I’ve yet to buy, let alone peruse, a copy of the Scottish nationalists’ in-house tabloid The National but I do see their daily tweets letting a grateful populace know which nattily-garbed member of the new Scottish establishment is wowing their readers with a column in the next day’s edition. The authors seem to include a dog, or dug as they would have it, as well as the egregious Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, only begetter of the SNP-front organisation Business for Scotland (my apologies to currently-suspended SNP MP Michelle Thomson who thought she was the only begetter before she and Gord fell out).
My Twitter feed the other day brought me news in these words of their ‘Scots’ columnist, one Matthew Fitt:
Since it’s in Scots I’ll translate it for readers not familiar with that ‘language’:
In tomorrow’s @ScotNational Matthew Fitt on the strife of family life for his Syrian friends … I couldn’t tell at first if the Syrians were listening to what I was saying or if they were thinking, here those Scots are all daft. They tell me they would take what we have in Scotland for what they have in Syria any day.
We’ll gloss over Matthew’s Syrian friends. I’m sure he has many of long-standing. But was that translation helpful? Were you gobsmacked (sorry, scunnered) by the intricate uniqueness of the grammatical construction and vocabulary of Scots?
Of course you weren’t, because it’s the same word for word and phrase for phrase as the Queen’s English.
The only thing that’s different is Fitt’s feeble attempt to mimic how some – not all by any means – Scottish people pronounce some English words. But guess what? All over the United Kingdom people pronounce the same words differently. You could take my standard English version of Fitt’s words and have them read in a multitude of accents, from Cornwall to Shetland, Kent to Northern Ireland. Everyone would understand the written words but they’d say them in their own way. That’s the richness of the English language and its dialects within and beyond these shores.
I’m not saying there’s no such a thing as Scots but this isn’t it. Nor is much else that the SNP would thrust down the throats of school-children in their attempt to make them believe they are different and so should be separate. The Scottish government-funded Scots Language Centre is part of the same separatist jigsaw.
Still, I suppose The National know what they’re doing. After all their audited circulation figures show they sell a humongous average 15,029 copies a day, or 11% fewer than Dundee’s evening paper.
Just one other thing. I note with interest Fitt’s judgement that the Syrians he spoke to all prefer what they have in Scotland to what they’d have in Syria. I think this falls into the linguistic category of a statement of the bleeding obvious. Aleppo anyone? Raqqa?
I assume that Fitt and his kind tell those Syrians they meet that what we have in Scotland is uniquely Scottish. Let’s hope they also remind them – in English that will be useful to them – that Scotland is part of the UK, that what they’re experiencing is as much British as Scottish, and it is the UK that gave them refuge and helps fund their exile here.