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  • Lowland 'Scots' was the ruin of Scotland

    The various ancient dialects of English which developed in the north of Britain were the ruin of Scotland. I do not see them as constituting a separate language from English any more than Northumbrian English.

    They are ultimately connected with English identity and in a way have got a cheek calling themselves 'Scots'. The people who spoke Lowland 'Scots' considered themselves English and English-speaking right up until the wars of independence, and then they started considering themselves Scots, and a couple of centuries after that, had the cheek to call the real Scots 'Irish' while becoming Anglicised again themselves and ultimately ending up with a leadership who voted for union with - guess who - England.

    The whole concept of calling an Anglo-Saxon dialect 'the Scots language' is ultimately a betrayal of Scotland to English culture, language and political agenda. The true Scots language is Gaelic (Scot comes from the latin word for a Gael and Ireland was called Scotia in Latin).

    Lowland Scots didn't give the Scottish people a strong identity and it never will. It will just keep us tied to the matron's apron. Our true allegiance as a Scottish nation is not to the English Lothians/Northumbria but to Scottish DÓl Riada. Without the Scots of DÓl Riada, there would be no country called Scotland in the north of Britain and the whole island of Britain may have ended up being called England. In fact, since the decline of the Gaelic language, lots of foreigners naturally do just call the whole island England. That in itself speaks volumes.

    Even today it is only the Gaelic speaking community, not the Lowland 'Scots' speakers, who make serious attempts to provide education through their own language. It makes sense that the revival of Gaelic education occurs alongside better education in Scottish history, political devolution and calls for independence. You will never see education through 'Scots' because it is too tied to English culture.

    A true Scot (or Irishman) should cotton on to this, change his linguistic allegiances and learn Gaelic. Modern English should ultimately have the same position in Scotland and Ireland that it has in Norway or Sweden - fluently spoken as the 'lingua franca' but not replacing domestic Scottish and Irish culture which is ultimately Gaelic in origin.

    If Gaelic had held its ground in Scotland and if Northumbrian had never spread, then today we would have had centuries of building up a strong native market. There would be much more work in publishing houses, theatre companies and the media to feed the demand for native language material, as in other European countries today. We would be watching many more of our own news programmes, documentaries, drama series, comedies, entertainment programmes and so on in our own language, as elsewhere in Europe, less dominated by the English cultural and political agenda. Native sports would actually get more airtime. There would be considerably more work for native writers and performers in theatres and concert halls around the country, as in other European countries. Ask a non-English foreigner.

    It's no accident that the first regular Scottish European cultural affairs programme, E˛rpa, was created by Gaels. It's also no surprise that Gaels broadcast all the Scottish football games no other broadcaster will show. The so-called 'Scots' speakers all complain about this of course and wonder why such programmes aren't being broadcast in English. They're making the wrong complaint. Change your language from Lowland 'Scots' to Gaelic, add to the growing numbers of children learning Gaelic, and you'll be surprised how less marginalised you'll feel as a Scot. Phone-in shows would be filled with Scottish people speaking and giving their views. The people of Glasgow would actually hear Aberdonians on TV regularly.

    It's time that Scotland stopped hanging on fearfully to the strings of its new mummy, England. It's time Scotland grew up and lived as an adult on the European scene, learning from its own mistakes, earning its own income for sure and learning to live on it.

  • #2
    Lowland Scots began as the Anglian dialect of Northumbria and developed through time into a unique language. The Spanish ambassador at the court of James IV stated that "Scots was as different from English as Aragonese (Catalan) was from Castilian (Spanish)"

    Scots Language Centre - Courtly Conversation

    which in his opinion made it a seperate but related language. Whether lowland Scots gives our people a strong identity is neither here nor there - language is for communication not for endowing a people with cultural identity. I only know one Gaelic speaker who is a colleague at work and he certainly doesn't express any of the views that you're expressing. I think you're trying desperately to manufacture an argument that supports your own subjective prejudices and it's founded on pretty spurious logic so I'll have to disagree with your viewpoint.
    "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

    - Martin Luther King Jr.

    Comment


    • #3
      Language can be a strong marker of ethnicity

      Prejudice implies that I have no access to the facts, which you are unable to demonstrate. I do not view the progress of human social development as always being a matter of single inevitable 'logical' explanations, and I find my chosen interpretation of what has happened to Scotland perfectly sensible and justifiable. You have said nothing that seriously challenges my interpretation.

      Language is for communication but it is also an important marker of one's ethnicity. Adam of Dryburgh described his area as being in "the land of the English in the Kingdom of the Scots" in the 12th century. The dissimilarities of different English dialects in the 12th century hardly neuters issues of identity. In this case, one ethnicity - English speakers - have taken another's identity - the Scots, the Gaels - and then disclaimed any relationship to it and put it down time and again.

      English speakers from Stornoway to Edinburgh STILL have these attitudes and such attitudes do not arise out of a historical vacuum. I suggest that the subjectivity of English-speakers possessing such viewpoints is mostly drawn from their English-speaking ethnicity and that Gaels who adopt such viewpoints are victims of very effective internal colonialism.

      With the advent of the modern era has come the demand for human rights, such as education. This has led to a desire amongst (certain) Gaelic speakers to undo the historical damage done to Scotland, whether the political or cultural deficit.

      Comment


      • #4
        Calum, you say you have "access to the facts", maybe you could share them with us! What you say certainly seems to display a very prejudicial viewpoint; you even go on to describe it as your "chosen interpretation", but maybe those "facts" will help your argument... I for one would be interested to see them as I am sure Andy will be too!
        Support CHAS the Children's Hospice Association Scotland

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't doubt for a minute that anything I could say would change your viewpoint - your obvious conceit will always prove to be an impenetrable barrier to reasoned factual argument. Your problem is that rather than having a desire to pro actively promote and preserve Gaelic which is something all Scots would want, you for reasons best known to yourself chose to focus on denigrating lowland Scots culture and language. The fact that your cloaking your argument in sophisticated sounding language doesn't make it any more compelling.
          "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

          - Martin Luther King Jr.

          Comment


          • #6
            Core identity and attitudes

            Your apparent unwillingness to acknowledge any facts as having been presented, and having any implications for my viewpoint, is not a matter I feel obliged to contend with.

            Anglophones were incorporated into a Scottish kingdom of (Gaelic-speaking) Scots and Anglophone rulers got the Scottish kingdom incorporated into a union with England. If neither of you can see such things as fact, if neither of you think that I have mentioned such fact, I don't feel the need or obligation to get involved with dealing with that phenomenon. If you accept that such things are factual and that I have mentioned them, then we can certainly discuss their implications.

            Scotsites, I've already presented an argument with reference to facts, an argument which I consider sufficient in itself to inspire the open-minded Scot to rethink attitudes to English dialects in Scotland versus attitudes to Gaelic. In connection with reasons above, I'm not sure I need go to the trouble to provide further evidence of the 'great ill-will' of the English speakers when the history books are full of them, it would just be an interminable list in which the statutes of Iona and suchlike would feature prominently. Quotations like those of the poet Dunbar at the turn of the 16th century match comments in the letter pages of the Scotsman newspaper denigrating Gaels and espousing the greater glories of the 'Anglic race' during the 19th century.

            It is to be regretted that anyone with a genuine interest in the good of Scotland is ignorant of the evidence for anti-Gaelic (and thus anti-Scottish) attitudes in Scotland, both contemporary and historical. The Scotsman newspaper still regularly publishes such pro-active diatribe on its letters page.

            ANDY-J3, your comment cloaks the fact that I present facts. I am criticising an ethnic group for its behaviour in a country's history towards another ethnic group (the one which provide the country's national identity and was its core identity) and noticing which is the less Scottish one in terms of language and cultural affinities, which made it less patriotic in my view. That appears to obscure to your eyes any factual references I make.

            I certainly didn't grow up with these attitudes - I acquired them accessing facts in history books generally. Your accusations of 'conceit', of being 'prejudiced' and being 'illogical' are rather general, emotional responses than a reasoned rebuffal of my view.

            It is time for any Scot who speaks any descendant of Anglo-Saxon to question the state of Scottish culture and politics today, the undesirable degree of influence English culture has over it, and ask itself whether such an influence would have been possible had Gaelic continued as the official language of Scotland instead of descendants of Anglo-Saxon.

            I would repeat that many of those who speak a descendant of Anglo-Saxon in Scotland will never accept education of children through the medium of Lowland 'Scots' because they themselves could never see it as worthy enough to replace English in schools. That in itself shows how patriotic this ethnic group is in cultural terms and how much a part they are of general English culture. It is therefore no surprise that we only get English soap operas on television in Scotland and no Irish ones, despite the large numbers of Scots of Irish descent.

            Naturally, I don't expect many Anglophone Scots to like what I say. By criticising an Anglophone's linguistic identity in such a way, one questions the completeness of their Scottishness. One implies that Anglophones, against their instinct, should weaken their instinctual affinity and bond with Englishness in order to change their relationship to Gaelicness, the original pure Scottish identity.

            Nevertheless, people should get pro-active about criticising Anglophones about this - as payback for the constant pro-active drip of centuries-old anti-Gaelic (and thus anti-Scottish) diatribe going in the English-language media in Scotland. It's time that Anglophones in Scotland got told as a group just how much of an anti-Scottish backbone they have always displayed, instead of getting away with this innocent, self-justifying veneer of being real Scots whose 'Scottish' identity is being compromised by Gaels finally getting their own schools, media and acknowledgement in national life. Anglophones should be ashamed of continuing in numbers to exhibit such continuing anti-Scottish attitudes.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm well aware that you're criticising an ethnic group- one which amounts to several million people and adds up to to over 90% of the country's population. That being the case I think even you would need to concede that it is an exceptionally bold statement to make and such a statement can't be supported by rhetoric alone which is all you are providing. You are providing subjective viewpoints unsupported by any hard evidence. You aren't even providing opinions from other sources perhaps from linguists and historians who might support such a viewpoint. You're trying hard to cobble together some kind of coherent sounding argument but whether anybody needs to be convinced by it given the lack of any viable evidence is another matter. I suspect even the vast majority of Gaelic speakers would conclude that you were talking out of your backside. Gaelic and Scots need to be preserved because regardless of the origins of Scots it was the language spoken by the people of Scotland for over 500 years. I think you might need to consider the historical examples of Gaels trying hard to subdue their fellow Gaels and thus hasten the demise of their own language and culture - plenty of Gaelic speaking highlanders fought on the government side in the various Jacobite uprisings and by the same token plenty of lowland Scots speakers fought on the Jacobite side. For example Bonnie Dundee was a lowlander who led a Highland army - Hugh McKay who opposed him was a highlander who led a lowland army so Scottish history can't be conveniently divided down ethnic and cultural lines as you're trying to do. The sad fact is that Gaelic culture and language diminished in large part due to the actions of Gaels themselves.
              "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

              - Martin Luther King Jr.

              Comment


              • #8
                Blaming the victim for the atrocity

                Andy-J3, the size of the ethnic group I am criticising does not concern me. It could be the size of America and that would not elevate them beyond criticism. As for boldness, thank you for the compliment. I imagine that others of the same opinion as me might find it very difficult to state it publicly in a Scottish context, owing to the size of the ethnic group and the likely, impassioned response from certain Anglophone Scots who, unlike Americans, are less inclined to accept responsibility for the damage done to another, native, culture through the spread of their own.

                I perceive that you believe that, if you mention the numbers of Highlanders fighting on the government side in Jacobite wars, you are mentioning a fact and producing hard evidence and being unsubjective and not 'talking out of your backside', and that, contrarily, if I mention speakers of descendants of Anglo-Saxon in Scotland began to call their language Scottish and alienising Gaels as being Irish, you believe it is neither fact nor hard evidence and that I am talking out of my backside.

                You evidently do not accept that you are not the only person in this discussion presenting historical facts. Believe it or not, facts do not cease to be facts just because I present them within a given hermeneutic or because you ignore them. Your accusations of conceit and your - how shall I put it - toilet language (?) indicate the real nature of your response to the view presented: you feel offended and are being offensive back.

                It is easy to trade historical facts back and forth but these don't necessary nullify any argument such as, for example, a nationalist or unionist viewpoint. People come to different conclusions for different reasons. A nationalist and unionist, for example, cannot merely say to each other with any scientifically provable justification, "I am being logical and you are being illogical". Anyone working from an assumption that they can prove or disprove my viewpoint objectively would be mistaken in my view, as values and the meaning of facts count just as much in such viewpoints as the facts themselves.

                Two of my values are patriotism and a wariness of Scottish culture being whittled away by Anglicisation of a kind which incrementally neuters Scottish self-development and self-expression and which implants English modes of being in their stead. If I can present any evidence at all of lack of patriotism and accession to Anglicisation of the kind I mention, then my viewpoint has some substance. Perhaps this is why you choose not to recognise any mention I make of the fact of Gaels being more willing to offer certain football coverage than English language channels, or the fact of an Anglophone hegemony voting for union with England. To admit that I have mentioned these facts does of course provide evidence for my case that for a Scot to speak a descendant of Anglo-Saxon as a first language is to be part of an ethnicity that is ultimately fated to be dominated by English national culture.

                Human relationships can suffer from similar problems. The facts of what happen in relationships do not always lend themselves to any easy resolution of someone being completely in the right and someone else completely in the wrong. However, sometimes one half of a marriage can be pretty much in the right while the other half is pretty much in the wrong. Lowlanders being more numerous, as you mention, does not justify their innate, excessive tendency towards Anglicisation.

                As for your examples of Gaels fighting in government armies, and vice versa, well, these contrasting examples only indicate that Gaels were sometimes their own worst enemies and also that Anglophone Scots were also sometimes their own worst enemies. I don't see how these examples as you present them indicate that Gaels themselves caused the destruction of their own culture any more than they indicate that Anglophones caused the destruction of their own culture. These examples only prove that history is complex and divert our attention from more obvious examples of Anglophones adopting Englishness and killing off Scottishness.

                You also say that Scottish history can't be divided down ethnic lines. The fact that a serial killer lets one of his victims go as an act of mercy doesn't excuse the rest of his actions or disguise his general intentions. Similarly, dropping a pound into a charity box presented in front of you on the street does not necessarily consitute you as a regular charitable giver. The existence of traitors in a population does not indicate that the general population supports its enemy. Likewise, Irishmen fighting on both sides in the struggle for American independence does not indicate a general tendency for Irish people to support British rule of Ireland. Trends in behaviour are often more indicative of core ethnic attitudes than seemingly contradictory facts.

                Anglophones needed to destroy Gaelic language as they saw it as providing a medium for political threat to their country, as they would have it. If you don't see the Statutes of Iona or the Highland clearances as historical fact illustrative of a trend within a longer story of a struggle between the centres of power in the west and in the east of Scotland, if you don't see that I mention the Statutes of Iona and the Highland clearances, and need a book reference for such things, that is not an issue I am willing to contend with. You are clearly in avoidance mode - if you had to recognise that I have mentioned such facts, you would have to deal with them, and up until now, that is something you haven't been willing to do, like a lot of Anglophone Scots. I'm not going to write FACT in capital letters beside such events and supply a book reference in order to draw your attention to them.

                But then, I note that you say that Lowland 'Scots' was "the language spoken by the people of Scotland for over 500 years". This statement is typical of the Anglophone attitude to Gaels and to the Highlands, indicating that, in their world view, the existence of the Gael is simply not worth taking into account in a summing up statement about the last 500 years of linguistic history. Such a statement would be a typical example of Anglophone tendencies to minimise both the significance of Gaelic culture to Scotland and its presence in Scotland.

                Your comments are adequate expression of the centuries-old Anglophone dismissal of Scottishness. You state that Gaels themselves are to be held responsible for much of the oppression they suffered - taking that view, Anglophone Scots can safely distance themselves from much of what happened to the Gael, blaming them for the extent of anti-Gaelic laws, the 'maide-crochaidh' approach to English teaching, the Clearances etc.

                Being on the losing side in the Gaelic versus Anglophone politico-cultural struggle does not justify attempts at cultural extirpation, nor does it justify statements about language which ignore the existence of the language of the losing side. It is time that Scots had a real awareness of the situation that Scottish culture is in under the Anglophone hegemony and seriously questions where it leads to. Any Gael who feels that the damage done to Gaelic culture is self-created is surely prey to internal colonialist attitudes.

                To assert that the Gaels caused the damage done to their language and culture simply by losing to the Anglophones, is to suggest that the Catalans and Basques are to blame for the subjugation of their languages and culture after they lost the Spanish civil war. Anglophones in effect are, according to your logic, equivalent to Franco. Asking Scots today to support such Anglophone attitudes as 'the Gaels themselves are to blame' is like asking Basques and Catalans, and even many other Spaniards, to blame themselves for what Franco did to them.

                So if the Gaels are not to blame, who is? The Anglophone Scots need to wake up to the reality of how they have compromised Scottish language, culture and even identity through the promotion of English, in the 12th century, in the 15th century, during the Reformation with their English language Bibles and prayerbooks (why bother with one in a dialect?), after the union and right into the 20th century, where children were asked, "what language do we speak" and gave the correct answer, "English, miss".

                English should be a Scot's second language, not his first, and if Anglophone Scots don't want to have their own dialect taught in schools, they should at least approve of the teaching of Gaelic and stop marginalising it as they have done in the past.

                Why speak dialects of Anglo-Saxon origin? The country has a true, original, nationality-giving Scottish language, Gaelic, beaten down by the Anglophones whose leaders, over centuries, fought for and took control of education and law over the whole of Scotland and who, naturally, adopted Queen's English as their first language and tried to erase Gaelic. Thanks to the advent of modernity and human rights, Scots have an opportunity to undo the damage done to Scottish language and identity by these Anglophones with their linguistic-cultural allegiances.
                Last edited by Calum Mac Neill; 14th October 2009, 20:01.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ANDY-J3 View Post
                  I'm well aware that you're criticising an ethnic group- one which amounts to several million people and adds up to to over 90% of the country's population.
                  I find this statistic rather odd .
                  Is that a guess or a recorded number ?
                  And how was it arrived at ?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    so just how much gaelic do u speak on a daily basis then callum?


                    whats gaelic for blow and hard?

                    oh n ps...what side was "the goverment" side those highlanders where fighting...or not?

                    oh n ppss....how many times can u say anglophone in one statement?........lots

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Calum Mac Neill



                      As for boldness, thank you for the compliment. I imagine that others of the same opinion as me might find it very difficult to state it publicly in a Scottish context, owing to the size of the ethnic group and the likely, impassioned response from certain Anglophone Scots who, unlike Americans, are less inclined to accept responsibility for the damage done to another, native, culture through the spread of their own.

                      You talk as if Anglophone Scots are some kind of homogenous group with an anti Gaelic agenda. Just how many of these Anglophones do you imagine lack any Gaelic heritage? Shall we say something approaching zero. The problem for you is that Anglophone Scots without exception have Gaelic genes in their lineage - I only need to go back three generations to find Gaelic speakers so I have every reason to defend Gaelic culture and language as an important part of our country's heritage. Using the word boldness wasn't a compliment I just wanted to be polite and avoid using a word like arrogance.



                      I perceive that you believe that, if you mention the numbers of Highlanders fighting on the government side in Jacobite wars, you are mentioning a fact and producing hard evidence and being unsubjective and not 'talking out of your backside', and that, contrarily, if I mention speakers of descendants of Anglo-Saxon in Scotland began to call their language Scottish and alienising Gaels as being Irish, you believe it is neither fact nor hard evidence and that I am talking out of my backside.You evidently do not accept that you are not the only person in this discussion presenting historical facts. Believe it or not, facts do not cease to be facts just because I present them within a given hermeneutic or because you ignore them. Your accusations of conceit and your - how shall I put it - toilet language (?) indicate the real nature of your response to the view presented: you feel offended and are being offensive back.


                      I'm only offended that I should need to defend Scottish culture from a vitriolic and unfounded attack from a fellow Scot. I perceive a problem with you presenting facts which you are unwilling to support by any textual evidence. If you're clever enough (or maybe just pretentious enough) to use words like hermeneutic then I'm sure you're clever enough to appreciate that an argument is seen to be valid only when some form of supporting textual evidence is provided to suggest that it is true. You are the one making the arguments hence the onus is on you to provide the evidence to support them otherwise you're expressing subjective opinions that people are free to dismiss as invalid. You show me the textual evidence that supports your contention that "lowland Scots was the ruin of Scotland" and we can discuss the validity of that evidence without recourse to toilet language.


                      It is easy to trade historical facts back and forth but these don't necessary nullify any argument such as, for example, a nationalist or unionist viewpoint. People come to different conclusions for different reasons. A nationalist and unionist, for example, cannot merely say to each other with any scientifically provable justification, "I am being logical and you are being illogical". Anyone working from an assumption that they can prove or disprove my viewpoint objectively would be mistaken in my view, as values and the meaning of facts count just as much in such viewpoints as the facts themselves.

                      No one is asking for conclusive proof just supporting evidence to show your argument has validity. No evidence equates to no argument.




                      Two of my values are patriotism and a wariness of Scottish culture being whittled away by Anglicisation of a kind which incrementally neuters Scottish self-development and self-expression and which implants English modes of being in their stead.

                      Scottish culture is whittled away by parochialism and narrow mindedness. Our culture is a synthesis of many diverse European cultures, Brythonic, Gaelic, Anglo-Saxon etc. I don't care if my ancestors were Celts or Anglo Saxons. I'm equally proud of my heritage whether they spoke Scots or Gaelic and my sense of Scottish identity is not diminshed by the fact that I speak Scottish English. I would rather that a greater effort was made to preserve Scots but just because I speak English it doesn't make me any less willing to preserve Scottish culture including the Gaelic language.




                      If I can present any evidence at all of lack of patriotism and accession to Anglicisation of the kind I mention, then my viewpoint has some substance. Perhaps this is why you choose not to recognise any mention I make of the fact of Gaels being more willing to offer certain football coverage than English language channels, or the fact of an Anglophone hegemony voting for union with England.

                      I never mentioned the issue regarding football coverage because if I'm being frank I thought it was a bit of an eccentric statement - I'm aware that many factors other than patriotic values influence what media companies choose to broadcast. As regards the "Anglophone hegemony" that's referring to the act of union over 300 years ago. In the modern era the self same Anglophones voted in an SNP government with a mandate to achieve independence for Scotland so I think that argument is shown to be fatally flawed.
                      "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

                      - Martin Luther King Jr.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Calum Mac Neill

                        These examples only prove that history is complex and divert our attention from more obvious examples of Anglophones adopting Englishness and killing off Scottishness.


                        Such as voting for a party whose sole reason for existing is to bring about independence for Scotland? Your contentions are at odds with the realities. A people who wanted to kill off Scottishness and strengthen ties with England wouldn't have voted in an SNP government. How many SNP members of the Scottish parliament were returned by voters in the Highlands and islands? Traditionally it has been the very lowland Scots who you accuse of being Anglophiles who are the most ardent supporters of the nationalists.




                        Anglophones needed to destroy Gaelic language as they saw it as providing a medium for political threat to their country, as they would have it. If you don't see the Statutes of Iona or the Highland clearances as historical fact illustrative of a trend within a longer story of a struggle between the centres of power in the west and in the east of Scotland, if you don't see that I mention the Statutes of Iona and the Highland clearances, and need a book reference for such things, that is not an issue I am willing to contend with. You are clearly in avoidance mode - if you had to recognise that I have mentioned such facts, you would have to deal with them, and up until now, that is something you haven't been willing to do, like a lot of Anglophone Scots. I'm not going to write FACT in capital letters beside such events and supply a book reference in order to draw your attention to them.


                        I'm well aware of the failed attempts by certain Scots to destroy Gaelic culture but to what extent was that ever feasible. The highlands and islands were largely impervious to the influences of central government prior to the ninetenth century due to their geographic isolation. There weren't armies of of lowlanders in the highlands hell bent on subduing Gaelic culture and language. The Black Watch were highlanders and the masacre of Glencoe was instigated and perpetrated by highlanders. I don't accept that the demise in Gaelic was due to a pro active campaign by lowlanders to destroy it because I don't believe that such a thing would even have been possible before the modern era and the advent of mass media. As I have stated I know one Gaelic speaker and he tells me that he spoke nothing but Gaelic until he was a teenager but he was forced by circumstances to speak English in order to find work and I suspect that is the real reason for the demise in Gaelic language. Gaels themselves chose to speak English due to economic circumstances not due to any atempts by lowlanders to destroy their cultural heritage.


                        But then, I note that you say that Lowland 'Scots' was "the language spoken by the people of Scotland for over 500 years". This statement is typical of the Anglophone attitude to Gaels and to the Highlands, indicating that, in their world view, the existence of the Gael is simply not worth taking into account in a summing up statement about the last 500 years of linguistic history. Such a statement would be a typical example of Anglophone tendencies to minimise both the significance of Gaelic culture to Scotland and its presence in Scotland.


                        I knew as soon as I wrote it that you would pedantically home in on that one single word "the". I just wish I'd used the word "a". You see a meaning in my statement that I had no intention of conveying.
                        "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

                        - Martin Luther King Jr.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Calum Mac Neill

                          Your comments are adequate expression of the centuries-old Anglophone dismissal of Scottishness. You state that Gaels themselves are to be held responsible for much of the oppression they suffered - taking that view, Anglophone Scots can safely distance themselves from much of what happened to the Gael, blaming them for the extent of anti-Gaelic laws, the 'maide-crochaidh' approach to English teaching, the Clearances etc.

                          Why are you putting words in my mouth? Are you struggling to find valid challenges to my arguments so you feel the need to misquote me? I never mentioned anything about Gaels being responsible for suffering imposed on them. I don't support any imposition of suffering on any group of Scots by central government. What I stated was that Gaels were often their own worst enemies, riven by factionalism and often motivated only by self interest. Certain highland chieftans chose paths that were politically expedient and profitable for themselves and which didn't always further the interests of the highland people.



                          Being on the losing side in the Gaelic versus Anglophone politico-cultural struggle does not justify attempts at cultural extirpation, nor does it justify statements about language which ignore the existence of the language of the losing side.


                          Your argument falls flat on its face by virtue of the fact that there are virtually no native Scots who don't have Gaelic genes. Lowland Scots have both a mixed lowland and highland heritage- they have no reason to denigrate Gaelic culture because it is as much a part of their cultural heritage as it is the heritage of those highlanders who still speak the language. I haven't actually met anyone who wants to destroy the Gaelic language- at worst a lot of Scots are probably indifferent to its future but I think most people would be happy to see it thriving again because it's such an important part of our history.



                          To assert that the Gaels caused the damage done to their language and culture simply by losing to the Anglophones, is to suggest that the Catalans and Basques are to blame for the subjugation of their languages and culture after they lost the Spanish civil war. Anglophones in effect are, according to your logic, equivalent to Franco.

                          You don't say. I never actually said it of course.

                          English should be a Scot's second language, not his first, and if Anglophone Scots don't want to have their own dialect taught in schools, they should at least approve of the teaching of Gaelic and stop marginalising it as they have done in the past.

                          English is my first language and I don't see that as an issue of any great importance. It doesn't diminish my sense of Scottishness and Gaelic should be taught in schools where there is a demand for it to be taught.



                          Why speak dialects of Anglo-Saxon origin?


                          Why celebrate Scottish independence and heritage by lionising Anglo-Norman aristocrats? Because history is what it is and it can't be re-written to conform to some idealised image that we would like to manufacture. Whether we like it or not Scots have Anglo-Saxon as well as Celtic heritage. Gaels aren't any less Scottish because of the Scandinavian Germanic influences in their history and neither are lowlanders any less Scottish because of the Anglo-Saxon influences upon their culture and language.
                          "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

                          - Martin Luther King Jr.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Duthill

                            I find this statistic rather odd .
                            Is that a guess or a recorded number ?
                            And how was it arrived at ?


                            At present the number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland amounts to somewhere in the region of 100 000 people. The number of "Anglophones" or English speakers as they are conventionally referred to is over 5 million.
                            "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

                            - Martin Luther King Jr.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Does anyone else think that Mr MacNeill sounds like a close relative of other Gaelic 'speaking' members?

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