‘Othering’ Scots Speakers

BY responding to Alex Gallagher’s letter (August 25) in which he suggested that Scots is not a language, I will, no doubt, nudge my (ever uncertain) blood pressure to new unhealthy limits. His appalling diatribe flies in the face of the lived experience of millions of us who live in Scotland, enjoying and delighting in the language we inherited from our families as we use it in our everyday lives. It verges upon the edges of “othering”; as so often happened in the days of Empire, when local tongues were classed as mumbo-jumbo among ignorant natives. Racism then, and now widely condemned. But othering Scots speakers by a Scot? Upon what basis other than class? We are all multilingual. We speak one way at home, another in the pub and a different way at work. We try to be polite to our hosts when on holiday by trying some words and phrases in the local language. Mr Gallagher suggests that while we respect the languages of our hosts abroad, we should denigrate and insult our own fellow Scots for their joy in speaking their own language – shameful.Othering

AJ Clarence, Prestwick. Letter to The Herald
Scroll to Top