Document 1786

Scots Tung Wittins 135

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 135
Feb. 2005

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]

National Guidelines: English Language 5-14 (Scottish Culture)
A raicent airticle in the Daily Mail telt aboot hou Learning & Teaching Scotland, the body that gies advice on the curriculum, haes gien teachers guidance on the forderin o Scots. It's a wee bit dumfoonerin whit wey the airticle's author chuised tae describe Scots as bein immortalised bi the Broons unless he haesna heard aboot Robert Burns' 200 year international nummer ane hit sang, Auld Lang Syne. Did he miss this New Year an did he no see the raicent handsellin o the new pairlament biggin at Holyrood?

Tae let folk see, athoot ony references tae comics, exactly whit guidance Learning & Teaching Scotland gies annent Scots, the follaein is an owersettin intae Scots o the Scottish Culture section o thair guidelines on the English Language 5-14 Curriculum, as furthset in the LTS wabsite:-

THE speech o Scots folk is aften distinctive. It micht shaw qualities o pronunciation an tune that, taen thegither, maks an accent. It micht hae qualities o dialect, sic as vocabular, syntax, idiom an quicker or different weys o sayin things. Thae refleck the histories o communities, an are pairt o the language that the bairns brings tae the scuil.Syne, the first task o the scuils is tae mak thae pupils confident an creative in this language an tae stert tae forder the notion o language diversity, an throu this, big up an appreciation, in the pupils, o the reinge o accents, dialects an languages that they come intae contact wi. This will hae the teachers involvit wi meisurin the worth o the pupils' spoken language, an giein thaim an innin tae stories, poems an ither texts that uises dialect in a positive wey.

This is a fykie subject. Society gies prestige tae some accents an dialects an no tae ithers. The teachers will hae tae face fykie decisions: for exemplar, Whit is appropriate? When shuid inappropriate language be correctit? The central rules o acceptability shuid be that the pupil is makin an eydent attempt at communication, is tryin tae win tae a real or agreed purpose an, mair particlar for aulder pupils, is makin a guid chyce in the speech form bein adopted.

The norrie o diversity is necessar tae the unnerstaundin o language. There nae staundart form o Scots; there mony forms that's sindry atween ane-anither, tho whiles sharin common particlars. Tae help pupils, tairms the likes o dialect an accent shuid be expoondit an uised, wi exemplars, tae encourage discussion an forder a recognition o Scottish languages, an hou they relate tae the lives an experiences o Scottish folk.

Pupils can speir intae an enjoy language diversity bi takin tent o qualities o thair ain speech that differs frae Staundart English, an frae ither dialects that they come up agin. Recordin cracks wi aulder folk will gie a picter o bygane weys o livin an shaw the chyngin nature o local language. Tape recordins o Scottish dialects frae mair distant airts will eik tae this awaurness. The study o place names, stertin wi the local district, will shaw hou the continuin language history o Scotland keeps on chyngin.

Gien sic experiences, an a conviction o the worth o thair ain accents an dialects, pupils will hae mair unnerstaundin o thae folk wi languages an cultures that's different.

Scottish writin an writin aboot Scotland shuid appear aw the wey throu the curriculum an be gien an innin frae an airly stage, takin its place aside English literature. The objective o this is tae meisure the worth an critically speir intae the ideas, beliefs an emotions o Scottish writers, an tae set thaim agin the sindry insichts an perspectives o writers frae ither airts an ither times.

Scottish texts shuid be eydently socht an uised in the clessrooms: poetry, drama an fiction, baith historical an o the praisent time; an media texts the likes o radio braidcasts, films an television. Teachers shuid gie pupils a haund tae recognise thirsels, an be able to see thirsels as Scots in a sindry an self-awaur mainner.

It's no athin the scowth o thae guidelines tae deal wi the sindry an pernicketie maitters associatit wi the Gaelic language an the particlar aspects o Scottish culture that it taks in. Howanever, for pupils that disnae speak an read the language, there shuid at least be owersettins o its writins, tae help in unnerstaundin the backgrund an traditions that they come frae. Some o the brawest Scottish writin haes kythed frae the Gaelic tradition in poetry an prose, an the portrayals o the experiences o Gaelic-speaking communities provides a necessar strand in unnerstaundin whit it means tae be a Scot.

Sic unnerstaundin can be uphaudit an brocht on bi uiss o the mass media. National, local an regional braidcastin gies the pupils a braid chyce o linguistic models tae speir intae an discuss. In particlar, the scuils' braidcastin gies an inlat tae accents an dialects frae aw the airts o Scotland. The media, in thair mony forms, pits forrit ideas an images o 'Scottishness' an aw. National stereotypes an ither representations is an important pynt o discussion, criticism an challenge for the pupils in Scottish scuils.

Frae an awaurness o the diversity o accents, dialects an languages in Scotland, pupils will big up an appreciation o the diversity o ither languages an thair importance for the communities that uises thaim. Faur frae takin awa frae the importance o English, an unnerstaundin o the wey dialects works will eik tae awaurness o the need for a staundart form o language that maks communication athort linguistic an cultural mairches possible. It will gie a mair informed view on the effect o English on the world community o languages an aw.

It shuid be a central aim o Scottish scuils tae help thair pupils unnerstaund that the common expairiences, ongauns, history an artefacts o the folk o Scotland maks up a recognisable an sindry culture, weel wordy o haundin doon an o study.

The abuin LTS wabsite cairries a nummer o Special Focus pages aboot Scots an aw:-
Scots - Background
Scots - Background - Scotland's languages
Scots - Background - A brief history
Scots - Background - Scots in education
Scots - Background - What the guidelines say
Scots - Background - Teaching Approaches

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
Mair raicent copies o the Scots Tung Wittins can be gotten in pdf format frae Scots Tung's 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.
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© 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.

The Wee Book of Calvin - Air Kissing in The North East
A review bi Irene Broon owerset intae Scots bi the editor
ON 23 November 2004, as pairt o the radical buikshop, Wordpower's 10th burthday celebrations in the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms, Bill Duncan read frae his hinnermaist buik, The Wee Book of Calvin – Air Kissing in The North East. His strechtface delivery o this buik o inverse positive thinkin, a reaction tae ".... the promiscuous rowth o Little Books..." o self enlightenment, wis met wi lots o lauchter an gret appreciation frae the audience. But this haesna been written as a funny buik. It is, as it says in the innin, " an exploration o place, time an language".

Bill Duncan haes dividit his Wee Book intae 7 essays, that's written in English. Ilka ane is follaed bi a series o North East aphorisms, gaithert frae memories o his Grandparents' generation, that's written in Scots. The buik is dedicatit "tae the ghosts o miners an fishermen", that wis amang his forebeirs, an it gies vyce an dignity tae a byegane generation that kent the value o silence an brevity o expression. The essays covers religion, drink, cless, the wather an daith, an tho it's clear the perspective is that o the North East, an particlar that o warkin cless landwart North East, the sentiments is easy seen as they are echoed throu the hail o Scotland tae sindry degrees. Aiblins particlar in the recognition o the mutual exchynge o insults as a sign o true freendship. There a theme o silence aw the wey throu the buik: the silence o men; the historical silence o a cless o folk; the silence o daith: an it wis Duncan's ain silence that helped tae inspire it. He writes in a hert steerin wey, in the essay Forsaken, o his meetin in wi ane o the landit gentry when Duncan, this man o sae mony words, wis makit dumb bi cripplin cless consciousness. This silence is bracken bi Duncan's articulation o it maistlins throu his experience o life wi his Grandparents, in particlar his Grandfaither, the man that loved the silence o nature, the spiritual unbeliever wi his atheist's catechism o "Eh dinnae believe in a man daein hoosework. Eh dinnae believe in doags. Eh dinnae believe in Summer Holidays. Eh dinnae believe in God. Eh dinnae believe in the Devil."

Duncan tells the reader that " Efter reading juist a puckle words o the Wee Book, ye'll feel a hell o a lot waur than ye did afore ye stertit." Ye'll be blithe tae ken he's wrang! He haes gien a hyste tae weys o communication that mony readers micht hiv taen for grantit as pairt o thair history an wey o life. He haes dignified the acceptance o life as it wis in its sair reality an the reserve that mony folk o an aulder generation conductit thairsels wi. His acceptit talent haes shawn itsel an flourisht in spite o comments when he did weel at the scuil the likes o "But ayewiz mind, laddie. Yer nae better than ye should be". This is a buik that can easy be read ower an ower again: tae enjoy the bitin "Caledonian Haiku" the likes o "Self pity never biled a haddock.", or "Yev a pus that wid vanish a haar." or tae enjoy the evocative prose in the essays. Ye can be mindit an aw o wha ye micht be by checkin oot the questions speirt in chapter 7, "Are you a Calvinist?"

Gloriously sceptical stuff!
Written bi Bill Duncan an aw is The Smiling School for Calvinists an
The Wee Book of Calvin (ISBN 0-141-01972-7) is Penguin Scotland's first publication an costs £7.99. The oot o this warld eemage o the Grim Reaper in the lotus position on the buik's front cover is bi Graham Carter.
©Irene Brown 2005

Nixt Forgaitherin
Monday 28 Februar 2005
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
[CENSORED: postaladdress]

The Scots Pairlament an the Tsunami
[NOTE: a photograph of three flags outside the Scottish Parliament Building: the Union Flag, the Saltire and the European Union flag]
ALANG wi mony ither folk athort the warld, the Scots Pairlament haudit a three meinit silence at twal nuin on Wednesday the 5 Januar tae shaw britherheid wi an murnin for aw thaim that hiv haed tae dree the awfu effects o the Indian Ocean tsunami. Flags wis floun at hauf mast for the hail day.

The pairlament's Presidin Officer, George Reid MSP, said that the Maimbers an staff o the Scots Pairlament expressit thair deep sympathy tae aw thaim that wis affectit bi the tsunami an that the humanitarian repone tae this muckle stramash bi the folk o the Scots nation haes been immediate, guidwillie an herty gien.
On Wednesday the 12 Januar, the pairlament haudit anither meinit's silence tae shaw britherheid an respect for aw thaim that haes been affectit bi the tsunami. This wis follaed bi a Ministerial Statement on the stramash bi First Minister Jack McConnell. He said that there nae doot that the scale o the natural stramash wis truelins awfu. He walcomed the Prime Minister's intimation o a national memorial service, that oor devolved Government will be representit at. Yet for aw that he'd been stammygastert bi the scale o the stramash, he'd been richt owercome an aw wi the Scottish people's repone for he'd no juist seen exemplars o public sympathy an grief, but stammygasterin meisures o generosity. He addit that aw the airts o Scottish society haed reponed tae the stramash - kirks, businesses, entrepreneurs, scuils, the media, public services an coorse, individuals in thair millions an Scotland haed ingethert £3.5 million for the Scottish Disasters Emergency Comatee appeal in juist 48 oors. He confirmed that the total soum wis noo jaloused tae be £20 million, as siller ingetherin attempts cairried on in the scuils, supermercats, shoppin centres an warkplaces aw ower the country. He said that Scotland haed reponed wi compassion an mony thoosands o ordinar Scots haed dug deep intae thair pooches tae help folk on the ither side o the warld in thair maist desperate oor o want an he wis prood o the wey that the nation haed reponed up tae noo. He wis determined that we shuid big on thon spirit o generosity pyntin oot that the folk o sooth-east Asia wad hae a want for oor support durin the weeks an months tae come; he kent that Scotland wad cairry on reponin.

He said that he wis shuir that MSPs o aw pairties wad want tae gie tae the appeal. He kent that mony o thaim haed makit muckle private contributions areddies an he hoped that the pairlamentary authorities an ithers wad facilitate thair abeility tae gie in whitivver wey wis maist appropriate. He said thae communities wad be affectit for a lang time tae come an we maunna forget thaim efter they disappear frae the newspaper heidlines.

Makar's Neuk

Guid faa thee bonnie Standart Habbie,
Kirstent bi Ramsay, looed bi Rabbie;
T'wes Sempill first gid thee thy knabbie,
An byous fame.
I've kent thee sin I wes a babbie,
An blisst thy name.

Ye've scriffit aff ti moose an haggis,
The Deil an sindry Nells an Maggies.
A kinch til ilka wit an wag is
Yer bob-wheel ploy;
A hantie tuil in bardic baggies;
The makar's joy.

Owre ilka kin o verse an jink,
Owre michty ode or crambo clink,
Ye'll rule, sae lang as Scotsmen think
On makkin rhyme;
Til Habbie we'll aye tip the wink,
Or eyn o time.

Gie Japanese their haiku dribbins,
The French their fremmit rondeau jibbins,
Eyetalians their terza blibbans,
Southrons their sonnets;
We'll bliss oor Habbie til the hivvens,
An heeze oor bunnets!

David C Purdie

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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.


Cite this Document

APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 135. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 July 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 135." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 25 July 2024.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 135," accessed 25 July 2024,

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


Information about Document 1786

Scots Tung Wittins 135


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2534
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2005
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