Scots *is* Scotland’s past

Scots: an ayebidin kist o Scotland aforesyne

Thochts anent the unique role o the Scots leid in Scotland’s bygane, and whit wey it haes a gey special role tae play in communicatin Scotland’s heritage the day. Scots can niver be juist a medium throu which tae communicate Scotland’s past – for Scots is Scotland’s past.

Ashley Douglas, who wrote an excellent analysis of the politics of Scots for her History M.Litt in 2016, reflects on the overlooked role of Scots in Scottish history.

Scots is Scotland’s past. Hale centuries o Scottish history haes taen place in the Scots language; hunners o thoosands o Scots haes líved an dee’d and focht and luved in the Scots tongue. Forby Scots isnae juist oor past. Scots, and Scots speakers, ar aye a muckle pairt o modern Scotland.

This applies both to spoken Scots and written Scots.

… the spoken Scots leid represents an intangible oral connection atween us the day and the fowk that daundert the closes o Embra and pleucht the fields o Perthsire and biggit the ships o the Clyde decades forby centuries syne. Scots haes lang filled the lugs o oor kintra.

Scots in scrievit form constitutes a tangible connection wi oor ancestors oot-throu the ages. Muckle amoonts o scrievit Scots haes owercome doun the centuries: fae the byordinar Barbour’s Brus tae the poyetry o the medieval makars, the records o Scotland’s historic burghs, courts and pre-Union Pairliament, and the mair hummle but juist as precious and insichtfu records o trade and iveryday life. We hae been readin and scrievin Scots, for aw sorts o sindry purposes, fae lang, lang syne.

She concludes,

Scots is oor heritage and, for nou, we can aye threap it as oor present forby. We maun mak siccar that it bides thon wey intae the future — forby that we mak the maist o it. Tak tent, or it’s tint

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