Exposed to ridicule

Allan Massie (Cultural Arena, 31 January) is entirely right: poorly-written documents in some ill-thought-out linguistic mixter-maxter offered as "Scots", far from doing any service to the language, merely expose it to ridicule, and undercut both the real case for developing Scots and the efforts of those who have been engaged for years in credible at-tempts at doing so.

The magnificent, centuries-old tradition of literature in Scots is still very much alive.


Rosehill Terrace


Allan Massie suggests that "if the Union had come later, we might now be in the position of educated Neapolitans, Venetians or Sicilians, who switch easily between their native dialects and Italian".

After the Union, and especially after the Jacobite rebellion, Scots was heavily stigmatised, as was Gaelic, and its decline was accelerated.

Scots has remained stigmatised, and in Edinburgh I am not free to speak Scots the way I spoke Twi in Ghana, where it was rare to en-counter a negative reaction that seemed to say, "Does this man think I can’t speak English?"


East Barnton Gardens