BY saying “imagine if the UK imprisoned the leaders of the SNP for advocating independence for Scotland”, Ben Emmerson touches a very raw nerve in Scotland (The National, February 2).

When the Spanish imprisoned, or threatened to imprison, leaders of the independence movement in Catalonia for “sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds”, it wanted the world to believe that its own archaic laws were sufficient to justify this (as well as the brutality it unleashed on Catalonia’s voting public). The EU stood back, accepting that position, ignoring the fact that it was contrary to its own, and the UN’s, enshrined values of allowing nations to democratically decide their own destiny.

What kind of message has the action by Rajoy given to May and co? That they can do the same when they “take back control”, reduce our the power of our devolved parliament, or even eliminate it? Charge our elected SNP and Green MSPs with sedition and rebellion?

Right now, for example, Mundell and co are planning to bypass the Scottish Parliament by bringing returning powers to the Scottish Office! They will stop at nothing to deny Scotland its democracy!

Hopefully, by presenting the UN with his 26-page complaint, Ben Emmerson QC could be the cavalry coming over the hill to save European democracy. But the wagons still need to form a circle round the so-called Secretary of State for Scotland!

Dennis White

Blackwood, Lanark

FAR div I stairt anent Martin Hannan’s airticle “Brain research into Scots language/dialect debate, (The National, February 3)?

Firstly, in the Scots leid an “onion” isnae an “inyin” – it’s an “ingin”. Secondly, wi aa due respeck till Dr Melinger, she disnae seem tae ken fit Scots is, nor tae spik it, sae I’m nae siccar she is best placed tae dae experiments ettlin tae prove the differ atween Scots an Inglis.

Scots is officially acceptit as a leid bi the Scottish Pairlament, Westminster, and the EU. Westminster hes gien Scots the status o a leid syne 2004, if nae afore thon. Sae, fan a psychologist (fa surely disnae hae the necessar kennin as a linguist on these maitters) concludes that her ain use o Inglis in Scotland versus fit she spiks at hame in America is the ae thing as a Scots spikker chyngin the wye they spik – by spikkin anither leid, Inglis, instead – I canna help but feel her “science” isnae really at the tap end. There’s nae info on the nummer or they type o fowk at wes “testit”.

Lastly, the pair lass disnae even ken there’s a wheen o dictionars o the Scots leid! (I doot, na I’m siccar, she hes confusit Scots staunard Inglis wi the Scots leid...)

Fit I’m really sayin is, the experiment wisnae really a genuine experiment as it wisnae based on richt definitions, and in sum it hasnae advancit the warld body o kennins ava.

Dr Alexia Grosjean


THE National reportit on November 4, 2017 at Abertay Univairsitie wes gie-in fowk wirds ti prie frae Inglish an frae Scots, an the tyme it tuik thaim ti snekk owre frae ane ti the tither telt ye gif Scots wes a leid ir a daialek. The conclude wes at the Scots wes stored in the brenn lik a langage, no lik juist a locall vairsioun. Ben The National o Febraury 2, 2018 the wes anither wryte on the samen maitter at semed ti cum til a awnser at wes at odds wi the ither.

A wes reddin up ma buik skelfs the nicht afoir kiz the wesna eneuch space fur ma nyow Concise Scots Dictionary. Out o interess A comptit ma Scots dictionars an the wes twintie inhauddin thesaurs, an ane a map-buik schawin whaur vauriautions o Scots wirds ar skailed aroun an about the kintra. Mynd ye at A dinna awn copies o the gryte Scotch dictionars at ar hauddit in librells. Neist thur is ane aqual nummer o buikies at tel ye whitwey ti yaise the leid, graimmars an siclik, an as mukkil agane o buiks o musardrie. Hits ane awfu bing o peyper ti deskreive ane upoland speik.

Whan A wes swoupin the sheuch A fand ti ma gryte jo twa wie buikies A thocht A hed tint. Ane wes a Scottish Dictionary (sic) o eir 1818 an the tither wes a Frainche vocabulary at A uised whan A wes at the skuil. The Scots A kent, bot the Frainche a hed forleit maistlie. Bot A thocht ti masell, Frainche skairs a guid whein wirds wi Inglish. Whitwey dae fowk no cry Inglish an Frainche daialeks o the tither ir ersie-versie. Ma buikie hes “la carpe, la truite, le saumon an le hareng” fur Inglish “fush”. Inglish keings spak Frainche fur thrie eirs hunner eftir 1066, an the Frainche ar aye complenin at Inglish wirds ar sleikitlie interin thair leid, the samen at is appenin til Scots.

A mynd whan A wes a laddie, ma paurents telt me no to say sic Scots wirds as “ken” ir “stane”. Sae whan A fand out at “ken” wes mair nerr the auld Angliane wird “cennan” an the Norse “kennan” nir the contemporane Inglish “know”, A begoud ti hae ma douts at Inglish wes the speik at wes uised in heiven bi the aingells. Whan A wes chakkin “know” the nou in the Chambers Dictionary ma ein keppit a collum o “Inglish” wirds i the nixt pege:

“Kobo, kobold, kochia, ko cycle ... komatik, kombu, Kominform”. Whitna rim-ram leit o fremm wirds.

A dinna ken the Scots wirds fur maist o thaim, an A dout gif maist Inglish speikers ken onie mair ir. A dae in thair ain tung. In The National (January 30, 2018) the wes ane airtikil on Tammas Reid at sayed we suid leir frae expairience. “ A’m resolvit ti tak the exeistence o things upo traist” he sayed. This gings fur the Scots Leid ti ma mynd.

A’se speir at the guid fowk o Abertay Univairsitie ae lest quastioun. Is this pistill wrate in Scots ir Inglish?

Iain WD Forde