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Scots is worth “hauf a Freddo bar”

Wha’s Like Us? Weel, No Catalonia

HAUDIN ma hauns up here, fowks. Aw this business aboot the Growth Commission? Wey abuin ma pey grade. Ah’m leukin at it an ah’m feelin like a dug that’s jist woke up at the controls tae the Millennium Falcon. Noo, dinnae get me wrang; the economic argiment for an independent Scotland is vital, an ah’m gled some bodies are haein it.

Thomas Clark reminds us that while the  Catalan Government’s annual budget for the Catalan language is  £13.50 per speaker, the Scottish Government spends 17 per speaker.. “Aye, ye read that richt. Ilka year, the Scottish Pairliament gangs roond every Scots speaker in Scotland an doles thaim oot a wan-aff peyment o hauf a Freddo bar”. He adds,

“In 2018-19, the total budget for the Scots leid will be £270k – aboot 1% o whit we’re spendin on Gaelic, 2% o whit we’re coughin up for the Royal Botanic Gairdens, an skimmins fae oor ootlay on netbaw, curlin, or snawsports. Ither kintraes dinnae jist spend mair siller on their ain leids than we dae – they spend mair siller on OOR leids than we dae. Northern Ireland, year on year, spends mair money on Scots than Scotland daes’.

On ‘politicising’ Scots

It’s the Unionists who are politicising Scots – not us

LAST week the Scottish Government announced it was giving £2.5 million in support of an initiative to produce a new Gaelic dictionary. The news was greeted with the usual opprobrium from sections of the Scottish media, and a howling barage of derision from British nationalists on social media complaining about nationalism.

Wee Ginger Dug in fine form; “when Scots writers adopt the same tactics to produce a literary variety of Scots, they’re accused of creating an artificial plastic Scots that isn’t real. They’re accused of politicising Scots. Yet what is really politicising Scots is to deny it the same means of enriching and developing itself which have been used by every other literary language. By denying Scots these avenues of enrichment, opponents of the language are seeking to diminish its use and confine it to a dialectal ghetto. Scots, they say, isn’t a proper language, and they’re going to do whatever it takes to ensure that it can’t act or be used as a proper language.

It’s wrong to politicise Scotland’s languages. Opponents of Scottish independence need to stop using them as footballs, and need to recognise that Scotland’s languages have the same right to enrich themselves as any other language, and the same right to support that other languages receive. Gaelic and Scots belong to everyone in Scotland, not just independence supporters”.

Is the NESLB actually a ‘retreat’?

The launch of the North-East Scots Language Board (NESLB) received decent coverage in the national press. However there was an interesting response to the Bella Caledonia piece in particular. Issue was taken with the author’s comment that “The North-East is very much the heartland for Scots, as the Hebrides are for Gaelic. For this reason the NESLB will focus resources on improving the status and use of Scots in the area” and the comment by Bella’s Scots editor, Alistair Heather, “It has similarities to the Gaeltacht in the west”.

Retreat ti ‘The Hertland’?

On 26th March 2018, Bella Caledonia reported the launch of the North East Scots Language Board, a new organisation dedicated to promoting the Scots language. The Board is based at the Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen, but its executive includes representatives of Robert Gordon University, Aberdeenshire Council and a member of the media.

In the post above, Graeme Purves argues, “This should not be seen as an advance for the Scots language movement, but rather a retreat.  It is the last circling of the wagons around some notional defensible dialect ‘Hertland’ or ‘stronghold’.  However did we get to this sad place?”. He draws on Hugh MacDiarmid’s 1920’s skepticism of a Doric revival and concludes, “the Scots language movement has regressed intellectually, and now seems intent on geographical retrenchment”.  How real target is the anti-standardise that has taken over the Scots revival movement. “Balking at the creation a standard Scots orthography as being ower dreary a darg, it has, in recent years turned its back on MacDiarmid’s Modernist manifesto, retreating once again into nostalgia-driven dialectism”. 

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