The Scotsman Sessions #232: Len Pennie

“There’s something strangely repetitive about the history of the Scots language in modern Scotland. In every generation, it seems that some Scots begin to grasp the truth that the working-class language they hear around them is not just an incorrect and sloppy form of English, but the fragmented legacy of a Scots tongue that was once, 500 years ago, the proud language of the entire Scottish state, reflecting the whole range of human affairs from law, religion, philosophy and romance, to the flyting (arguing) and comedy we now tend to associate with it.

Yet in every generation it seems that that recognition flickers, only to fade again; and to talk to the young Scots-language poet Len Pennie about her work, is to realise that some of the old dismissive myths and assumptions about the Scots tongue have barely shifted in half a century.”

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