Document 1782

Scots Tung Wittins 131

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 131
Oct 2004

A guid Scots Tung in yer heid's na 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.

Q. & A. in Executive Speak?
[NOTE: a photograph of Frank McAveety in original]
LANGUAGE is a funny thing, or least-weys it can be a funny thing in the haunds, or raither the mooths, o executive politicians. In the bygane, the human race inventit language as a tool tae be uised for the honest an accurate expression o thochts an ideas, for the honest an accurate speirin o questions an for the honest an accurate answerin o thae questions speirt. Then cam the Executive politicians that, wi thair ain form o executive speak, turns this honest an accurate communication tool intae a sleekit code that ettles tae pou the wool ower the lugs o honest questioners. Here an exemplar o three questions that wis speirt in the Scots pairlament bi Chris Ballance MSP, an 'answert' bi Frank McAveety MSP, aw owerset intae oor ain language. Judge for yersels if it's the questions or the answers that ettles tae shaw the maist honesty.

Chris Ballance MSP (26/08/04): Tae speir the Scots Executive,......., whit specific initiatives it haes taen in repone tae the recommendations o the Cooncil o Europe Comatee o Experts' report intae the Chairter for Regional or Minority Languages, wi regaird tae Scots.

Frank McAveety MSP: Action tae dae wi the recommendation o the Comatee o Experts an the Chairter undertakings for Scots is for a reinge o bodies an institutions. A braid reinge o Scots initiatives is bein taen forrit athort Scotland. The Executive will consider an aw thae maitters includit athin the Pairtnership commitment tae bring oot a National Language Strategy. Scots Executive

Chris Ballance MSP: Tae speir the Scots Executive whit meinister haes owerance for makin siccar that it meets its obligements anent the Chairter for Regional or Minority Languages wi regaird tae Scots.
Frank McAveety MSP: A hiv the heid Meinisterial owerance athin the Scots Executive for maitters tae dae wi the Scots language. Scots Executive

Chris Ballance MSP: Tae speir the Scots Executive when it will formally repone tae the recommendations o the Cooncil o Europe Comatee o Experts' report intae the Chairter for Regional or Minority Languages wi regaird tae Scots.

Frank McAveety MSP: Ony formal repone tae the recommendations o the Comatee is a maitter for the UK Government. The Executive will hae an inpit tae the neist UK periodic report, that faws due in Juin 2005.
Scots Executive

[NOTE: a photograph of Chris Ballance in original]
Daes onybody recognise ony specific initiatives in answer nummer ane? The answers tae nummers twa an three is conter tae ane anither. Tho the Meinister haes owerance athin the Scots Executive for aw maitters tae dae wi the Scots language, it's the UK Government that haes owerance for pittin the formal report in tae the Comatee o Experts. The question is, will the UK Gov rax the hail o the Meinister's consaits anent Scots on tae the Comatee or will he juist hae an inpit tae whit the UK Gov thinks is best for Scots?

But then, we aw ken bi noo whit happens when ye speir questions!!

A Scottish Six?
[NOTE: photographs of John MacKay and Shereen Nanjiani in original]
THE tea-time edition o STV's Scotland Today on Friday 3 September wis somethin different aw thegither. The hail warld wis bein stoundit wi reports comin oot o Russia aboot aw thae wee bairns bein hauden hostage at thon scuil in Beslan an Scotland Today pit this story richt at the stert o its program. The twa praisenters, John MacKay an Shereen Nanjiani, alang wi Neil Connery speakin direct frae the scene, did a richt wyce-like an professional job o pittin this hert-stoundin international news ower tae the Scots public in a hamelt vice an accent they wad aw be acquent wi. This is whit the sae cried Scottish Six is aw aboot. News, guid or bad, frae aw the airts an no juist frae this country, comin intae oor hooses in a vice or accent that's aw oor ain raither nor in thon cauld, foreign, RP accents o the English estaiblishment that comes frae folk that's juist no ane o oo. Ye cannae win tae the herts o folk athoot ye uise the soonds an accents folks' herts kens best an the anes folks' herts an lugs is maist acquent wi. Scotland Today is tae be congratulated for pittin this emotional report ower in sic a natural wey an in a wey that cried oot that thon wis the richt thing tae dae for the sake o its Scots viewers. Nae wunner Scotland Today is the best TV news program in Scotland an efter pittin the BBC's gas at a peep again wi this, they're shuir tae be e'en faurer aheid bi noo. If naethin else, this program haes shawed the media estaiblishment, no juist that international news can be braidcast frae a Scots perspective, but that it's mair natural, better an easier bein braidcast this wey nor it is bein braidcast frae London an frae a London perspective.

Let's howp that this is the stert an no the feinish o whit uised tae be cried the Scottish Six!

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 18 Oct 2004
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
[CENSORED: postaladdress]

[NOTE: logo of Scotland Alba Saltire Society in original]
International Collogue
Luigi Blanco, Wolfgang Schneider,
David Mackenzie, Bryan Beattie
Thursday 7th October 2004
10.30am - 4.15pm
in the
Raeburn Room, University o Edinburgh
European Buroo for Lesser Uised Leids
Italian Institute o Culture
Scots Airts Cooncil
Fees:- maimbers £25
non-maimbers £30
incl. lunch an refreshments

THE abuin Saltire Society's International Collogue for this year will bring thegither a reinge o kenspeckle speakers tae discuss maitters tae dae wi bringin on cultural policy in the EU's devolved nations an regions. Juist when cultural policy is the subject o national collogue here in Scotland, folk that taks pairt will learn mair aboot the expairiences o airtists, administrators an politicians in Italy, Germany, Spain an Scotland. Speakers will delve intae the processes connectit wi policy development, consider hou internal flytin is sortit an leuk tae the ettles o policy wi regaird tae winnin tae a reinge o cultural, social an economic goals.
The collogue shuid be o interest tae airtists, braidcasters, airts administrators, civil servants, students o cultural studies, language upsteerers, politicians an airts journalists.

Makar's Neuk

A wis passin the museum
An A nearly didnae see him,
As A hurried on ma wey doon Chambers Street,
He'd a face thit looked gey glaikit
An he wore a khaki jaiket
An a pair o army boots upon his feet!

He'd only yin guid airm
An his richt ee wis juist starin
An his notice read - The Falklands A wis thare
An in place o his left leg
Thir wis juist a wooden peg,
Well fir that puir man - ma hert wis awfu sair.

So A placed a fiver in his hand
An said - Man A understand,
Yir belief in aw the things that you focht for,
Then he smiled an shook his head,
An turned tae me an said,
Thank-a-you so very much-ma-good-Señor.

John Dennison

New Pairlament, New Wabsteid
[NOTE: a photograph of the quotation engraved into ground at the entrance to Queensberry House in original]
ON 7th September 2004, Scots MSPs got doon tae wark in thair new hame at Holyrood. History will tak tent that the first debate in the new chaumer got unnerwey juist efter 9.30am when the Scots First Meinister, Jack McConnell, set oot the Executive's legislative program for the incomin year efter George Reid, the Presidin Officer, haed gotten things up an rinnin in the new pairlament.This program wis tae hae twal bills that wad include mair protection for bairns agin paedophiles, modernisation o saicondary scuils, dingin doon o binge drinkin, smokin in public places, the Gaelic language an mair free transport for pensioners amang ither things.Nicola Sturgeon MSP said that it didnae lay oot ony clearly developed ettle for meetin the muckle challenges that we face as a nation cause, for aw its lenth an its flouery rhetoric, it's juist nae mair nor a vision vaccuum.David McLetchie MSP pyntit oot that there juist ten paragraphs aboot the NHS an eleeven aboot the Gaelic language.For aw that tho, maist folk wis o the consait that the new biggin wis juist the dab for thaim while the Canongate Kirk Meinister pyntit oot that in the bygane, the site haed been uised at sindry times for a geriatric hospital an a brewery. Soonds like the pairlament micht no be sae oot o place thare efter aw.At a cost o £431m, time itsel will tell if the feinisht biggin is ower guid for oor MSPs or no. Scotland an the warld will be waitin tae see if thae MSPs taks the ure this new beginnin haes praisentit thaim wi tae lift thair gemm or if they juist cairry on playin the wey they hiv ower thae last five year an end up no gittin intae the finals agane.

Ay, £431m is a muckle daud o siller tae live up tae but thare agane, for maist o the last five year, the Scots government haes aye managed no tae spend aboot £500m o its budget ilka year sae, if it uises whit it haes saved in ane o thae years tae pey aff the cost o the pairlament biggin, daes that no mean that the taxpeyer is still aye £2000m tae the guid?

Alang wi the handsellin o the new biggin at Holyrood, cam a braw new Scots Pairlament wabsteid. A fair wyce-like wabsteid it is an aw an it shaws signs o a wee bit impruivement in the gemm o thae MSPs, Executive, civil servants or wha-ever it is that really pous the strings o the pairlament. On the wabsteid's Hame Page there a neuk that shaws a nummer o languages that the page can be read in an Scots is the saicont ane oot o twal spoken languages. This is a walcome chynge tae the new wabsteid that the auld ane didnae hae an is seen as a token impruivement in the government's haundlin o Scots bi maist Scots language upsteerers.
Hae a keek at the wabsteid on:-
an in the languages neuk (tap left) click on Scots.

Anither wabsteid cried Scotland's Culture, uphaudit bi the Scots Executive an the Scots Library an Information Cooncil, haes a page owerset intae Scots an aw. Howanever, if the hail pynt o owersettin an official document intae Scots is tae gie the ordinar native Scots speakin public accurate an easy unnerstuid information, it wad seem that this goal haes been forgotten aboot bi the owersetter. There wis nae attempt tae uise a form o Scots that native speakers frae aw the airts wad hae nae bother unnerstaunnin. E'en the title o the page, "About the Portal" wis owerset intae "Aboot tae Yett". Whit wis wrang wi uisin "Aboot the Yett"? "The" is the mair common form o the Scots definite airticle an haes a faur bigger entry in the Concise Scots Dictionary nor "tae". Extracts frae official Scots registers o the years 1288, 1397, 1496, 1565, 1587 an 1650 aw uised "the" as the Scots definite airticle. Official Scots cannae afford tae be parochial or auld farrant an shuid aye uise a form o spellin that's in the mair raicent Scots dictionaries tae gie folk a chance o leukin it up if they dinnae ken whit it means. The follaein words an/or spellins wad hae maist native Scots uisers the day, includin the editor o STW an the ordinar man in the street, scartin thair heids; wyle, adee, makk, wylin, heirskip hauders, sikks an raxx.
At the hinneren, there a tentless typo, jaloused tae hiv been makit bi the wabmaister, whaur the reader is telt twice in English an juist the aince in Scots that the page wis, "Owerset in tae Scots bi Sheena Blackhall". Wi "into" no bein owerset as "intae" it's juist no clear tae the reader if "in tae" means "in to" or "in the" like in the title. For aw that tho, readers shuid tak hert that here anither Executive uphaudit wabsteid whaur Scots wad seem tae hae been gien an inlat tae tak its richtfu place.

Scotland's Culture can be vizzied on:-

Auld Reekie
A chimbley-sweep's motor wis seen drivin throu the streets o Edinburgh no that lang syne. The firm's name on the sides o the motor wis A. Auld Reekie. On the hinneren o the motor wis the slogan, Lang may yer lum reek! Appearinly, this is a weel estaiblisht third generation firm o Auld Reekie chimbley-sweeps. The uiss o Scots in this wey shaws a richt guid imagination, for it fairly catches the ee, particlar o the majority Scots speakin public, an the hail pynt o advertisin is shuirly juist tae dae that - tae catch the ee.

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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 131. 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 3 December 2023, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 131." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2023. Web. 3 December 2023.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2023. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 1782

Scots Tung Wittins 131


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2360
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