Document 1789

Scots Tung Wittins 138

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 138
Mey 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]

Tae Dee or No Tae Dee? An Executive Execution?
"The Committee 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"
SCOTS Tung wrote tae Patricia Ferguson MSP, Minister for Tourism, Culture an Sport, tae speir hou the Scots Government is gaun tae satisfy the Cooncil o Europe's Comatee o Experts that they've cairriet oot aw, or e'en ony, o its recommendations for the Scots language when it gies its answers tae the Cooncil's questions in July. We got the follaein reply:-
Thank you for your e-mail of 4 March to Patricia Ferguson, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, regarding the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. I have been asked to reply.
You are quite correct in stating that the UK Government must report to the Council of Europe on the UK's implementation of its obligations under the ECRML by July 2005. The Scottish Executive will be looking to Local Authorities and Non-Departmental Bodies to assist with the information for this Report shortly.
We hope information from LAs and NDPBs will demonstrate the current usage of Scots in public life and we expect the proposed Scottish Executive National Language Strategy will also be relevant to this area.
Thank you for your offer of help and we would welcome your suggestions of how we can co-operate in this matter.
Yours sincerely,
Rhona Cowan (Gaelic Unit)

When the Executive gied thon embarrassin first report last July, it wis gien a richt palmie bi the Comatee o Experts an, amang a nummer o ither things it wis telt that the Comatee o Experts propones that the British authorities taks tent o aw its observations an, as a maitter o priority, create conditions for the uiss o Scots in public life, throu the drawin up o a language policy an concrete meisures, in co-operation wi speakers o the language.

It's clear frae this that the Comatee o Experts haes let it be kent tae awbody, that whaur the Scots language is concairned, they're leukin for a distinct language policy that will set doon positive meisures that's designed tae forder the Scots language an gie it some meisure o bield frae weirin awa unner the constant onding it haes tae dree frae the ower-pouerin wecht o English that's airtit at the Scots speakin population bi the TV an the lave o the media in general. In the Comatee's een, the Executive haes tae be seen tae be cairryin oot concrete meisures tae forder the language. Tokens disnae dae that nor coont for onythin.

It wad seem that white'er kinna concrete meisures this Scots Executive haes taen, as a maitter o priority, if it haes taen ony at aw, it cannae mind whit they are, for it haes tae speir frae LAs an NDPBs tae find oot whit it, the Scots Executive, haes been daein.

This Scots Executive seems tae get itsel intae an awfu stushie ower language in general. It gets a letter aboot Scots, written in Scots an raxes it on tae a Gaelic Unit tae answer it in English. Forbye thon, it gets the consaits an recommendations o the Cooncil o Europe, written in English an disnae seem tae be able tae unnerstaund thaim. They're aither awfu donnert or it's siccar whit folk wis hearin last month, that the Scottish Executive disnae hae ony real interest or intention in daein onythin constructive tae uphaud an protect the Scots language sae they're juist actin the daft laddie. Professor Joe LoBianco interprets this kinna behaviour as juist a sleekit wey o makin shuir a minority language dees oot.

There naethin in thon Department o Tourism, Culture an Sport letter tae convince onybody that the Scots Executive is serious aboot the survival o the Scots language an that it disnae want tae see the Scots Language dee oot. There naethin in it tae pruive that it's no juist busy daein naethin tae mak siccar that the Scots language daes dee oot. It leuks awfu like they want it tae dee oot an if the Scots Executive wants tae convince onybody that this isnae true then let thaim pruive it. Let thaim tak richt concrete meisures tae uphaud Scots an gie the language some positive help the wey they gie it tae oor ither hamelt leid.

Kennin The Guid o Anither Language
IT haes been reportit in the media that James Blackwood, a primary seeven laddie frae Coulter, by Biggar in Lanarkshire, aye haed a sair fecht wi readin an writin in English till, ae day, his teacher gied the cless an innin tae Scots poetry.

Eleeven year auld James taen tae it richt awa an haed nae bother unnerstaundin the vernacular language. Frae then on he stertit gettin tap marks an noo he's sclimmin abuin his twinty-ane cless-mates in aw his subjects.

James telt reporters that lairnin Scots haed gien him a faur bigger vocabular an made him faur better at English. But Margaret, his English mither, is fair dumfoonert bi his love o Scots. The forty-five year auld Mistress Blackwood, that originally belanged Redcar in Yorkshire, said, "He speaks to me in Scots and I don't understand a word. He just wasn't interested in writing and didn't have the concentration for reading before. But when the class started the Itchy Coo books last year, he was straight into it and really enjoyed it."

Matthew Fitt, ane o the foondin authors o the Itchy Coo Scots language project, gied an innin tae the Scots language when he wis thare as a guest teacher. He said that he haed seen James loup tae the tap o the cless wi the help o traditional Scots.

James haes co-written a Scots poem, that he read oot tae an audience that includit Jack McConnell, the First Minister.

© 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.

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.
£6 (Ireland/EU) $14 (Americae)

Minority Leids on the Wab
THE kythin o minority languages on the Warld Wide Wab is shawin a muckle swall o growth, but whit kinna uiss is makit o thae languages on wabsteids o aw kin kind? Tae answer this, an ither sic like questions, Unesco is peyin for an on-gaun warld-wide speirin.

A curn o researchers frae Aston University in England, led bi Sue Wright, in 2004 furthset the first findins o sic a research leukin intae a puckle European minority languages. The research wisnae juist leukin at monolingual steids, written in the minority language aw the wey throu, but at bilingual anes an aw an at steids that juist uised some o the minority language words for tourism an commercial mercatin ettles. VisitScotland please tak tent!In the Frisian, Occitan an Ladin commonties in particlar, words frae the minority leids is aften uised bi the tourist industry. Syne, on the Wab there a sicht mair steids written in the State language that uises juist a puckle words frae the minority leid for mercatin.

In the hinneren, the researchers jaloused an pintit oot that, whaur there wisnae ony agreement aboot a staundart orthography, the Wab cuid help tae forder it. Howanever, for the noo, they fund there wis rowth o a gey free consait anent written language in compare wi the staundarts in prentit media furthsettin.

Guid Words
It's Aw Peterheid's
Ain New ASDA
[NOTE: a photograph of a man with a laptop]
THE tape roond the manager's neck says, "IT'S MY ASDA". We jalouse he means "IT'S MA ASDA". The signs up tae noo seems tae say:-
"Come awa in" (It's guid tae see ye) "Pooch the change", "Haste ye back", "wid aye gie ye a han" an coorse there "Loons" an "Quines" on the cludgie doors. Thae last twa is the only anes that's native tae the nor-east Scots (Doric) an isnae uised in ither airts o Scotland whaur the terms that wad be uised wad be "Lads" an "Lassies".

If the ASDA store at Edinburgh's Jewel wis o a mind tae let the real natives o the capital feel that thon store wis thair "ain ASDA", then aw the signs uised at Peterheid cuid be uised in Edinburgh wi "loons" an "Quines" bein chynged ower tae "Lads" an "Lassies".

Naebody Flytes Like a Fishwife
JENNY Flucker wis a fishwife that haed traivelled aw the wey frae Newheiven tae the streets o Auld Reekie tae sell her fish.
"Wha'll buy ma caller haddies? Wha'll buy? come awa lassie; here's the braw sonsie anes for ye; as fresh an as caller as yersel, but no near sae bonnie; an fifteenpence the piece is aw A'm askin -- only fifteenpence, ma darlin; or hauf-a-croon for the only three left in ma creel. What d'ye say, na?----C'way! There's a bargain ye'll no get every day. What div ye say? Fifteenpence for what? Fifteenpence for the hail o thae braw, sonsy fish! an scarcely yin tae be seen in the market! -----------Awa oot o ma sicht, ye ferny-tickled razor-face, wi yer tapitoorie heid o sky-blue-scarlet hair, like the Toor o Babel on fire!-----------Here! tak them aw for naethin! Wad ye like them? Oot o ma sicht ye dowdy-lookin thing!--------O but A'm braw,
braw, the day, wi partan-taes i' ma lugs for earrings!---------What a bonnie figure-heid ye'd mak for a cockle-boat! it's enough tae send aw the fish in creation fower airts at yince an twa airts for Sunday! What bonnie feet ye've got for killin clockers! Pretty Miss Ra-zorface! Wad ye ever hae the daurin conscience tae offer fifteen-pence for three o the bonniest fish that ever lay in a creel? G'wa, g'wa! ye surely tak me tae be in the creel as weel's the fish!-----------But let me tell ye this, ma wu-man, for yer comfort: if ony man pits as sma a price on you, as you dae on ma fish, ye'll stand a hantle sicht langer in yer auld bauchles than ma haddies'll lie in the creel. Tak that tae yer supper the nicht for a change, bonnie Miss Razorface; an ye'll neither be hungry nor dry efter't."

Frae the Scottish Anecdote o 1874

[NOTE: image of a book cover]
Hauf-roads atween Embra an Gleski,
Lies Blackrig, - ye'll ken whaur A mean.
Tho drivin throu-by can be risky -,
It's worth it ti brag that ye've been.

Juist a wee preein o whit's inside the 17 page buikie. Scots Tung's Convener an Secretar can aye brag aboot hivin been tae Blackrig aw richt for that's whaur we haed a collogue wi the Scots Speikers Curn (Glesca) at the very hamecomin o Scots Tung itsel. Davie Kerr can be contactit c/o
Mary Whyte, [CENSORED: postaladdress].

Makar's Neuk

The same text frae John Barbour as lest month but wi a mair modern spellin.

'Lords, we aucht to love and luff
Almichty God that sits above
That sends us sae fair beginning.
It is a gret discomforting
Till our faes that in thae weys
Sae soon has been rebuttit twice,
For when they of thair host sall hear
And knaw suthly on what mainner
Thair vanguard that wis sae stout,
And syne yon other jolly rout
That I trow of the best men war
That they micht get amang thaim thare,
War rebuttit sae suddenly,
I trow and knaws it all clearly
That mony a hert sall waverand be
That seemit airlier of gret bounté, (courage)
And frae the hert be discomfit
The body is nocht worth a mite,
Therfore I trow that guid ending
Sall follow till our beginning.
But I say nocht this you till
For that ye suld follow my will
To fecht, but in you all sall be,
For giff you thinks it richt that we
Fecht we sall, and giff ye will
We leave, your liking to fulfill.
I sall consent in aw kinna weys
To do richt as ye will devise,
Therfore say of your will plainly.'
And with ae voice then gae they cry,
'Guid king, forouten mair delay
The-morn as soon as ye see day
Ordain you hail for the battle,
For doot of deed we sall nocht fail
Nor nae pain sall refusit be
Till we haiv made our country free.'

Frae 'The Brus'
Bi John Barbour (c1320-1395)

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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 138. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 17 June 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 138." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 17 June 2024.

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


Information about Document 1789

Scots Tung Wittins 138


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2290
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