Monday, 24 September 2012

A Deid Language?

Scots is a deid language. Sae some fowk keeps on tellin us juist like the broken record they've been playin tae us for the lest hunner an fifty year. Jings, the maist popular sang ever in the warld, ower the lest twa hunner an fifty year, "Auld Lang Syne", is screivit in a deid language. Ay, that'll be richt!

In 1996, the GRO(S) did a test question on Scots in some airts o the kintrae afore they decidit no tae pit the question intae the 2001 Census. Howanever, fae the nummers they got, they war able tae jalouse an extrapolatit nummer o aboot 1.5 million Scots speikers for the hail o Scotland. Juist imagine it. 1.5 million fowk aw speikin a deid language an no kennin. But hing on a meinit. Gin ther wis 1.5 million fowk speikin it, hou in the name o the wee man can it be a deid language?  

A cuid unnerstaund Latin bein clessed as a deid language cause it juist exists in auld screivit records an disnae get yaised as a spoken ilka day language for communicatin wi. Howanever, whan hunners o fitba supporters on the terraces cries oot, "Hey Ref! Ye shuid've went tae Specsavers!", is thon no yaisin Scots as a spoken ilka day language o communication?

For raisons o thair ain, the Estaiblishment haes been ettlin tae ding doon the Scots language for aboot a hunner an fifty year, threapin that it's no a real leid or, it's juist slang or, it's ill spoken English or, it's a deid language or, it's juist the wey uneddicated fowk speiks. Whit ivver thair raisons, the Scots leid seems tae fill thaim aw wi terrification. Dae they see Scots as a threit tae the Union or tae the owerance o the English language in Scotland?

A micht be wrang but A think it micht be somethin tae dae wi whit oor ain leid can dae tae oor herts that they're feart o. As a laddie, A aye liked readin Oor Wullie an The Broons ilka Sunday an A aye leuked forrit tae the Christmas pantos wi thair ain Scots comedians. It wis kinna like gettin oot o the Estaiblishment jile for a wee while tae be back wi yer ain fowk an yer ain hamelt words. It felt like ye war gettin some o yer ain back agin yer doon-hauders. Like pittin twa fingers up tae thaim juist bi enjoyin the words an sookin in yer ain Scots athoot bein telt tae speik proper.  Awthin seemed tae soond better an funny stories wis aye funnier whan ye heard thaim in Scots.

Juist as a guid exemplar, A mind yin aboot Rikki Fulton's auld pal, the Rev. I. M. Jolly. A wee while back he hid been ower in Americae tae veesit some freends. On the wey hame, fleein ower the Atlantic tae Glesgae, he stertit tae feel mair an mair wabbit an jet-lagged the nearer he got tae the airport an he stertit thinkin tae hissel that bi the time he got hame he wad be that tired that he maist like widnae be able tae get tae sleep at aw. He thocht that it micht be better tae stop aff an get a full body massage on the wey hame fae the airport an that wey he micht get a better sleep whan he got hame.

Sae richt eneuch, he stopped his taxi in Sauchiehall Street on the wey hame an gaed intae a massage parlour tae speir a massage. This bonnie wee lassie taen him ben tae yin o the massage tables an left him tae get his claes aff an hyste hissel on tae the table. Whan she came back she stertit tae gie him a full body massage. The Rev felt richt guid as the glamour fae the lassie's fingers gart the bluid tae flow back intae his wabbit muscles an he stertit feelin better areddies.

Efter the massage wis feinisht, here did she no juist sclim up on tae the table an lie face doon on tap o him sae they war lyin cheek tae cheek an she whuspert intae his lug, “Wad ye like some super sex?”

Coorse the Rev didnae bat an ee afore he reponed, “Funny ye shuid say that hen, cause the wey A'm feelin the noo, A widnae mind a wee plate o soup.”

Ay, the auld yins is the best, particlar gin they're spoken or screivit in oor ain auld vernacular Scots tung. It's aw oor ain an haes juist been haundit doon bi oor ain forebeirs. A can juist hear the Estaiblishment girnin the noo that A shuidnae be writin like this cause it's no a real language. Juist yin wee lauch oot o the lot o ye's tho wad be eneuch tae pruive thaim aw wrang.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Some Facks Ye Shuid Ken Aboot An Independent Scotland

The follaein facks is owerset intae Scots fae the leet pitten oot bi:-
Bein independent wad mean that the Scottish fowk thirsels wad be in chairge o Scotland's oncome. Taen aw thegither, ther naebody cares mair aboot oor ain nation nor oorsels, sae naebody else is gaun tae dae sic a guid job o makin Scotland a success.
Scotland mair nor peys its wey in the UK. Oo get 9.3% o the siller spent bi the UK, but contreibute 9.6% o the UK taxes. Oo're in a stranger financial poseition nor the lave o the UK, tae the tune o £510 for ilka body lest year - thon's ower £1000 for ilka Scottish hoose. As an independent kintrae, aw this siller wad stey in Scotland.
Scotland peys for aw the government services it needs as an independent kintrae areddies - it disnae hiv tae stert fae scratch. Howanever, aw the siller will be spent in Scotland, raither nor London, creatin thoosands o Scottish jobs.
Scotland wad bide as pairt o the EU. EU law disnae allou for Scotland tae be unilaterally kicked oot on independence. An, EU law maks siccar an aw that Scotland cannae be gart tae jyne the Euro.  Oo'll bide on yaisin the £, juist the wey oo dae the noo.
Scotland haes 25% o the EU's affshore wind an tidal scowth. Bi 2020 oor renewable energy cuid be generatin £2 billion a year in exports an bi 2050 oor renewable energy cuid be worth £14 billion a year.
Scotland disnae need ile tae become independent, but oor ile an gas resource is worth ower £1 trillion an gies us a safety net for the oncome. Lest year seen record investment in the North Sea an in October, BP said they expectit North Sea ile an gas tae flow for at least anither 40 year.
The UK government disnae coont in ile an gas whan it speaks aboot Scotland's finances. Howanever, if ye dae coont in ile an gas in oor naitional accoonts, oo wad be the 6th walthiest nation per heid in the warld.
Scotland haes a walth o talent - for oor size oo hiv mair warld-cless univairsities nor ony ither nation an oor research taps warld league tables.
Tae fund oot mair aboot the debate on Scotland's oncome veisit:

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Scotland's Twelfth Man.

"The follaein piece kythed in the Scots Independent in October, 2007 an wi the Scottish fitba team facin some mair fykie matches in the upcomin months, A thocht noo wis the time tae recruit as mony 12th Men for the side as oo cuid get haud o. It micht help an aw gin the Scottish fitba commentators mindit whan tae haud thair wheeshts on the wireless an the telly."

Bein brocht up in a fishin faimly an in a fishin community, ye suin got tae ken there wis juist the twa kinna fowk in this warld; fisher-fowk an treds-fowk. Gin a body wisnae fisher, they wurnae “yin o oo”.

Howanever, bein fisher brocht its ain responsibeilities an fae an airly age ye aye haed drummed intae ye the things ye cuidnae dae or cuidnae say an whare an whan. A wrang word or a wrang deed at the wrang time cuid suin chynge guid luck intae a richt sair weird. There wis nae yuiss a fishin yole gaun oot tae sea gin a meinister haed setten fit abuird it that day for awbody kent a meinister abuird a yole wis richt sair luck an sic a boat wisnae like tae come ower e’en a single fish tail.

In the same kinna wey there wis certain words ye juist daurna say an maist particlar on a Sunday. Shae or shuin wis ne’er heard an got replaced wi “dinnae mentions” or “dinnaes” for short. Rats wis aye kent as “lang-tail fellaes” an salmon wis turnt intae “rid fish” or “riddies”. Coontin yer chickens wis bad luck an aw sae that celebratin a guid haul afore the fish wis abuird the yole wis juist temptin fate an shuir as guns a raip wad brek an the catch wad be tint. Whiles gin ye heard a body coontin awbody’s chickens that wey, ye micht cuid undae the damage bi crossin yer fingers an touchin wuid.

Coorse, some fowk will never lairn an fitba commentators on the wireless or the telly is juist aboot the warst o the lot. Hou aften hiv oo been watchin Scotland playin in a fitba international wi the score staundin at 1-0 for the boys wi a hauf oor tae gaun when the commentator comes oot wi, “Scotland are playing out of their skins an if they can keep this up, they’ll easily qualify for the finals!”? Coorse oo aw ken whit happens next. The words is nae suiner oot his mooth whan the ither side scores the first o three goals an Scotland’s chances is oot the windae. Talk aboot temptin fate!

On the 12t September A watched Scotland playin France at the Parc-des-Princes in Paris, on the telly.  Efter beatin thaim 1-0 at Hampden, the pundits wisnae giein the Scots muckle chance in Paris an the odds wis on a French victory but howanever, if Scotland managed tae haud thaim tae a draw, thon wad be a bigger victory nor thair win in Glesca.

Aw throu the first hauf, A haed a grip o the wuiden coffee table at the side o ma chyre wi ma fingers crossed, willin the boys tae haud oot for juist anither meinit - an then anither - an then anither till the hauf time whustle blew an A cuid relax wi the score at 0-0.

A yaised the same tactics in the saicont hauf an efter aboot quarter o an oor the commentator stertit gettin a wee bit mair cocky an sayin that if Scotland cuid only haud oot for anither hauf oor it wad hae a guid chance o qualifyin.

“Man o man wull ye stop temptin fate that wey!” A shouted then grippit the edge o the table wi twa sets o crossed fingers. It wis a braw guid job A did that for the neist thing ye kent, Craig Gordon haed taen a goal kick an the ba endit up at Jimmy McFadden’s feet. He birlt roond an blootered the ba intae the French goal fae aboot thirty yairds. The goalie managed tae get a haund tae it but the ba juist aboot taen his haund aff on its wey tae the back o the net. Whit a goal! 1-0 tae Scotland!

A wis still enjoyin the moment whan the commentator went an spylt awthin bi threapin, “Now if only Scotland can hold on to that score for another twenty-seven minutes they will have achieved a momentous victory over the World Cup finalists.”

“Ach no man! Will ye shut up?” A shouted then grabbed the table wi twa sets o crossed fingers an willed Scotland tae hing on for anither meinit - an then anither meinit - an then anither.

Whan the final whustle blew the hail country loupit three feet in the air then A noticed hou numb ma fingers wis. But ach! For Scotland, it wis weel worth the bother. Mind you, A think the neist time A micht watch it wi the soond turnt aff.

Whan Alec McLeish wis bein interviewed efter the match he wis richtly fou o praise for aw his players but coorse he widnae ken aboot me an the pairt A’d taen. Then he apologised tae the Sky viewers for yaisin thon Scots word, “gallusness” which, he explained juist meant a cheeky kinna confidence. Ay, it wis that aw richt.

Gaun yersel Scotland!! 

Bob Fairnie.                              


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Scots Spellin O English?

Keepin oor mither tung alive gies us an access or inlat tae oor ain history an oor ain cultur. Yaisin it, oo can unnerstaun the words an thochts that wis gaun throu the heids o oor forebeirs whan oor ain history wis bein mooldit. Gin oo gie it up an turn tae the language o England alane, aw oo'll be left wi will be a saicont cless inlat tae some ither bodie's cultur.

The thing that gars "The Brus" sic a ferlie tae me is that here oo hiv John Barbour, a learit Scots cleric, screivin aroond 1375 (aboot 61 year efter the Battle o Bannockburn) in whit he wad nae doot cry Inglis at a time whan the offeecial leid o the English coort an Norman rulin clesses wis still aye Norman/French. The furst Norman king o England efter 1066 tae stert yaisin English wis Henry IV aroond 1400 an it wisnae till efter this that the Scottish nobles taen tent o the diffrences atween the English yaised in England an the Inglis yaised in Scotland an stertit tae cry thair ain yin Scots efter the kintrae it wis yaised in. But anither thing A cannae get ower is the wey the spellin o the words that's shared atween baith Scots an English, in Barbour's screivin o the "Brus", fits easier intae modren English nor they wad intae, for exemplar, the English o 1600 (See Shakespeare or the Authorised Vairsion o the Holy Bible 1611).

Here a wee bit o Barbour's vairsion o Bruce's address tae his men afore the battle:-

"Lordingis, we aucht to love and luff
Allmychty God that syttis abuff
That sendis us sa fayr begynnyng.
It is a gret discomforting
Till our fayis that on this wis
Sa sone has bene rabutyt twis,
For quhen thai off thar ost sall her
And knaw suthly on quhat maner
Thar vaward that wes sa stout,
And syne yone othyr joly rout
That I trow off the best men war
That thay mycht get amang thaim thar,
War rebutyt sa sodanly,
I trow and knawis it all clerly
That mony ane hart sall waverand be
That semyt er off gret bounté,
And fra the hart be discumfyt
The body is nocht worth a myt,
Tharfor I trow that gud ending
Sall follow till our begynnyng."

Ye micht hiv tae yaise a wee bit immagination wi some o the spellins but it's no as hard as it leuks. Juist tak tent that 'i' an 'y' is aften interchyngeable an the penultimate 'i' afore 's' is gey near aye silent.
A hunner year on fae Barbour the Scottish Pairlament, in 1496, (Fower year efter Columbus discovert Americae) recordit the Schuilin Act o thon year.

"It is staute and ordanit throw all the realme that al barronis and frehalderis that ar of substance put thair eldest sonnis and airis to the sculis fra thai be aucht or nyne yeiris of age........And quhat baroune or frehalder of substance that halds nocht his sone at the sculis as said, is haifand na lauchfull essoyne bot failyeis heirin fra knowledge may be gottin thairof he sall pay to the king the soume of XX pounds."

Lowpin on tae 1565 in the ring o Mary, Queen o Scots, efter Roman biggins wis onkivvert in Inveresk, Musselburgh, the follaein extrack wis taen fae the Queen's Thesaurer's accoonts:-

"Aprile 1565:-
Item.   To ane boy passend of Edinburgh, with ane charge of the Queenis grace, direct to the baillies of Mussilburgh, charging thaim to tak diligent heid and attendance that the monument of grit antiquitie now fundin be nocht demolishit nor broken doun,     xii.D."

Nae mair nor a week efter the abuin entrie wis eikit tae the Queen's accoonts, Randolph, the English Ambassador tae Scotland screivit the follaein report tae the Earl o Bedford an it's gey intrestin tae compare the twa leids. Thir nae comparin the twa spellins for the English yin is spelt in the "Ye olde curiousitie shoppe" style whare-as  the Scots Spellins widnae be oot o place in a modren English dictionar.

"Edenburgh, 7th April 1565:-
For certayne ther is founde a cave besyds Muskelbourge, stonding upon a number of pillers, made of tyle stones curieuslye wroughte, sygnefyinge great antiquetie, and straynge monuments found in the same. Thys comethe to my knowledge, besyds the comon reporte, by th' assurance of Alexander Clerke, who was ther to see yt, wch I wyll do myself wthin these three or four dayes, and wryte unto yor Ldship the more certayntie therof, for I wyll leave nothynge of it unseen."

Here agane ther nae doot that the Scots an English leids o Aprile 1565 wis diffrent in soond an ther nae compare atween the spellins. Whit grips ma ee mair nor oniethin else tho is the appearance o thae words that Scots shares wi English. In the Queen's accoonts thae words is aw spelt in modren English but the spellins o Lord Randolph is in a mair auld farrant Elizabethan style. This is the kinna thing ye micht expeck gin modren Standart English wis a byleid o Scots an no the ither wey aroond. Or wis it the wey that, whare the spellin o the common words wis concairned, Scots got tae the standart spellins first an Standart English copied thaim?