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"Bad English"

Updated: Feb 1, 2021



Róisin Gallagher and Scots

@traces_and_initials



The Scots language has been discouraged from being spoken for the past 300 years since its definition as a “provincial dialect”. For those who lives beyond Scotland, it maybe difficult to reach the culture and tradition otherwise known in media and publications. It's language and dialects alone carry it's rich history. Róisín's work aims to get people more comfortable and acquainted with Scots.


English became the main language of Scotland in the 18th century, but various accents and dialects are still being used throughout Scotland; Gaelic is the oldest language among them, now active in the highlands and islands; Scots is used-specifically in the Lowland, different to Scottish English.


Scots was once the official language of the courts and even of Scotland in the 16th century before English was put forward in order to implement standardized British education. The debate about whether Scots is a language or a dialect has been going on for many years.



《Scots: The Mither Tongue》

A book about the history of Scots

Scots has often been referred to as "bad English"



Where Scots speakers are implied as of a lower class. They are therefore dissuaded from using the language that plays an important part in expressing their cultural belonging and sense of place. When phrases and words used in daily life are reduced to “slang” and speakers encouraged to “talk properly”, these rich and emotive words are excluded from the vernacular, the speaker loses a part of their cultural identity and the words lost to history.