page anent the distribution o pdf copies o the Scots Tung Wittins bi e-mail tae libraries aw ower Scotland. The cooncil public libraries in Aiberdeen City, Aiberdeenshire an Moray haes agreed tae accept thae copies o the STW for display in aw thair cooncil libraries. Sae, be on the kee-vee an keep yer een peeled for a sicht o thaim in the Broch library.
Contact :- Ian Johnstone at
[CENSORED: postaladdress]

Whit wey no gie a visit tae Scots Tung's new wabsteid at:-
or juist dae a wab search for Scots Tung?

Cauld Kail Re-het
A report that kythed in Aiberdeen's Press an Journal aboot eicht or nine year syne wis gey weel received an shuid be nane the waur for its re-tellin agane.

This report telt o a young mither daunderin alang Union Street, Aiberdeen, haudin her five year auld bairn bi the haund. She turned tae the bairn, giein his airm a shoogle, an wis heard tae say, "Dinnae keep on sayin 'eh?' Learn tae speak proper min. Say 'fit?' "

EBLUL Eurovision?
[NOTE: a photograph here of Gwenno performing in original]
THE UK Maimber State Comatee o the European Buroo o Lesser Uised Leids (EBLUL), at its forgaitherin in Cardiff on 7 April, haed a bit crack anent organisin an settin up a kinna Eurovision sang contest for minority languages whaur aw the contestants haes tae uise thair ain hamelt minority leid. This is a sicht different frae the auld estaiblisht Eurovision Sang Contest whaur mair an mair contestants ilka year is turnin tae English tae gie thaim a better chance o beirin the gree. Words is bein hauden wi the Belfast City Cooncil tae see if they wad consider hostin the ongaun, aiblins in 2005 or 2006. A sma siclike contest cried Liet wis hauden last November in Ljouweert, Fryslân, wi juist ten bands takin pairt an the fotie shaws Gwenno frae Cornwall daein her bit. (see STW Nummer 122 Jan. 2004)

Tae evite this ongaun bein seen as a contest tae fund the best minority leid or e'en whit minority leid's past culture is superior, it shuirly maun be necessar for aw entries tae be a hunder percent original baith in words an music. Scotland's rowth o professional, semi-pro an amateur airtists cannae be expectit tae juist souter thegither original sangs or music in twa-three weeks sae, for the ongaun tae be a guid success, some kinna airly warnin or invite weel afore the contest, shuid be pitten oot tae as braid a walin o airtists as possible. It micht be a guid idea an aw tae mak contact, no juist wi Belfast City Cooncil but, wi the naitional an commercial TV braidcasters in Britain, Ireland an Eurovision itsel forbye. If ye dinnae seek, ye dinnae git.

Makar's Neuk

"Heh! young folk arena what they were:"
Wheeng'd the auld craw to his cronie:
"Sic galivantin here and there,
Their menners far frae bonnie."

"Eh me! it's waur and waur they get
In gumption and decorum:
And sma respec for kirk or state."
Wi that the auld craw wagg'd his pate
As his faither did afore him.

Frae Bairnrhymes
Bi William Soutar 1898-1943

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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 126. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 2 March 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 126." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 2 March 2024.

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


Information about Document 1777

Scots Tung Wittins 126


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2426
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2004
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