Talk:Scots language/Archive 13

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Analogy Scots-English and Portuguese-Spanish

I have deleted the second sentence in the following: "It is often held that, had Scotland remained independent, Scots would have remained and been regarded as a separate language from English[citation needed]. This has happened in Spain and Portugal, where two independent countries developed standardised languages, Portuguese originating from a common Galician-Portuguese language, which itself originated from a common Iberian Romance language shared with Castilian Spanish." 1) The analogy is based on wishful thinking, for please remember that Portugal was a world power for a couple of centuries and consequently had every opportunity not only to retain its language but to spread it over other continents. The same cannot be said for Scotland. 2) The analogy is confused, because Galicia has never been independent, Scotland has been so for much longer, but the Galician language has nonetheless survived - even survived the repression of its language under Francoism, something which was rather more radical than suffered by Scotland. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Compromiso (talkcontribs) 00:43, 26 November 2007 (UTC) sorry, forgot to sign Compromiso (talk) 01:12, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Galician has been developing separately from Latin since the early centuries AD; English didn't even enter the heartland of Scottish territory until the 13th century, and wasn't even the language of the Scottish court until the late middle ages and even then it was only the language of half the population. I think that's prolly more important. It's likely that ... and I don't see why it's important ... Scotland would have developed some kind of colonial "empire" in the 18th and 19th centuries had it remained independent, though again I'm not sure what if any impact that would have had on language development. There are other parallels that could be used. The Scandinavian language"s" are rather fictional as distinct languages; Norwegian, Danish and Swedish are separate and distinct languages because there are three states called Norway, Denmark and Sweden ... absolutely nothing to do with lingustics; timewise, I think Dutch and German would be the best hypothetical parallel. It works better timewise, and both Scots-English and Dutch-German share the fiction of being thought of (for political reasons) as particularly distinctive in their respective dialect continua. East Low German or Low Prussian would prolly be the best non-hypothetical parallel though. Those parallel well chronologically with the spread of Scots English, and like Scots English, East Low German is a semi-distinct collection of varieties rather than one standardised variety ... which is what Scots English is. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 03:32, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Deacon. that sums it up quite well. I would also add that the Portuguese-Spanish analogy has been made by authors outside Wikipedia, so it's not just "wishful thinking" on our part. For instance, Tom McArthur makes it in The English Languages (ISBN 0521485827) on page 146, although like the Deacon, he prefers the Scandinavian analogy to the Iberian one.-- Derek Ross | Talk 05:25, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
well, deacon, the spanish wiki page on galician names 8th century as the time it separated from latin (in common with other romance languages) but nothing written until 12th / 13Th century, so it doesn´t seem to have the earlier pedigree which you suggest. "De los comienzos del siglo XIII datan los primeros documentos no literarios en gallego." my point was really the fact that galician survived even though repressed from the end of the reconquista. the spanish wiki page talks of the 16th to 18th centuries as dark ages, when the dialect (whoops, language) was rejected by its own people - seems to correspond with scotland. perhaps it is the decline of centralised power in spain in the 19th century (contrasting totally with the imperialist expansion of england) which saved galician. i guess the analogy, derek, is useful just to explore its (in)appropriateness ... but i must say, to come back to "wishful thinking", that the idea of england allowing an independent scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries to acquire a empire is a bit rich. look what the english did to the danes! i am pretty sceptical of the dutch/german analogy. galician is pretty comprehensible for a spanish speaker, and scots for an english english speaker, but dutch - no way, unless you come from where they speak platt. having said that, please don´t get me wrong, i love the linguistic jungle of europe, let´s not raze it for monoculture. Compromiso (talk) 21:56, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
1) Ah, don't pay any attention to any of those silly classifications. Some such things just have me in hysterics ... like the laughable Dutch-German split English wiki implies to have come from the Frankish period. All languages at peasant level constantly change, so it follows that Galician began developing from the time Latin was first spoken there ... or spoken there en masse. As always in lingustic continua, there are periods of spasmodic or sustained divergence AND convergence (!), but we can never know when or what impact these had on peasant speech. 2) England "letting" Scotland get an "Empire" (i.e. a few colonies or possessions) would have depended on the relationship between the two; it may not have been the case that it would have been antagonistic. Moreover, 19th century and to some extent 18th cent. Scotland was a much wealthier, technologically advanced and (if my memory serves me well) a more populous place than Belgium or Denmark, and in a much better geographical position. Scotland already experimented with colonies in the 17th cent., and my guess is that if Scotland had remained independent, those would prolly have been precursors to more successful missions. But it's just hypothesis, as Scotland was annexed by England in 1707 and never regained independence. 3) Comparing High German with Dutch is about as fair as comparing Galician with Occitan or Ligurian; Dutch and High German are at very distant ends of a dialect continuum much larger than the English one; if standard German were based on the speech of Saxony it would be much more difficult to think of the two as separate. Anyways, Dutch is pretty comprehensible to German speakers when they know a few rules (and German even more comprehensible to Dutch speakers). Hey, I know only a little German and my ability to read Dutch isn't much worse than my ability to read German. Dutch developed a large advanced vocabulary distinct from High German, a product of the independence of that land in a period very similar to the period where Scots English dominated the Scottish court + hypothetical additional period which would have been gained by continued Scottish independence. Two side notes; firstly, Scots English would have been vulnerable to convergence with the English of England even if it had retained independence; the English English variety was never at any stage incomprehensible to Scots English speakers, whose poets avidly aped English poets of their own age, while English English would have retained/gained the prestige of a more advanced vernacular independent of Scotland's political status because of England's comparative cultural, economic and demographic power. Secondly, if there had been no British rule and no British Empire emigration, population trends in 18th and 19th century Scotland would have seen the Gaelic speaking area catch up and perhaps overtake the Lowland Scots population, which could have changed Scottish society immensely and perhaps demographically peripheralized Scots English speakers and made them feel more English (hence willing to be more like their "brethren"); this is what happened to German speakers in many areas of eastern Europe. Until the 18th cent., Scots English - while regarded as natural in the Scottish Lowlands - constantly had to deal with the accusation that it was a foreign implantation; this was reversed in the 18th cent., but if the latter trends made themselves felt this may have accentuated and damaged the integrity of Scots English society. In either case, a continued differentiation of Scots English from English English would be far from guaranteed even if the Kingdom of Scotland and its court had never disappeared. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:57, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Hello again Deacon. Bet you're glad to see me back ;-) (Can I just say that I love your use of the term 'prolly' ... which is not quite probably ... so ... not quite probable ... was that the intention?) Anyway ... to business. The bottom line in this discussion is that Scots was a language distinct from English in the 16th century, as is evidenced by (for example) the Court of Queen Elizabeth of England quoting Scots as a foreign language. As for the extrapolation of 'what if Scotland was independent', I doubt that such conjecture has much place in the article. As for your essay on how Gaelic could recover its past glories, you seem to ignore the fact that Scots was the dominant language in Scotland, and had been the lingua franca within the kingdom since the Education act of 1492, the protestant reformation in the mid 16th century, and finally the Education act of 1633. Gaelic was already marginalised by this point in Scots history. The union with England (not annexation as you term it), and the final fling at the Battle of Culloden may have been the last nails in the coffin for Gaelic ... but the lid was already firmly in place well before then. If you want a turning point that may yield a 'purer' (albeit smaller) celtic Alba, you have to go back to the Treaty of York in 1237 (IMHO).
(A brief aside) My POV is that the aftermath of Culloden sees both the near extinction of Gaelic, and the demise of Scots from language to dialect. Gaelic gets banned, while Lowlanders seek to distance themselves from their rebellious cousins by wrapping themselves ever tighter in the false mantle of 'North Britons'. Linguistic coach to aspirational Scots, Thomas Sheridan starts plying his trade barely a handful of years after Culloden.
What's my point? Well ... The two sentences which sparked this debate, highlighted by Compromiso above definitely need changing. 'Often Held' ... 'by many' ... is hardly encyclopaedic. What can be stated? Well, prior to the Union of the Crowns, Scots was viewed as a foreign language ... by none other than the court of England. Since then, its separate linguistic status has been in decline for a variety of reasons (political, demographic, economic). That said, the decline has been a shallow one, since even now prominent academics in the field like Peter Trudgill (English Accents and Dialects, 2005) still recognise that Lowland Scots is 'probably the most distant (variety) of Standard English'. Angusmec 01:22, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
That Queen Elizabeth source is more about showing off Elizabeth's linguistic skill ... i.e. adding as many languages as possible, much in the way a Scandinavian may try to impress an American girl by presenting their knowledge of the Scandinavian language as "3 languages". Anyways, it isn't the case that Scots English was ever regarded as separate from English in the way say Horsbroch would like. Should we forget that Mair's survey of Scotland mentions two languages spoken by people in Scotland, one half "English" and the other half "Irish". To James VI of Scotland the people of England and the Scottish Lowlands are united by English speech. If you actually look at sources from Scots' supposed glory period of separation between 1500 and 1600, it is called English just as often as Scots. Of course it was its own language, but that shouldn't misguide people into thinking that it had thrown off a relationship with English. It was always vulnerable to reconvergence, with or without Scottish independence. And of course, let's not forget that Scots varieties were just some of many distinct varieties of English spoken in Britain; politics tends to emphasise Scots, but the "English" of Cornwall & Devon, the Black Country, Nottinghamshire, etc, was at similar if not more accentuated stage of differentiation from standard English variety. The English of Kent was incomprehensible with London English in the 15th century, more perhaps than could be said for court Scots English in Scotland. I think most English speakers would know what "He wina tell thee onything" means, but I for one would not have known what "Aw bain’t gwine for tell ee nawthen" unless I was told; that is the same phrase in the extinct English dialect of Cornwall. In some ways, the decline of Scots was part of a Britain-wide recovergence of English under the influence of the modern state and media, rather than another country imposing its dialect on the Scottish Lowlands. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 08:55, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
A big point here that often gets mistaken: How many Scots would know what all this written Scots stuff means straight away, as naturally as they would with English? It often requires reading out phonetically in a variety of ways before it clicks as to just what it says.--Josquius (talk) 15:27, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Hello Again Deacon. If I paraphrase your response, we have a number of points ... some of which we agree on, others not.
1. Was Scots a separate 'language' at any point? There are a number of sources other than the Elizabethan one that would point to this being the case ... Cromwell needing Scots Interpreters in the mid 17th Century for example. That said, he probably had some Cornish Interpreters as well ... ;-)
2. Scots being called English (and therefore still being a dialect) ... well I could quote Fordun who called them both Teutonic. The old parliament certainly makes plenty of references to the Scots Leid ... backed up (although you dislike the reference) by the English Court. But you are right, Scots will always be closely related to English. I guess we are back to the old problem of Dialect/Language continua, and where one becomes the other. As I've already mentioned in previous discussions, The Goethe Institut publishes a map that does not even recognise English as a distinct language from German ... so we are not likely to resolve this one any time soon.
3. On Other English Varieties being mutually unintelligible: Your Scots example here is interesting, if only because it shows the variety of Scots that you are used to is substantially different to mine. I'd say something along the lines of 'Ahm no fur tellin ye ocht' (South Central Scots ... ocht == OE term for anything). One strong argument for treating Scots as a language is that it has such a diverse range of dialects of its own. As for your Cornish example, it's not extinct just yet ... I've a friend from Cornwall who sounds just like that (admittedly after a couple of ciders!) Finally, notice the similar construct 'For Tell' in both SC Scots and Cornish ... I'm sure the linguistic professionals here will be able to tell us why that similarity persists ... my money is on a common ME construct.
4. On English varieties re-converging in the present day. I agree. On a personal level, my niece speaks a far more moderate form of Scots than I do, even though we're from the same place. Education and the media are large factors in this shift. In England itself, particularly in the suburbs, the pseudo American culture is driving an even wierder shift.
So ... do we have a consensus yet? Would there be any objections to stating that "... in official circles in both Scotland and England during the 16th Century, Scots was deemed to be a language in its own right. Since then for a variety of reasons, its differences with Standard English have narrowed, albeit at a slower rate than some other English varieties." (Ref the Trudgill quote). Angusmec (talk) 12:20, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
this is all quite contratry to wikipedia protocoll, being all about the subject (if even that!) rather than about the article, but it´s fun and i can´t resist a rejoiner. going back to the deacon´s penultimate contribution - 1) galician will not have developed from latin, but from a romance which developed from vulgar latin, and it doesn´t seem to be known from when galician began to develop endogenously. 2) it doesn´t seem to me very convincing to bring evidence about scotland´s economic position following the union to support a conjecture about what might have happened without a union. 3) i can assure you, writing as i do in germany about an hour´s drive from the dutch border, that dutch is virtually incomprehensible to german speakers. i think this mistake comes from the supposition that platt is similar to dutch and is spoken in germany therefore ...
angusmec´s point is the most pertinent. there´s no place for counterfactuals in a wikipedia article so i´d be in favour of deleting all these what ifs (i´ll not do it myself, though). as this talk page shows, the discussion of counterfactuals gets no further than wishful thinking about glorious linguistic, economic and political futures that might have been.
angusmec uses the revealing expresssion "the demise of Scots from language to dialect", symptomatic of the nature of this discussion. why "demise"? what is wrong with a dialect? a dialect is a descritive term in linguistics, not to be confused with the needs of national pride, which seem to be prevalent on this talk page.

Compromiso 16:19, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Quite right Compromiso, decline/demise do have emotive connotations. I speak the way I speak for perfectly rational reasons. Whether someone else chooses to call it a dialect or a language is of little practical relevance. Ergo ... I've used the term 'narrowed' in my suggested change (see response to the Deacon above). Angusmec (talk) 12:20, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


Oh right. If you were thinking of independent Scots empire-building when you were using the words, "wishful thinking", I totally agree. Events of the late 17th-early 18th century leave little doubt of what a dim view the English government took of that! -- Derek Ross | Talk 00:10, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

'Ahm no fur tellin ye ocht' - 'Ahm not fuh tellin ye owt', same shit, different day and the latter is pure English in my eyes. 92.40.14.50 (talk) 11:13, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Think you'll struggle to get a lot of people to agree that 'owt' is 'pure' (by which do you mean standard?)English. The root of Ocht, owt (and others) lies in the Northumbrian variety of Middle English. Variously, the roots are owhit, ocht, oght etc. The GH(/x/) vocalisation has reduced somewhat in geographical English varieties, leaving you with the owt form that is common in Yorkshire. Angusmec (talk) 12:46, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Pure in the respect that it is spoken and understood by millions on a day to day basis throughout the north of England. Owt is used well beyond Yorkshire, it can be found from Berwick to Hull, and i would dare say it is used in the Scottish borders. 167.1.176.4 (talk) 11:00, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Hello again Anon, I'd agree that owt/ocht etc are all 'pure' Anglic (since they derive directly from Northumbrian in the Middle English period). If your definition of English is intended to encompass all varieties of Anglic from the ME period and beyond, then fair enough, what you say is correct. However, I think it's fair to say that when most people use the term 'English' they mean the modern standard form ... and using that definition, what you say is misleading since it implies that Yorkshire/Geordie/Scots/Pitmatic/Mackem/Scouse/Brum etc. are derivations/corruptions of the modern form ... which they most certainly are not. As for your point on mutual intelligibility across varieties, without sufficient background historical data, that approach can lead to even more confusion, due to the common heritage of many Asian and European languages (see Indo-European Languages). Using the same logic, you could argue that, for example, Geordie is Danish, not 'English' ... and some do ... see [1] Angusmec (talk) 09:53, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be mad to suggest that 'Geordie' is Danish even if there are many shared/derived words and the sheer fact that 'Geordie' (or atleast the newcastle variety) is dying out with the massive influx of southerners to businesses set up in Newcastle means that alot of those terms aren't spoken in Newcastle proper anymore (i work there, take me word for it).
Anyway, the point was that in the late 1800's most of the area east of the Peninnes and north of the Tees was rhotic in speech, i doubt anyone south of Yorkshire at that time could tell the difference between anyone from Hartlepool or Dundee. 92.40.56.230 (talk) 18:20, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Statistics at .sco

I am merging .sco to Proposed top-level domain. There is some statistical data there which - if it is correct and relevant - should be placed at this article.

I have put it in the "Status" section. Can anyone please its correctness?

Thanks in advance. --Amir E. Aharoni 18:42, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Literature

The following appears in this section:

"After the seventeenth century, anglicisation increased, though Scots was still spoken by the vast majority of the population[citation needed]."

I don't know for certain, but I wouldn't say the "vast majority" spoke Scots in the seventeenth century, more like about half. In any case, I don't think a statement as sweeping as that should be included if there's no citation. I propose changing it to something like:

"After the seventeenth century, anglicisation increased, though Scots was still spoken by much of the population." Malcovitch (talk) 20:53, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Last Middle Scots writing

I was thinking app. 1750 on the assumption that anyone who had been taught any form o Scots spelling would have died by then. Perhaps even that is putting it too late. I found this:" A letter by a man in 1684" [2] could that form of writing have survived another 50 or so years?

The same source has: "Throughout the manuscripts I have found a relatively stable use of the Scots spelling system. As from 1600 I notice that the Scots spelling is slowly being replaced by English or otherwise non-Scots spelling systems. The text in 1619 shows a conservative spelling, but after this text Scots is rapidly being phased out. That this is coupled with English words and pronunciations need not be coincidence: according to Görlach (Görlach 1991: 19) Scots lost prestige as a book language as from the latter half of the sixteenth century, when English was the language of spiritual reform and bookprinters." [3]

Perhaps the original 1700 was more accurate as a latest possible date. 84.134.201.209 (talk) 23:45, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Okay. Trouble is we really need to be sure. I think the relevant date is probably going to be some time between 1650 and 1750 but guessing isn't really good enough. There was a loss of prestige for Scots when the monarchy moved its base to England in 1603, and then another when the parliament moved south in 1707. Nevertheless Scots did continue in use in the courts for some time after that, so the last official Scots writing is probably related to legal reporting. How spelling was affected by all this I'm not sure. Perhaps Nogger can spread a little light on why he put down 1700 as the date. If not, we need to see what the secondary sources (if there are any) are saying about the dates of all this. -- Derek Ross | Talk 05:48, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Scots Map

I'm sorry but the map showing Scots speaker population in North Ulster *has* to be changed. I live there and from first hand information I can tell you that Scots simply isn't spoken in as wide an area as that. The author has literally coloured an arbitrary area in blue. Now I know you would like to popularise your dialect, but whoever put this unsourced nonsence up should realise that imaginary "facts" are not the way to do this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.134.173.146 (talk) 14:45, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Language Change

By the 1840s the Scottish Education Department's language policy was that Scots had no value "...it is not the language of 'educated' people anywhere, and could not be described as a suitable medium of education or culture"

This is wrong - it was a 1946 report by His Majesty's Inspectorate for Education's Schools Advisory Council report (see NIVEN, L. (1998) 'Scots: an educational perspective'. IN NIVEN, L. & JACKSON, R. (Eds.) The Scots Language: Its Place in Education. Newton Stewart, Watergaw, p60).

However, if you just changed the date it would no longer make sense as a quote to support the point being made.

There are a number of other inaccuracies in this article (especially in this section) but I don't have time to fix them now (trying to write a chapter of my PhD on Scots in education ;) --Junglehungry (talk) 11:59, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Phonetic spelling

In archive4, angusmec asked me:

Howz it hingin Rfsmit? Question for you. What's your issue with phonetic spelling? Before Doctor Johnson came along, it was quite common to write words as you heard them. Just because we're all now taught one form of English, does that mean we have to abandon all other forms? The point is that Scots is pronounced differently to Standard English. Why should I write LONG when I say LANG or RIGHT for RICHT or OUT for OOT? The key point is that in these (and many other) cases you'll find that it is the Scots pronunciation that remains closer to its Middle English ancestor than Standard/Modern English. So as Mendor hints at, perhaps it is the Scots spelling that is correct ... not the Standard English one ;-). As for Yorkshire, you'll not find many people here disagreeing with you about the similarities between Scots and other Northumbrian dialects ... quite the reverse actually. As for the distinction between Language and Dialect? I read a quote recently that said a language was a dialect with an army and a navy ... so for me, Scots was a language at one point, but is probably only a dialect now ... and as the wave of standardisation washes over the UK via education and the media ... it will soon be reduced to an accent. Sad ... but that's progress for you. Angusmec 00:28, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
So, over a year later, but my issue with phonetic spelling is this: LONG, RIGHT and OUT are pronounced differently all over the UK. What you're doing when you replace their written forms with "LANG", "RICHT" and "OOT" is that you interpret your pronunciation in terms of standard English (which is not, btw, RP). By this logic, RP English would have "BASS" for BUS, and "BACK" for BUCK, "PAWND" for POUND, "WOUTER" for WATER, "COH" for CAR, etc. I needn't point out that RP English gets by just fine spelling things as standard English; as do Cockney, Indian English, Australian English, and (to an extent) American English. I lean toward your argument with LONG, but the words RIGHT (and LIGHT and MIGHT) and OUT (and ABOUT) contain consonant or vowel groups which are consistently pronounced a particular way in Scots. We commonly hear "AN-" for "IN-" and "EHN-" for "UN-" (where EH is schwa) in Scots, but we shouldn't spell words that way, because it elides too much. Instead of this comic portrayal of language and dialect, I would much rather see a scholarly comparison of the regional pronunciations of particular vowel and consonant clusters, and a list of exceptions and misunderstandings. That's what will preserve dialect and pronunciation; not Oor Wullie. --Rfsmit (talk) 20:37, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
We should leave scholarly work to more appropriate venues. Wikipedia's remit is to provide information for the general public, not for scholars. With that limitation in mind, I note that Wikipedia already has separate articles on various Scots dialects which deal with the regional pronunciations of particular vowel and consonant clusters. See Doric dialect (Scotland), Shetlandic, etc. for examples. It is more appropriate for this article to describe the Scots equivalent of "standard English", so that readers can learn that a word like "cuit" has a standard Scots spelling despite the fact that it may be written phonetically as "KWEET" or "COOT" by those doing what you suggest above to suit their own particular Scots dialect. -- Derek Ross | Talk 22:43, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi Rfsmit, kind of agree with what Derek is saying. Using standard English as a phonetic baseline to help people understand local pronunciation differences is perfectly plausible IMHO. I guess that is why the article quotes a Scots teaching guide stating 'It is important not to be worried about spelling in this – write as you hear the sounds in your head'. This simply recognises that Scots is a largely spoken dialect, and that the only (non-academic) mechanism we have to convey how it sounds to other non-experts is by using standard English as a phonetic baseline. If that ends up looking like Oor Wullie to you, then that's your loss. I'd suggest some Hugh MacDiarmid as an antidote to those sentiments ... although going by your prior argument, Edwin Muir might be more to your liking ;-) Angusmec (talk) 12:53, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

The Sun

Has anyone read the criticism of the Scottish language page in today's Scottish sun? Any thoughts?--Jack forbes (talk) 21:20, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Nope (to both). However I always think it funny the way that News Corp will say one thing about a Scottish issue in the English edition of The Sun and the complete opposite in the Scottish edition. Once you've seen that happen a couple of times, you get the impression that whole paper is just a wind-up. Is this one of those cases ? -- Derek Ross | Talk 21:56, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

It may be Derek,but it happens too often in my opinion to be just a wind-up.I know of an English reporter,whose name eludes me,who criticises Scotland at every opportunity and would of course never be let near the Scottish edition. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jack forbes (talkcontribs) 22:12, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

South of the border (haha) the Sun is generally regarded as a bit of a joke, i wouldn't read too much into it. 167.1.176.4 (talk) 08:03, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Exactly my thoughts, <grin>. It's a comic for grown-ups. Perhaps this is one case where Scots and English can agree! -- Derek Ross | Talk 08:12, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you,it is just a comic,but you would be amazed (or maybe not) how many people believe the rubbish in this paper if it's repeated enough!--Jack forbes (talk) 15:44, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Created "Cromarty fisher dialect article

I have just created an article on Cromarty fisher dialect and it currently doesn't have anything linking to it. If people have ideas on the best places to link the article, that would be great. --Roisterer (talk) 11:21, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Southern Extent of Scots

The Article included this spurious claim: ...but arguably upto 2.5 million speakers throughout Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear. I have added a referenced bit about the southern extent of Scots to the section Dialects. If anyone can find equally reputable sources for the claim above feel free to reinstate it. I eagerly look forward to the references;-) Nogger (talk) 23:03, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Good work, Nogger! -- Derek Ross | Talk 23:54, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
http://www.indigogroup.co.uk/durhamdialect/sunderlandc19-1.htm 167.1.176.4 (talk) 07:51, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Most of those are still in use now. 81.97.8.242 (talk) 21:43, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

No comments? You've got the F.E.A.R. 92.40.14.50 (talk) 11:09, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Status and NPOV phrasing

The status of Scots as a language in the sense one treats Swedish and Danish as languages can be justifyably questioned. See Ausbausprache - Abstandsprache - Dachsprache. Just because the British government now recognises Scots as a regional language under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages does not automatically make it a language according to all paradigms. It is a political decision. If the Government declared the moon to be made of cheese it would not necessarily make it true. Governments across the world are known to create facts that fit their agendas.

Thus using Scots is an Anglic language descended from early northern Middle English... in the introduction pre-empts the discussion of its status in the next paragraph and in the section Status. The article should present and describe the (sourced) reasons why some linguists treat Scots as dialects of English and others as a separate language, why activists consider it a language and on what basis the British government decided to recognise it as one. This should be done neutrally leaving the reader to make their own decision based on the information presented. Yes, Scots language may be the title of the article. On one hand that has to do with Wikipedia naming policy, on the other we can simply accept this use of language to mean A set of characters, phonemes, conventions, and rules used for conveying information. The aspects of a language are pragmatics, semantics, syntax, phonology, and morphology. No doubt that is the intention in Anglic language, though ;-) we all know that Anglic is a euphemism for English, Nogger (talk) 00:31, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

some linguists treat Scots as dialects of English and others as a separate language What reliable source can you present for the claim that "some linguists" treat Scots as "dialects of English"? I'd be surprised to see an academic linguist making such a categorical claim. I am assuming you're the same person behind the IP that left me a message on my talk page. You have not presented a valid argument for us to disregard Wikipedia's naming conventions and guidelines and accept yours. Also, did you mean that we should simply disregard the fact that the UK recognizes Scots as a language? The debate itself is not sufficient reason to disregard the guideline nor its recognized status--after all every language is essentially a dialect and vice versa. Dialects are typically recognized as languages when a significant portion of their speakers recognize them as such. Please also note that you should secure consensus on the talk page before making changes that have been challenged on more than one occasion. — Zerida 04:03, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Below are some (no doubt there are more) reliable sources showing that "some linguists" treat Scots as "dialects of English".

In his The English Language of Scotland: An Introduction to Scots Jones (2002) writes (p.vii) "This book sets out to describe the grammar (in the widest sense) of the English language as it is spoken in Scotland today." Further on p.2 he writes "Although there are obvious differences between pronunciation and (to a less extent) the syntax of the dialects spoken in the English and Scottish Border counties, they are in general terms still very close to each other at almost every level of their linguistic form. In such a case it would not be appropriate to talk about different languages." He continues illustrating why he considers Scots to be dialects of English.
When describing negation in Scots dialects in their English Accents and Dialects (p.14) Hughes and Trudgill (1979) use the term "Scottish English".
In The Languages of Britain Price (1984) writes "I devote a separate chapter to Scots not because I necessarily accept that it is a 'language' rather than a 'dialect' but because it has proved more convenient to handle it thus than include some treatment of it in the chapter on English."
Aitken in McArthur (1992) summarizes the situation as follows: "Scholars and other interested persons have difficulty agreeing on the linguistic historical, and social status of Scots. Generally it is seen as one of the ancient dialects of English, yet it has distinct and ancient dialects of its own […] it has been called a Germanic language in its own right, considered as distinct from its sister in England in the same way that Swedish is distinct from Danish."
Hughes, Arthur & Peter Trudgill (1979). English Accents and Dialects: An Introduction to Social and Regional Varieties of British English. London: Edward Arnold.
Jones, Charles (2002) The English language in Scotland: An Introduction to Scots. Tuckwell, East Linton
McArthur, Tom (ed.) (1992) The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford University Press. Various articles by A. J. Aitken. Abridged edition, 1996.

I left no message on your talk page. As to securing consensus on the talk page before making changes, may I point out that having gone through the edit history I noticed wording similar to what I used seems to have been the concensus nearly two years ago before someone else decided to change it ingnoring that apparent consensus. There was plenty of debate, though no talk of concensus as such but the more neutral wording did remain unchallenged for almost two years.

I'm not suggesting we disregard Wikipedia's naming conventions and guidelines as to the title of the article. Neither am I suggesting that we disregard the fact that the UK recognizes Scots as a language. I am simply saying that the different views, and the reasons for them, should be described neutrally leaving the reader to make their own decision based on the information presented.

Dialects well may be typically recognized as languages when a significant portion of their speakers recognize them as such. Have you a relaible source for that in regards to Scots not being considered a variety of English by a significant portion of its speakers? What is a significant portion? Nogger (talk) 11:47, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Yet the striking similarity between what your wrote above "using Scots is an Anglic language descended from early northern Middle English... in the introduction pre-empts the discussion of its status in the next paragraph", and what the anonymous editor wrote on my talk page "using Scots is an Anglic language descended... in the first sentence pre-empts the second paragraph and is arguably POV"[4] is difficult to miss. In any event, I wasn't accusing you of anything, I was simply making reference to the previous discussion for context. Turning to the references, as I had suspected none of them is written by an academic linguist. One is a professor of English, another French, and the third is not an academic. Your quotation talks about "the dialects spoken in the English and Scottish Border counties," which as I mentioned in an edit summary, would not be unexpected (e.g., Lower German vs. Dutch Low Saxon).
Perhaps not impossible, but I maintain that a categorical pronouncement by an academic linguist that Scots is a dialect not a language would raise a few eyebrows. Please note that asking me if I have a relaible source "in regards to Scots not being considered a variety of English by a significant portion of its speakers?" is a negative proof fallacy. I was also not aware of a previous consensus--I looked through the archives and aside from the occasional "is it a language or a dialect?" discussions, I could not find clear consensus that the article should not make any references to Scots being a language. If it's that important to you (or other editors?), I suggest making a proposal to change the title of the article from Scots language to just Scots (we have Latin and Hindi for example). — Zerida 20:59, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I picked up using 'language' or 'dialect' here preempts the next paragraph in the edit history. The suggestion seemed to imply explicitly avoiding defining Scots as either a dialect or a language by using the less contentious term 'variety' or for that matter any other suitable alternative which may be considered neutral.

Charles Jones is an honorary fellow at the Edinburgh University Department of Linguistics and English Language. He clearly thinks Scots is a variety of the English language, or is he teaching nonsense at Edinburgh University?

Glanville Price is, as you say, a Professor of French, though arguably that brings substancial linguistic knowledge with it.

The late Jack Aitken was a lexicographer and philologist, and arguably supportive of the idea of Scots being an 'independent language' though he was cautious enough to describe the differing views on the matter and not claim one or the other to be 'correct' in his contribution to The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Why is Scots, a 'different language', covered in so much detail in a book about English?

Peter Trudgill is a Professor of sociolinguistics.

It would be interesting to have some quotes from academic linguists stating that Scots is an independent language not a variety of English. You seem to be certain of their existence. Please provide some. I agree that a categorical pronouncement by an academic linguist that Scots is a dialect not a language would raise a few eyebrows because linguists talk about varieties, all speech is equally valid language to them. Would one categorically state that Scots is not part of the English linguistic system (i.e.not a variety of English) but an independent language in the sense that German and Dutch are?

As to negative proof. If the claim is being made that Scots is considered a language other than English by a significant portion of its speakers, surely it is acceptable, in an encyclopedia to require some proof for such a claim e.g. attitude surveys etc.

Once again I am not proposing to change the title of the article from Scots language to just Scots. I am simply saying that the different views (whether Scots is a 'language' or a variety of English), and the reasons for them, should be described neutrally within the article leaving the reader to make their own decision based on the information presented. That is the third attempt at conveing that concern. It has not been addressed. Is Scots an 'Independent' Anglic language or a variety of English? Nogger (talk) 22:30, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

As I said, I just don't see the sense in having the article titled "Scots language" if we are careful to avoid making references to Scots as a language in the body of the article. Even though I am not an expert on Scots, I certainly would not regard Scots simply as a dialect of English. In this discussion, it's not always clear to me when "Scots" is used to refer to either the Lowland variety or to Scottish English (one I generally do not understand; one I generally do); e.g. Jones talks about Scots as a "kind" of English, yet he also talks about "Scots" and "English" as two separate entities (he also does come across as a professor of English primarily, not theoretical linguistics). Incidentally, he has an article published in a volume titled The Edinburgh History of the Scots Language. I am not totally swayed by Jones' argument, but he is reliable enough to be included in the article if he's not already.
It would be interesting to have some quotes from academic linguists stating that Scots is an independent language not a variety of English. Actually this is not exactly what I said--linguists typically don't make categorical claims either way in such situations, treating dialect and language as mutually exclusive; but if a variety is recognized by speakers or governments as a language, then it's often described as such. In reality there are no universally objective criteria distinguishing languages from dialects; even purely linguistic ones like structure, functions and mutual intelligibility can vary. But sociolinguists in particular will factor in how people feel, official recognition, the existence of a literary tradition, among others. I don't always buy into these factors myself, but for Wikipedia I think we need some criteria to work with.
Would one categorically state that Scots is not part of the English linguistic system (i.e.not a variety of English) but an independent language in the sense that German and Dutch are? No exactly, because that's tantamount to saying that English and Dutch are not Germanic (or conversely that English and Dutch are German). No one would dispute that Scots is *derived* from English (or northern Middle English more specifically); it's not clear however whether this is enough to regard it as "a dialect of English" given the social, and for that matter linguistic, implications in that description. At least, it's more neutral and I think more descriptive to refer to Scots as an Anglic variety rather than an English one. — Zerida 00:11, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I generally concur with what you have written above. As you say: At least, it's more neutral and I think more descriptive to refer to Scots as an Anglic variety rather than an English one. So why not express it so in the introduction?

Scots refers to the Anglic varieties derived from early northern Middle English spoken in parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Nogger (talk) 10:04, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

The article does indeed lean way too much to Scots being a language. Its status should be a pretty major subject of discussion by the article.--Him and a dog 19:36, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

So why not express it so in the introduction? Because of the title as I said. In any event, why not give it a couple of days to see if other editors agree with that? If you don't hear any objections, then "silence implies consent" per the consensus policy. — Zerida 06:12, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Hey we're now back to where we started before Zerida changed what had been there for almost two years. It gets reverted and Zerida takes a wobbly and keeps reverting it back to Zerida 's version then after some back and forward discussion Zerida tell us how it should be done more neutral more descriptive exacly how it was before Zerida started forcing his new version on the article after nearly two years, while trying to save face with some mumbling about the title. Welcome to the wacky world of Wikipedia. 84.134.230.60 (talk) 09:58, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

it should be done more neutral more descriptive exacly how it was before That's incorrect, I still don't think it should be changed. Here I was merely saying that Anglic is more neutral than English when asked if Scots was not an "English dialect". Whether dialect or language is used is another story, but a reliable source was provided which sheds light on the situation from a different angle. I'm not the only editor who has reverted to this version. Also, learn to be civil in your comments. Your edits were challenged primarily because you repeatedly vandalized the article to remove any references to Scots' linguistic classification and its official status in the UK. — Zerida 17:56, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
The repeated vandalism seems to consist of the one edit mentioned above which was followed by an edit clearly correcting inadvertently botched wikicode with the comment oops!. Keep digging. 84.134.224.231 (talk) 20:55, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Incorrect again. You clearly vandalized the information regarding Scots' status in the infobox and did not restore it in your second "fix" edit (nice try though). It was also not the first time. — Zerida 21:07, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
You are correct in so far as you consider a botched effort at restoring a botched effort vandalism. Here a failure to vandalize the information regarding Scots' status in the infobox occured. Someone mangaged to do some real vandalism here. With practice things improved. Then were improved even better here and here by Nogger followed by other acts of 'vandalism' giving us what we have now 84.134.245.54 (talk) 00:13, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
I took a look at the article's history to see what the original wording was, and found that the current version was initially changed by the same IP range in June 2006. I also looked at Archive 4 and found no evidence of discussion or consensus for this change. I now realize that what I actually did was revert it back to what it had always been, and what I think is a more sensible lead that corresponds with the inescapable facts: that the title already acknowledges its "languageness" to borrow your expression, and that its speakers do so, at least on an official level (not to mention the vast majority of linguists). I don't intend on changing it again, but some of the strong reactions here seem to me like an attempt to bury one's head in the sand. It's not like refusing to acknowledge Scots' independent existence is going to stop it from developing in its own right, or from its being recognized as a regional language. I suppose such things take time. BTW, I did find one suggestion in the archives to merge this page with Scottish English, which I find utterly absurd on linguistic grounds. Talk about POV. — Zerida 22:16, 14 April 2008 (UTC)


Other Scots

What would you call other Scots spoken around the country? E.g. Glaswegian, which is in no way Scottish English. would you call this a language or an English dialect. If you consider it a language then it is as much a Scots language as the one on this article meaning it should be included. If you think its an English dialect could you explain why like lallans there are words formed only in Glasgow(or west coast) or changed so much as to render it incomprehensible to those with no ear for it! Hey, we could have multiple languages in Scotland, great eh! --Jack forbes (talk) 18:54, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

We do have multiple languages in Scotland: Gaelic and English; or Gaelic, Scots and English, dependng on whether you count English and Scots as two separate languages or not. Each of these has dialects which differ from one part of Scotland to another. Some of those dialects, such as Doric and Orcadian have Wikipedia articles of their own stating how they differ from the "standard" form of the language; others such as "Lewis Gaelic", do not. -- Derek Ross | Talk 21:45, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
That's my problem Derek, I don't consider English and Scots being two different languages. I know it is officially considered a seperate language but making something official does'nt make it so! My real problem is that it get's away from the fact that Gaelic is actually the Scottish language (I don't speak it). Gaelic is actually a dying language which get's little or no help from authorities. I actually have some old maps in the house with the Gaelic names for towns, hills, islands and fishing ports etc, which over time the names on the newer maps have been anglicised. Now I may have a suspiciuos mind but it is my opinion that this was done intentionally in an attempt to eradicate the Gaelic tongue! Things hav'nt really changed over years, its like taking the eldest son of a clan chief and educating him in England!

I may have gone off track there but I hope you understand what I mean. --Jack forbes (talk) 22:14, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Haivers! Gaelic gets far more support than Scots does - do you see a Scots TV or radio stations? Scots medium schools (in Edinburgh!)? mygaelic.com went live not long ago, it is funded to the tune of £250,000. One site alone is funded the same amount as the Scots Language Centre, Scots Language Dictionaries, Itchy Coo and the Scots Language Society put togethere. Gars ye grue... - Tulloch Gorum

Hi Jack, you raise some interesting points. Firstly, Scots is actually an umbrella term for a variety of dialects that are found within the geographical boundaries of Scotland. When you talk about Glaswegian Scots, it actually falls under the umbrella of the Scots Language as a variety of Central Scots.
[That said, the I have some issues with the article in that parts of it it talk as though there is a standard version of Scots ... when no such thing exists. The Dictionary of the Scots Language and the Scottish Govt. website plunder the various dialects within Scotland to come up with a form of plastic/artificial Scots. In reality, Glaswegian/Central Scots is one of many Scots dialects. They all share a common heritage; but equally have some fundamentally different characteristics, and as such, it makes no sense to mix them.]
Secondly, you say you don't consider Scots to be a different language ... I know a number of people who agree with you ... myself included ... but the bottom line is that if the EU and their respective governments say it is; then it's hard to contradict. IMHO it WAS a language in its own right in the 15th/16th centuries, but due to a variety of reasons has moved back closer to standard English.
Thirdly, I think too many people try to set Scots Gaelic and Lowland Scots in opposition to eachother. Anglic and Gaelic speakers have been unambiguously part of the same country since the middle of the 13th century. Changes in spellings on historic maps is (IMHO) more likely to be a reflection of people using Scots/English as the basis for phonetic spelling. PoV here; but this is probably because of the fact that Scots/English was widely taught in schools; whereas Gaelic was not. If there is a conspiracy to be found (and I doubt that there is), it is the promotion of Scots/English in schools that lies at the heart of it. Even then, the cause of this shift is still a Scottish one; since this process started in the late 15th century, over a hundred years before the union of the crowns.Angusmec (talk) 09:03, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
I do not of course promote the idea that this article should be deleted. As you say, It's difficult to argue for that when the EU and the government say it is a language(whether I agree with it or not). What has bothered me over the years is that it is not just the Gaelic that was not taught at school, it was also Scottish history that was not taught! I may be showing my age here, but I left secondary school knowing more English history than Scottish. It is no wonder Scotland over the years bacame more anglicised. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way anti-England, I don't lay the faults of Scotland at Englands door, I lay it quite firmly at the door of those Scots in authority who let the Scottish culture take a back seat. Also, as I'm sure you know, it was not the Scottish people that agreed to the union of parliaments, it was the Scottish leaders! --Jack forbes (talk) 12:34, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi Again Jack. Trying to keep this from wandering too far off topic ... fun tho' it is ;-). I think it's clear from many of the contributions to the article and talk pages that most people share a common blind spot when it comes to our own history. Most do not realise how far back the split between Scots and English actually goes. Many see it as being a relatively recent 'corruption' of Modern English. Like you, my secondary education in Scots history was shockingly barren ... apart from (bizarrely) a very detailed knowledge of the farming techniques of the middle ages. I can understand why some aspects of Scots history are avoided by schools; due to the religious divisions that exist(ed) in Scotland ... but quite why we were never taught the significance of Fortriu, Alt Clut, Dal Riata and Bernicia to the modern makeup of Scotland is beyond me. It is of course, the inclusion of the latter into what we now view as modern Scotland that (arguably) gave rise to the Scots 'variety' in the first place (phew ... managed to get back on topic ... ;-)) Angusmec (talk) 20:46, 18 May 2008 (UTC)
Sorry to hear of the lack of Scottish history in your education, gentlemen, but I don't know if it's general. My 1970s secondary education certainly included early Scotland, the wars of independence, Jacobite rebellions, etc. Granted it was a bit sparse on Scotland post 1750 but I didn't get much British history from that period either. As I remember post-1750 we looked at the French Revolution and WWI but I don't see anything wrong with that. Those were seminal events and it would be silly to concentrate on Scotland to the exclusion of everything else. Perhaps things have changed since I was at school -- or perhaps it's just a difference in curriculum between schools. -- Derek Ross | Talk 04:04, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
You were more fortunate than I was in your secondary education. I also had my secondary education in the 70's and was taught nothing of the wars of independence or Jacobite rebellions. Talking to others of my age I find they have a similar experience. Could it be something that was more common in Glasgow? Jack forbes (talk) 08:33, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Scots in England (revisited)

If i was to say;

Ahm nee gawn rund me maws oose nee mare

Would that constitute to a form of Scots or not? 167.1.176.4 (talk) 09:44, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

It constitutes a form of Northern English. 84.135.252.184 (talk) 16:05, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
So that would not be Scots then? It looks alot like some Scots i've read in the past. 167.1.176.4 (talk) 07:26, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Nope. Most likely Northern English. The Scots equivalent would be something more like "A'm nae gaun roon tae ma maw's hoose ony mair".
There's quite a lot of pseudo-Scots speech written in novels. How closely it resembles the real thing depends on how well the author has researched (or just plain knows) Scots. Sometimes it's good; sometimes it's not. If you want to see good examples look at Irvine Welsh's novels for modern urban Scots, or David Toulmin's stories for rural 1930s Scots. -- Derek Ross | Talk 15:04, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah, so then what about Scots 'dialects' are they not used in written forms at all? 167.1.176.4 (talk) 06:30, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, I've just given you examples of two writers who use different Scots dialects in their writing, one urban, one rural, so I am not sure that I understand what you're asking for. After all it is impossible to write anything in any language without using one dialect or another. For instance we are currently communicating using Standard English, a written dialect which would cause people to think we were "talking like a book" if we used it in spoken conversation. -- Derek Ross | Talk 13:44, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Possible copyright violation

Following a footnote's link to this website, I was troubled to notice that much of its content seems to be replicated word-for-word in this article. For example, the article says:

The British government now accepts Scots as a regional language and has recognised it as such under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. ... Evidence for its existence as a separate language lies in the extensive body of Scots literature, its independent — if somewhat fluid — orthographic conventions and in its former use as the language of the original Parliament of Scotland. Since Scotland retained distinct political, legal and religious systems after the Union, many Scots terms passed into Scottish English. For instance, libel and slander, separate in English law, are bundled together as defamation in Scots law.

And the Martin Frost page says:

The British government now accepts Scots as a regional language and has recognised it as such under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Evidence for its existence as a separate language lies in the extensive body of Scots literature, in independent—if somewhat fluid—orthographic conventions and in its former use as the official language of the original Scottish Parliament. Since Scotland retained distinct political, legal, and religious systems after the Union, many Scots terms passed into Scottish English. For instance, libel and slander, separate in English law, are bundled together as defamation in Scots law.

As far as I can tell, the word-for-word content was introduced by an anonymous editor back in March 2004. Unless that editor is Martin Frost (and I don't know how we'd confirm that), a great deal of his or her contributions would constitute copyright violations. I don't have time to check the rest of the article's sources to see whether anything else is dubious, but I hope that the article's regular editors can make this search, and rewrite the article without any copyright violations.

I'm not going to add the {{copyvio}} tag yet, because that would hide all the content (not just the copyvio). However, if this isn't dealt with in the next few days I'll have to submit it to Wikipedia:Copyright problems. Sorry. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 01:28, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Not at all. Take a look at earlier versions of the article. You will see that the section was assembled from sentences which were originally spread all over the article. For instance the sentence,
"Evidence for its existence as a separate language lies in the extensive body of Scots literature, in independent—if somewhat fluid—orthographic conventions and in its former use as the official language of the original Scottish Parliament.",
developed from the sentence,
"Evidence for its existence as a separate language lies in the extensive body of Scots literature; in the existence of several Scots dialects; and in its former use as the official language of the original Scottish Parliament",
which I originally wrote in late 2001 or early 2002 and which appears in the earliest version of the article which we still have from 2002. If you do a little research you will find that the other sentences which form part of your evidence for copyright violation were introduced to the article, one by one, later in 2002, two of them in a separate paragraph to the sentence that I describe above.
In short I believe that we are not guilty of copyright violation. Post 2002, it's easy to see how we developed the section that you quote, sentence by sentence, as various editors contributed the sentences that make it up. It would be interesting to hear Martin Short's explanation for why the sentences in his article so closely resemble ours though... -- Derek Ross | Talk 02:43, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah. Thanks for clearing up the misunderstanding. Looking back, it does look like this was the source, not the Short page. However, if that's so, then Short shouldn't be used as a citation. I'll remove the references to his site. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 03:11, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Good. I read the Short article and recognised quite a few other pieces of text which I originally wrote. Of course I wouldn't mind if he had followed the requirements of the GFDL but he hasn't. So by all means remove any links to his site. I have no doubt that we can get citations from elsewhere if necessary. -- Derek Ross | Talk 03:37, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
This sort of "backwards copyvio" is getting awfully prolific... almost weekly there's discussion on the Village Pump about whether a certain article is a copyvio because it seems very similar to a mainstream source, when it turns out that the source copied WP. Glad this one was caught! Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 12:57, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
"Backwards copyvio" -- that's a good way of putting it. Perhaps we should have a "backwards copyvio" template to put on the talk page of an article like this one which has been plagiarised elsewhere. That would help to prevent people drawing the wrong conclusion. -- Derek Ross | Talk 23:23, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Just whipped one up: {{backwardscopyvio}}. Feel free to use and improve it! Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 23:32, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
What a guy, <grin>. Thanks! -- Derek Ross | Talk 00:10, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Glasgow University graduate

Not sure if it is of use in this article but in 1995 (I believe)Alasdair Allen MA(hons) graduated from Glasgow University being the first person in the universities history to have written his degree in Scots. Permission was granted by the university by having Scots considered a variety of English (Trevsy (talk) 20:37, 29 October 2008 (UTC))

Interesting. Don't know if we can use it in the article but definitely interesting. Thanks for sharing. -- Derek Ross | Talk 04:49, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Some Scots makes it to Wikipedia's Main page today

A couple of bits of Scots are quoted on Wikipedia's Main Page today (7 December 2008), due to the new Golf in Scotland article appearing as the lead item in the Did you know? column. --Mais oui! (talk) 09:53, 7 December 2008 (UTC)