Staunin up for Scots

Wee Ginger Dug aye staunin up for Scots.

The Scots language, like the Gaelic language, is part of the cultural heritage of everyone in Scotland, irrespective of their political opinions or their views on Scottish independence. Billy Kay’s speech to Holyrood was not political, and he would be the first to stress that the Scots language should not be a pawn in Scotland’s constitutional debate, but it is significant that those who took to social media to howl in protest about him making a speech in Scots to the Scottish Parliament overwhelmingly defined themselves as opponents of Scottish independence and were quick to express their distaste for the SNP.

Such people often claim that using Scots in the way Billy Kay did in Holyrood is “embarrassing” but this tells us vastly more about the person making the assertion than it does about Billy Kay or the Scots language. Objectively no language is any more or less embarrassing than any other. Saying that Scots is embarrassing tells us that person has strongly internalised feelings of Scottish inferiority and inadequacy, feelings which go a long way to explaining their visceral opposition to independence. They are terrified that if Scotland does have languages and a culture of its own, languages which are no better or worse than any other language, just languages which are distinctively Scottish , then perhaps Scotland might be something more than just a tartan bedecked region of a monolingually English speaking “British nation.”

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