Debunking the myths about the Scots language is overdue (“Just slang English with a common accent? Busting the myths on Scots”, The Herald, December 2). At the outset, present-day linguists should be asked: why was a group of Northumbrian English dialects called THE Scots language in the first place? Let us take guidance from a reliable source: “Scots is directly descended from Northern English, which displaced Scots Gaelic in portions of Scotland in the 11th-14th centuries as a consequence of Anglo-Norman rule there. By the early 14th century, Northern English had become the spoken tongue of many Scottish people east and south of the Highlands (with Scots Gaelic continuing to be used in the southwest). Sometime in the late 15th century, the spoken language became known as “Scottis,” or Scots, a term that was used interchangeably with “Inglis” for some time thereafter” (Scots language: Britannica – online). So, sometime in the late 15th century the northern English tongue became known as the Scots tongue. Does that make sense given that the Gaelic tongue of the original Scots had logically been called Scots for the previous 600 years? Of course it does not make sense. Scots Gaelic is and has been – ever since 900 AD – the real language of the Scots.Ewan Macintyre, letter to The Herald 6/12/22
Edit: Derrick McClure’s response.