Document 1808

Scots Tung Wittins 157

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 157
Dec 2006

Keep a guid Scots Tung in yer heid, hert an mooth!!

[NOTE: logo here of the dot Sco in original]
Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydently Campaignin tae Uphaud the Scots Language
Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Scots Tung wabsite: Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Herty Christmas
SCOTS TUNG bids aw its readers a richt herty Christmas. Aw the best tae you an yours when it comes. May maist o the buiks in yer Yuletide stockin no be written in English an may maist o the conversation at yer Christmas denner table be in Scots. May this be the Christmas ye find the gumption in yersel tae reject the linguistic creenge that wis politically brainwashed intae umpteen generations o bairns at the schuil efter the Liberal Government's anti-Scottish Education (Scotland) Act o 1872. Yince ye ken ye've been pushioned bi politicians frae the bygane ye can mak up yer minds whuther ye juist want tae lie doon an dee or tae tak haud o the antidote an redd yersel o this creenge.

Scots Language Christmas Cairds
[NOTE: images of three Christmas cards in original]
THE sale o Scots Tung's Scots language Christmas cairds for Christmas 2006 haes chynged a bit frae the arrangements that fowks haes gotten yaised tae in raicent years gane bye. For technical raisons it wis decidit tae no gaun aheid wi the new caird for Christmas 2006. This decision wis makit easier wi the kennin that the Cardmarque caird furthsetters ettilt tae hae some Scots language Christmas cairds in the shops this year. At the time o writin, it's no kent whit kinna tak-up thae cairds haes haed in the shops or whit shops in particlar will hae thaim on sale. Scots tung haes been complouterin wi Cardmarque on the Scots language greetins for thae cairds an it's unnerstuid that the main differ atween thae cairds an the Scots Tung yins apairt frae the picters, is the want o a Scots language poem.

Wi the retirement o the Secretar frae the distribution o the cairds, this haes been taen ower bi Richard Heinsar the Convener o Scots Tung an he can be contactit efter 6pm at 0131-665-9351. The cairds he haes tae haund is the "Linlithgow" yin frae lest year, the "Monarch o the Glen" an the "Yuletide Robin".

Brainwashed Intae No Yaisin Oor Ain Language
WRITIN in the Scots Independent, David Purves tells aboot hou John Barett MP speirt the BBC's Michael Grade in 2005 aboot the want o Scots in the programs an hou a repone wis gotten frae Ian Small, the Heid o Public Policy for BBC Scotland, that threapit:-

"Scots is not generally used in formal script-writing, reflecting the reality that speakers of Scots - with very few exceptions - choose not to use the language in formal contexts."
This consait, that's hauden bi juist aboot the hail estaiblishment, maun shuirly be the biggest kinch the Scots language haes tae lowp if it's ever gaun tae get oot the bit an win tae some kinna formalisation. A stert tae this wis makit wi the owersettin o yin or twa o the Scots pairlament's pamphlets an pairt o its wabsite intae Scots but sae faur as speirin mair uphaud frae the estaiblishment is concairned, the abuin consait is richt an nearly aw approaches, baith verbal an written, is duin in English. Every time ocht is speirt for the Scots language in English an no in Scots, whuther written or spoken, juist reinforces the abuin consait in the heids o the estaiblishment an gies thaim an excuse for no daein ocht. Ye can juist imagine thaim thinkin, "Here's thae fowk speirin this an that for the Scots language agane an we've never heard ony o thaim yaisin it sae whit's the sense o giein thaim siller for a language that they dinnae yaise thirsels?"

Efter the Liberal Government's Education (Scotland) Act o 1872, it wis Scottish education that learnt us that it wisnae polite tae speak onythin ither nor English in polite formal company, set oot the mairches that the Scots language wis daured tae cross an brainwashed generations o Scots intae bydin athin the daurk boonds o thae mairches athoot ony question. The chyce for Scots speakers the day isnae shuid they speak or write Scots in formal contexts or no but raither shuid they cairry on acceptin thae artificially imposed constraints or no. Efter aw, thae constraints wis deliberately pit in place tae mak siccar that Scots wad dee oot.

There some that uphauds the status quo on the grunds that they've no been lairnt hou tae speak or write Scots in formal situations an ithers on the grunds that tae get yer consaits across tae as mony fowk as possible, ye hiv tae yaise English.

The feck o Scots language upsteerers haes lairnt thirsels hou tae read, write an speak Scots an shuirly they cannae aw be ower donnert tae lairn thirsels hou tae yaise thae skills in a formal context. Whit's mair, when the Scots pairlament wis debatin the possibility o MSPs speakin Scots in the chaumer it wis agreed that, whaur owersetters micht be necessar for ony Gaelic spoken, it widnae be necessar whaur Scots wis concairned for maist MSPs wad hae nae bother unnerstaundin Scots. It micht be jaloused frae this that maist fowk in Scotland wad be able tae unnerstaund Scots sae it's no necessar tae yaise English tae rax tae a braider audience athin the boonds o Scotland itsel.

Sae it turns oot that there naebody stoppin us frae yaisin oor Scots in a formal context but oorsels. It's aw in oor heids an if we want tae see the language formalised we'll hae tae juist stert daein it oorsels an leadin bi exemplar. We maun aw tak it on oorsels tae force the leid ower thae artificial mairches an intae the contexts o formality as aften as we can. If we dinnae dae that for oorsels, naebody's gaun tae dae it for us, no the pairlament, no the MSPs, no the estaiblishment an no the BBC.

Juist think. If a delegation wis tae gaun tae the BBC an speir for mair Scots on the air an they aw spake in Scots insteid o English, the BBC wad hae a job sayin naw on the grunds that Scots speakers aye chuises no tae yaise the language in a formal context.

The biggest lowp forrit for the Scots language in mair nor a hunder an therty year lies in oor ain haunds or tae be mair exact, it lies in oor ain heids, gin we hae the gumption tae redd oot aw thae politically imposed artificial constraints. Juist like stoppin smokin, we can aw dae it gin we really pit oor minds tae it an tell oorsels this is whit we want tae dae. Whit a peety we cannae get sticky patches tae mak the gait an easier yin but the first step alang this gait is gaun tae be the sairest yin an ilka step efter thon a wee bit easier. Jyne the rest o the "very few exceptions", see this excuise disappear an the Scots leid ken the guid o it.

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
Mair raicent copies o the Scots Tung Wittins can be gotten in pdf format frae Scots Tung's wabsite 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. €9 (Ireland/EU)

Menopausal Bedtime Rhymes
Review bi Irene Broon (owerset intae Scots bi the Editor)
[NOTE: image here of the book cover in original]
THE first an hinnermaist page o Maureen Sangster's latest poetry pamphlet, Menopausal Bedtime Rhymes, shaws picters on a bleck nicht sky o a skinny quarter muin an a ful muin. We weemin kens that atween thae times, for a puckle days, we can feel gey dowie. But whan thon time is comin tae an end, it can be met wi a mixter-maxter o emotions. Relief an liberation for some; dowieness an resignation for ithers. Maureen Sangster haes chaisen this time o life as the threid o her pamphlet. Like the experience itsel, she reinges thro emotions that weemin experiences at thon time. She daes this gey honestly. Her poems is funny, raw, wild, gallus an painfu, expressin longing an fantasy throu sindry writin styles. There 32 aw thegither, mony o thaim accompanied bi her ain illustrations. 14 oot o the 32 is in Scots an Sangster haes includit a sma glossary at the back. Here twa exemplars:

Hud that man doon!
A rare specimen
No a partner an no gay
Streitch him oot
Amang the spinsters o the parish!
Aye, it's oor lucky day.

Aye, Spring daffs
makin grey flyovers bonnie
An the moon, wee, tae us last nicht
Like a brooch
Adornin the thrill o the sky
An clip-clop
in the film, the hero rode on
Wi the wumman he loved
Hingin on, hingin on

Spring – new kitchens painted yalla

Maureen wis born in Aiberdeen an her Noreast vyce comes throu in the wark in Scots. E'en gin ye're no a menopausal wuman, or e'en a wuman, ye're boond tae enjoy this apen an entertainin read. The cover design bi John Boyle is juist a delicht.

In makin this pamphlet, Maureen haes been baith radical an gey tradeitional. The raison for this is that she brocht it oot in the time honoured wey o sponsorship an subscreivin. Bi makin an distreibutin a sma preein o the ful wark, Maureen gethert uphaud an advance fundin frae eneuch fowk that wis fair taen bi whit they'd read. I howp this review gars ye tae seek oot the completed wark.

Buikie (148.5 x 165mm) 40 pp wi B&W illustrations bi the author.
ISBN 0-9551445-0-7

Copies can be gotten frae Maureen Sangster at [CENSORED: postaladdress] . Ph: [CENSORED: phonenumber]
[CENSORED: emailaddress]
Single copies £5 (£4.50 plus 50p p&p)

For multiple copies there nae postage chairge athin the UK. Aw cheques peyable tae Maureen Sangster that's aye available for readins an aw. © Irene Broon

Stewart Conn
ON Seturday 11 November 2006, ablow the domed an starned ruif o the wuid panelt Coontin Hoose in West Nicholson Street, ower 100 fowk gethert tae celebrate the 70th burthday o makar an writer, Stewart Conn. The ongaun wis hostit bi the Shore Poets that Stewart is the Honorary Preses o. Jim C. Wilson (the Chic Murray o the Scottish poetry warld) wis MC for the nicht. The format o the nicht wis in the uswal Shore Poets' style o a mellin o music an poetry. It stertit wi music frae the mony ingined singer sangwriter, Stewart Hanratty, an the man that can play ony wind instrument unner the sun (e'en managin twa at a time!), the 'immense' John Sampson. Stewart wis then 'serenadit' bi a stream o 13 makars, includin Christine de Luca, Ian McDonough, Nancy Somerville, Andrew Greig an James Robertson. Yin poem frae ilka reader, alang wi a puckle frae ither poets, wis gethert thegither intae a leemitit edeetion pamphlet dedicatit tae Stewart. The pamphlet's batter shawed an etchin o Ailsa Craig bi Norman Ackroyd, an its prent wis praisentit tae Stewart alang wi a bundle o pamphlets. The nicht cam tae its end wi mair music frae John an Stewart H., Hugh Deeley an Alison Reeves that played her ain an gey bonny tune, A Waltz for Stewart, that's music is prentit in the pamphlet an aw. Amang flouers, wine an burthday cake, the hail sentiment in the eulogies frae the makars an speakers wis that Stewart is a "richt dacent man" as weel's a braw writer. A stoundin vairsion o whit the audience aw recognised as The Lone Ranger on the huntin horn endit a no tae be forgotten ongaun.

Tak Tent: Chapman 109 cairries a byordinar feature aboot Stewart Conn's 70th burthday.
© Irene Broon (owerset bi the Editor)

Duncan Glen's "Collected Poems 1965-2005"
Review bi Irene Broon (owerset intae Scots bi the Editor)
THERE scantlins can be a sweeter soond tae a writer nor the words acceptin thair wark for publication. The dirl o seein yer craftit words on a prentit page is a wunnerfae thing an tho ony accompanyin peyment is aye walcome, it's the sicht o seein yer feinisht wark in prent that gies ye the buzz. Syne I can juist imagine whit it maun be like tae hiv haed a wheen collections publisht an tae hae thaim roondit aff bi whit is I suppose a poetical 'best o' in the form o a walin o 40 years' wark.

This collection, Collected Poems 1965-2005, maks Duncan Glen's poetry available as ne'er afore – raxin ower 40 years o poetry frae the 1960s throu tae airly 2005. It is maistlins written in Scots an comprises hauf o his hail publisht wark. A sma Scots glossary is fendit aw throu the buik whare Glen thocht it helpfu tae the reader. This collection reads tae me maistly like a diary o nostalgic memories o bairnheid an hauflin; o places an fowk that's maistly tinged wi dool an loss. Mony o his poems sterts wi the words "I can mind". Altho there poems dedicated tae fellae poets the likes o MacDiarmid an he's an eydent observer o humanity wi aw its foibles as weel as a lover o nature, the impression I hiv is o Glen leukin back fondly ower his life. Aiblins his lang time bydin in England haes makit him haud on tae a Scots o his bairnheid, but I dinnae hear a West o Scotland vyce in his wark. For aw that, it's guid tae see sic a prolific ootpit in Scots. Poems tae tak tent o is My Faither, whaes first verse reads:-

Staunin noo aside his braw bress-haunled coffin
I mind him fine aside the black shinin range
In his grey strippit troosers, galluses an nae collar
For the flannel shirt. My faither.
an My Country that shaws a clear pictur o cless in Scotland as daes St Andrews Town.
Check it oot.

The buik ISBN086142 1671 is publisht bi Akros an costs £12.95.
For mair information contack Duncan Glen on [CENSORED: phonenumber] or stravaig the wab tae:-

Duncan Glen wis born in 1933 in Cambuslang. He tendit Edinburgh College o Airt, lectured in airt colleges in England frae 1965 tae 1986 an wis Professor o Visual Communication in Nottingham Trent University. He wis first taen tent o as the awthor o Hugh MacDiarmid and the Scottish Renaissance, 1964, an as editor an publisher o 51 nummers o Akros magazine. © Irene Broon

Makar's Neuk

We are harin doon tae the Clyde for a dook.

It's a sicht to be seen.

Raggit jerseys no quite coverin
oor skinny white backs or meetin
owre-lang short breeks.
Stockins lost in oor wellies or runkled doon
at oor ankles if we hae buits.

We shoo the coos hopin for a ride
or at least a laugh.

The fairmer's gote it in for us
kennin us for what we are.

It's aff wi the claes an into the Clyde.

Glasgow stares us in the face
and we gie it a smile kennin nae better.

Duncan Glen

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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 157. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 27 May 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 157." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 27 May 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 157," accessed 27 May 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

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


Information about Document 1808

Scots Tung Wittins 157


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2574
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2006
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