A language of the soul

“When you speak English, it’s a ubiquitous thing, pretty much everyone speaks it. But when you speak Scots, you’re speaking to your people, your family. It’s a language of the soul, so whenever you feel extreme emotion – happiness, joy, elation or anger, frustration, sadness – it manifests who you really are, and for me that’s with the Scots language.

“People will ask why it matters whether we call it a language or a dialect but if we call it a language we can do things like etymology and orthography, and really start to have fun with it. It doesn’t have to be political, it doesn’t have to be some sort of nationalist plot to try and ‘inscotrinate’ the weans. I’m just having so much fun and I want to share that with people.”

“It’s such an exciting time for Scots. Yes, there’s hate out there, and yes there’s people who deny the existence and reality of Scots speakers and the Scots language. But recently, for the first time, I’ve seen contemporary Scottish literature written in Scots.

“If people read a book in Scots and they see it legitimately written on a page in print, then we can start having discussions about how it’s so connected to people’s lives, often in ways they don’t realise.”

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