I think almost every Scot will at one time or another have been told off for using a word that, although perfectly acceptable Scots, is not standard English.
How could such a situation come about?
This was one of the topics of the discussion when I spoke to Michael Hance, who is the director of the Scots Language Centre.
We also spoke about the cultural importance of the language, the work of the centre itself, how the situation has changed since devolution and finally about how the situation might improve in the future.
If you’re wondering why it is not For A’ That today, we’ve flipped them over this week and For A’ That will be on Wednesday. Next week we’ll be back to normal.
I also declined to include my rendition of the poem/song that I have included below the links, not because of worries about the pronunciation but rather that I just don’t think poetry comes good coming from me!
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Listen Tae The Teacher
He’s 5 year auld, he’s aff tae school
Fairmer’s bairn wi a pencil and a rule
His teacher scoffs when he says “hoose”
“The word is house, you silly little goose”
He tells his ma when he gets back
He saa a mouse in an auld cairt track
His faither laughs fae the stackyard dyke
“Yon’s a MOOSE ye daft wee tyke”
Listen tae the teacher, dinna say dinna
Listen tae the teacher, dinna say hoose
Listen tae the teacher, ye canna say maunna
Listen tae the teacher, ye maunna say moose
He bit his lip an shut his mooth
Which one could he trust for truth
He took his burden o’er the hill
Tae auld grey Geordie o’ the mill
“An did they mock thee for thy tongue
Wi them sae auld and you sae young?
They werena makin a fool o’ ye
They were makin a fool o’ themsels ye see”
Say hoose tae the faither, house tae the teacher
Moose tae the fairmer, mouse tae the preacher
When yer young it’s weel for you
Tae dae in Rome as Romans do
But when ye grow an ye are auld
Ye needna dae as ye are tauld
Don’t trim yer tongue tae suit yon dame
That scorns the language o’ her hame
Then teacher thocht that he was fine
He kept in step, he stayed in line
Faither says that he was gran’
He spoke his ain tongue like a man
An when he grew and made his choice
He chose his Scots, his native voice
And I charge ye tae dae likewise
Spurn yon pair misguided cries