The Future’s Oors

The Scots Tongue Episode 7 of 7
In the census of 2011, over 1.5 million Scots revealed that the Scots language was an important part of their national identity. Here, Billy Kay interviews language activists who worked to get the question on the census, who pioneered the acceptance of Scots in education and who use the language creatively as part of a Scots literary tradition going back to Burns and Dunbar: writer Matthew Fitt has influenced many teachers through his Scots Hoose work and the Itchycoo publishing imprint; Hamish MacDonald is the Scots Scriever at the National Library of Scotland engaged in the Wee Windaes web project which highlights the library’s great Scots collection; Diane Anderson of Morgan Academy, Dundee was one of the first group of Scots Language Co-ordinators who had a dramatically positive effect on the status of Scots within education; J Derrick McClure of Aberdeen University who led the Scottish Government’s Ministerial Working Group on Scots; Michael Hance and Dauvit Horsbroch of the Scots Language Centre ‘who have had huge success engaging with people on line and in social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr; Ashley Husband Powton a politically engaged young activist who is writing her dissertation in Scots at St Andrews university; actress/writer Ishbel McFarlane whose one woman show O is for Hoolet has toured Scotland stimulating debate about the language and Dr Michael Dempster, a scientist exploring neuro and psycholinguistics and researching how language works in our brains and bodies, especially if the mither tongue is suppressed. Billy also talks to George Watt and others from the Scots Language Society at their annual Collogue in Perth. All hope that as far as Scots is concerned, MacDiarmid’s prophetic lines will come true:

For we hae faith in Scotland’s hidden poo’ers,
The present’s theirs, but a’ the past an future’s oors.

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