Mì-rùn mòr nan Gall
"For several centuries Gaelic has been the subject of contemptuous attacks from the non-Gaelic speaking
majority in Scotland, an onslaught famously described by the eighteenth-century poet
Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair as “mì-rùn mòr nan Gall” (“the great ill-will of the
Lowlanders”). The contours of this hostility have changed considerably over the centuries, from
concern about “popery” and “barbarity” in the seventeenth century to the racialist theorizing of
the nineteenth century (MacKinnon 1991: 40-52; Fenyö 2000). Today, Gaelic and Gaelic
speakers continue to be subject to aggressive denigration in the media and other public spheres.
While it would be a mistake to over-emphasize either the frequency or importance of these
attacks, it is certainly the case that such abusive hostility is considered acceptable within
mainstream public discourse in Scotland, and is in no way stigmatized, as are similar attacks on
Jews or on the country’s “visible” ethnic minority groups like Pakistanis and Afro-Caribbeans."
(Page 12 Gaelic in the New Scotland: Politics, Rhetoric and Public Discourse)
Wilson McLeoid 2001
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