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Lowland 'Scots' was the ruin of Scotland

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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 25th May 2010, 05:08
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Lachlan09 Lachlan09 is offline
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If I can put in my 2 bob’s worth – I come from Musselburgh, Midlothian (not East Lothian), my mum was a local, my father is from Argyll, his mum was a native Gaelic speaker who won a medal at a National Mod back in the 1920’s. I was brought up close to Highland and Gaelic culture, particularly in the 1960’s/70’s and competed as a Gaelic learner-singer in Edinburgh local Mods and in a Gaelic choir under Archie MacLean (choir was ex- Lothian Celtic Choir under George Clavey and ex-Edinburgh Gaelic Choir under Murdo F.J. MacLeod) at the Stirling National Mod in 1973. My father brother and I also had a Highand trio/ceilidh group and performed at ceilidhs all over Highland and Lowland Scotland. I well remember how Gaelic language and culture in those days was marginalized and apart from Se Ur Beatha on TV and local Gaelic radio, there wasn’t much recognition of Gaelic in Scotland.

I don’t live in Scotland anymore (haven’t since 1983 – lived/worked in London, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and now Sultanate of Oman), so I’m probably well out of touch with the pulse of Scotland.

However, it seems to me that, in recent times, “The Braveheart Effect” has spurred on Scottish Labour and Nationalist MP’s to push on the whole country all things Celtic and Gaelic, the same way that “Cool Britannia” became the clarion call of the trendy Labour Government in Westminster.

I do not know if place names/town entry signs have dual-language names throughout Scotland yet, but if not, then I believe moves are afoot to do this. Though not exactly the fount of all knowledge, go to Wikipedia, look up a Scottish place and you will no doubt find a Gaelic name too. That’s fine for those places which historically had it, but my home town, Musselburgh never had any links to Gaelic language whatsoever. To give it a Gaelic name is false revisionism, an imposition. The Gaelic version of Musselburgh translates as “the Town of Mussels”, hardly a musically-poetic alternative ! It is just a word for word translation of Musselburgh. It would be more historically accurate for Musselburgh to have a Latin alternative, being at one time a Roman stronghold.

What I am saying is promote Gaelic culture for those who want it, make it available at GCSE etc, make it mandatory if needs be in Highland regions (Strathclyde would need split up no doubt), but don’t impose its culture, like Pol Pot in Kampuchea, where it has been unknown for many centuries, if at all. Lowland Scots are no less Scottish than Highland Scots. If you want to go down the road of Highlands = more Scottish than Lowlands, ask yourself, Scotland’s famous Highland regiments – where has the majority of its manpower come from since the 19th Century till now ? The Highlands ? – no – It’s the Lowlands in the vast majority, then the Highlands, then the rest of the British Isles and Ireland. Even in the period of most Highland battalions ever in British history, WW1, most of the manpower came from the Lowlands. Even the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders’ only Kitchener volunteer battalion, the 5th QOCH, was recruited mainly from Glasgow, as Inverness-shire didn’t have enough natives to even begin to fill up its ranks as well as its one territorial battalion (4th QOCH).

Horses for courses.
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Old 25th May 2010, 12:10
wullie m wullie m is offline
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Well said Lachlan, too much Brigadoonery on this thread, the HLI was, of course, part of the Highland Division. My local Homebase in Glasgow has bi-lingual signage, which is just preposterous. Gaelic signs are fine in the Gaeltacht. There could even be a case for Welsh signage here, as historically that was the native language in these parts (and in Musselburgh!). What gets my goat is BBC Scotland, presenters who are unable to pronounce Scottish names, who employs these people?
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:11
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I think the Gaelic signage in Glasgow was probably the result of the City fathers getting into Celtic culture and with the Daily Record's offices being in Glasgow and Angus Óg and Lachie Mòr being Highland strip cartoon characters in the paper, the deep cultural link was obviously there !

I'd love to see how they spell Cowcaddens in Gaelic !

I agree about some of these announcers/newsreaders - according to my Dad, they're distinctly hellish !!
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Old 25th May 2010, 16:26
wullie m wullie m is offline
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Lachlan, by Homebase I mean the DIY store, shoplifters no longer Exit! they Mach! presumably without attracting the attention of the Security. I believe "Polis" is the same in Gaelic/Glesga.
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Old 26th May 2010, 04:20
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Ahhh that Homebase ! Why in the name o' the wee man did they do that ? Maybe it's the speed of the neds' escape !
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Old 26th May 2010, 16:04
wullie m wullie m is offline
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Lachlan, to get back to the original point on this thread, Gaelic's replacement by Scots/English. It could be that the Gaels own aquisitiveness sowed the seed of Gaelic's demise. The conquests? of Pictland and Welsh speaking Strathclyde, then the takeover of the northern half of Anglian speaking Northumbria, (the Scandinavians from York conquered the southern half and destroyed its culture), meant that the Gaels were a minority in their new kingdom. Norse & Flemmish influence also contributed to the mix that made Scots and "The Scots". Malcolm Canmore's marriage to Margaret, the Atheling's sister, who favoured Rome over the Celtic church, spelled the beginning of the end for Gaelic. The Scots kings thereafter, could claim to be the rightful kings of England, an ambition finally realised by James VI. It wasn't the Gaels who kept the English out of Scotland over the years, indeed it was the Lord of the Isles and the Earl of Douglas's high treason, by the Treaty of Ardtornish, whereby they proposed to divide the kingdom three ways with the English as the main benefactor, that put the tin hat on Gaelic influence. "The greater, draws the less", plain and simple, as was said at the time of the Union!
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Old 26th May 2010, 23:17
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