I DINNAE yaise this space tae spik aboot Scots, mainly cause readin aboot a leid, raither than readin in a leid is ane o the maist tedious hings I ken.

This wik I amnae screivin aboot Scots, I’m screivin aboot a genuine cultural rejuvenation, that you can be pairt o. Aye you, National reader. Gin ye’ve fechtit yer wey through this much o the airtcle, then I certainly am spikkin tae you.

This Friday at the Mitchell Theatre, Glasgae, I’m co-hostin the Scots Language Awards, alang wi ma guid freen the braidcaster Frieda Morrison. Thir awards are designed tae heize up the grassroots activity, the scrievers, the scuils lairnin the leid tae bairns, the fowk wha’ve tyaved awa at their lanesome dreils fir lang years keepin the leid visible an pairt -just- o the national conversation. On Friday we breenge oot, confident an vibrant, ontae a muckle platform. New energy is biggin up.

Noo’s the time fir you, pal. I doot ye ken some Scots aaready. Dae ye cry the kids weans or bairns? Is your dad your faither or your da? Do you mibbie bide in a hoose raither than live in a house? Dae ye whiles caa yer dog yer dug? Gin ye even ken hauf o whit I’m scrievin here, then these awards are fir you.

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I dinnae promote Scots in order tae airt-oot obscure wirds fae the hinner ends o auld dictionaries, or brak phrases deed lang syne oot their kists fae ablow the grun. Naw. I dae it cause the fowk I love maist are Scots spikkers, an I want them tae feel braw an bauld whan spikkin their tongue. I dinnae want ma generation tae be the ane that draps the baa as faur’s Scots is concerned.

Whan I pit on the radio, I want tae hear you. I want tae hear ye spik confidently yer ain mind, in yer ain wey. Whan I switch on the tele, it’s your Scots vyce I want tae be hearin. You’re opinion maitters, an ye’re tongue maitters anaa.

I’m fae a totty wee clachan in Angus, cried Newbiggin. Even its name is Scots – “biggin” just meanin “buildin”. The fowk that raised me, ma granfaither an granmither, the neebors, ma heidteacher Mr Henderson, they were aa prood o the Scots tongue in their heid. Ma granny aye hud the Scots Dictionary by the ingle, alang wi her muckle buik o Burns. Ma granda wad sing Scots sangs o ilka type, an I had the Tam o Shanter lairnt me fir aabdy’s entertainment.

Yet it wisnae lang I wis oot the village that I found Scots derided as “slang”, “ned speak”, aa that. Fowk sayin that ye soondit like a “scummy Dundonian” gin ye said “ken” insteid o “I know”. I wis shamed oot o usin ma ain leid. It’s been a lang gait back tae it.

Dis this ring ony bells wi you? Were ye telt no tae speak a certain wey cause if ye did ye wadnae get a job? Or that ye sounded ‘common’? Well I hae some guid news. We’ve papped thae opinions ontae the muckle midden o past errors an yer noo free tae speak however ye damn well please. Congratulations.

As the nominees fir the awards shaws, Scots isnae tongue-tied ony mair. There’s hunners o great stuff happenin in ilka airt. The nominees fir Scots Business o the Year award, fir exaimple includes a dead simple belter o a contribution fae a bus company, o aa fowk. Stagecoach rin a bus fae Aiberdeen intae the Doric hertlands o the Buchan. Doon the side o it, they pit a photie o some pairt o the countryside, an scrievit “GET A BONNIE VIEW FAE THE TOP DECK”. It’s just a dead simple piece o mercatin in Scots. The register is correct. The spellin is uncontroversial. It isnae twee. It isnae mawkish. It isnae decoratit wi tartan lace an up there fir Burns Nicht. It’s just a normal bus, mercatin in Scots tae Scots-speakin passengers. Scots as normal. It’s fuckin revolutionary.

There’s the Award fir Scots Speaker o the Year. Think o that. An award just fir clearly articulatin yersel in yer mither tongue. But as you ken, National reader still strauchlin yer wey through this text, it isnae aye that easy tae stick tae yer guns an say “I speak Scots, hear me”. Sae we’re celebratin them wha’ve made the effort tae adjust fowks lugs tae Scots. Mair pooer tae them.

The room will be hoachin, the vibes will be positive. But the fowk in the room arnae there fir some swanky do tae celebrate anither year o siller in the pooches fae government grants an commissions. Maist are daein it fir bawbees. An the main reason they are daein it? They are daein it fir you! We would genuinely love ye tae be there this year, then replace us as nominees next year, whan ye stairt confidently yaisin yer tongue publicly.

Scots is dialectal. Near ilka pairt o this braid an lang country has its ain dialect o Scots, wi its ain character, influence an unique vocabulary. We maun aye treasure oor diffierences. But for owre lang these differences hae kept us apairt. Owre lang hae we been pyntin at them doon the brae, in the next toon, the next city, an sayin “I dinnae speak the Scots that mob speaks!” The fact is Scots is formed aroon core vocabulary we aa share. Let oor differences be celebratit as oor similarities bring us thegither.

The Awards are a celebration o aa the dialects, wi representatives fae the Borders, Ayr, Hamilton, Shetland, hunners fae Dundee, Angus, the North East, aawye. There’s just ae vyce missin oot aa this. Yours.

Mon doon an jine us at the Mitchell Theatre. It’s the stairt o somethin special, but it wilnae be the same wioot ye.