Language bullies

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Andrew HN Gray (Letters, 6 September) uses a report the previous day – a Highland councillor complaining that a newly- erected Gaelic road sign had been shot through – to hammer the SNP for its perhaps over-generous funding of the Gaelicisation of Scottish public signage.

His was clever but ultimately specious reasoning, as anyone who spends time in our northern interior will tell you that most of the road signs (regardless of language) are used for target practice, and there is no justification for Gaelic to claim special immunity from this destructive, but fundamentally harmless pastime. After all, what else is there to shoot at? The lairds have corralled all the deer, grouse and pheasant for the pleasure of their paying guests.

The complaining SNP councillor was merely identifying himself and his linguistic adherents as bullied victims – the “it wisnae fair” tactic: an inversion of the truth if ever there was one, because it is he, and his like, who are attempting to bully thousands of fine folk into a language and Brigadoon culture they never shared, and never will. Still, it beats tilting at windmills, and there are a good many more of those around these days – haven’t you noticed?

David Fiddimore

Nether Craigwell

Calton Road, Edinburgh

I EMPATHISE with Andrew Gray, having travelled recently through the Western Isles. I found the road signage cluttered and incomprehensible.

I understand many Gaelic speakers assert that their native tongue was suppressed by the Union with England and this is their primary motivation for its reintroduction. The reality is, however, that teaching Gaelic in school will not create jobs for our children.

Bill Ross

Erskine Loan

Gullane, East Lothian

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