Scots and Cultural Confidence

“The abuse casually and routinely handed-out to Lennie Pennie, Iona Fyfe, Emma Grae (author of The Tongue She Speaks) and many others for the temerity to speak in Scots, points not to lack of cultural self-confidence, it points to cultural self-loathing.”

Scots language suffers from a quixotic double-attack. From one perspective it is derided as being ‘common’ / not really a language / slovenly / slang. There is a strong class element to this aversion which is closely allied to both social aspiration (shedding yourself of such crudity so as to assimilate more easily further up the social ladder), and to cleaving as closely as possible to the dominant cultural force (Anglo-British). Confusingly there is also a critique of Scots as being “middle class”. It’s an affectation and a concern of either a peripheral rural Scotland (ie not proper urban Scotland) or a marginal cultural obsession.

Mike Small
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