Oor-Wulliefication

The DCT strips have had, like it or not, a huge impact on Scots language culture and literacy. Mind for most Scots speakers, these strips were and remain the only mainstream and regularly available written representation of their everyday spoken language. TB and OW generate about 30k words a year, or well over two million words published in the lifetime so far of the comics. Compared with the miniscule print runs of Scots poetry books and the like, Watkins’ overlooked, and under-appreciated, creation remains a cultural and linguistic colossus among the printed representation of Scottish language.

Monie fowk hae a richt dooner on DCT acause o their conservative an ‘kailyardiie’ leanins. Unnerstaunable, ay, but wi OW and TB, Watkins did somethin wunnerfu an (as ye sey e’en for DCT) unusual for Scots whan naebodie else wis. The richt interestin thing is Watkin’s wis just uisin the pan-dialectical writin method awbody wis fameeliar wi at the time. We’ve gone that faur doon the dialect dreel, that it is easy-like tae forget there wis yon Scotland-wide wey o writin doon oor tongue.

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