Ulster-Scots blogging from Cork

Just came across Colin Maxwell`s blog which is largely in Ulster-Scots. Colin Maxwell is a Free Presbyterian missionary working in County Cork.
Quote


“Fair fa’ ye tae the Blog o’ an Evangelical Ulster Scot living in Cork in the Republic of Ireland. A few thoughts here and there on this and that. Hopefully a bit more than now and then.”



Talking of the Free P`s – some folks might find this video of interest. Some excellent music about 15 minutes in.

  • Dualta

    I’m still not convinced that Ulster Scots is a language.

  • overhere

    I am afraid neither am I surely it is simply a dialect. After all would Geordie be classed as a language or Scouse or the Devon dialect. Is this simply not a sop because of the whinging about Irish being given legal status in Northen Ireland.

  • Nevin

    What about Scottish Gaelic/Gallic? Language or dialect?

    Surely the more disturbing aspect is the (ab)use of Irish and Ulster-Scots by political and parapolitical groups? Ditto flags, history and other aspects of culture which are being mined for sectarian purposes.

  • smcgiff

    Write down the words of Gaza phonetically and you have Geordie-Anglo. Another language I understand that’s going on my CV!

    As for Liverpudlian-Anglo, I think I’ll take up Russian instead! 🙂

  • Keith M

    “Colin Maxwell is a Free Presbyterian missionary working in County Cork.”

    I wish him well, everyone else who has tried to bring civilization to the place, failed miserably ;-))

  • micheal

    I suspect that real author of this blog is just some republican with too much time on their hands and a Robert Burns anthology. Could someone please give us some examples of real Ulster-Scots rather than this badly formed english.

  • It’d be interesting to see if there are any other Ulster Scots bloggers about as well as Colin.

  • Nathan

    Its a gem, and I’ve enjoyed scanning through the archives.

  • audley

    oo look hat may. oom spaking oolster scoots!!! koon aye geta graint from de britts??

  • Prince Eoghan

    “I’m still not convinced that Ulster Scots is a language.”

    Not sure either Dualta. What I do know is that Scots is.

    This developed and evolved as a unique entity, closely related to early Angle and British(Welsh/Pictish/Gaelic) languages. This slowly overtook the native tongues of the lowlands over the centuries. The Scots that exhisted hundreds of years ago still lives on, although standardised English has made it’s mark through the education system. What many people may think is slang English may well be the unique words of spoken Scots.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but i got the impression that this service was held in Cork, it is not. Also what are those women like? they seem to be the kind that is on the telly of late. You know about the wee fundamentalist communities in the bible belt where one man one women is not the norm.

  • I’ve just blogged in Irish above. I await a similar response. Do people just prefer an English only diet?

  • Henry94

    I see he is not afraid to tacke the big questions.

    ARE PROTESTANT CHURCHES
    DAUGHTERS OF THE PAPAL WHORE?

    http://www.corkfpc.com/daughters.html

  • Garibaldy

    Mick,

    I assume the difference in attitudes towards this and posts in Irish springs from the fact that the whole (re?)discovery of Ulster-Scots smacks very very strongly of two things. Firstly, a political attempt to forge a more distinctive identity for Ulster Protestants in a world when after the collapse of Yugoslavia etc there has been a greatly renewed focus on ethnicity. And secondly, an attempt to milk central funds for jobs.

    This may also be true of many in the Irish-language sector, but its status as a language at least is unassailable.

    And, to be honest, many people find the sight and sound of Ulster-Scots hilarious. Speaking of hilarious, Ferghal Sharkey’s “A Good Heart” video has just come on. A full demonstration if ever it was needed of why punk was rubbish.

  • Nestor Makhno

    Slightly off topic but I have to respond:

    Garibaldy:‘Ferghal Sharkey’s “A Good Heart” video has just come on. A full demonstration if ever it was needed of why punk was rubbish.’

    ‘A Good Heart’ was never punk. Ferghal Sharkey (as a solo ‘artist’) was never punk. I’m not even sure the Undertones were ever punk – perhaps post punk – or perfect pop.

  • Garibaldy

    Nestor,

    I meant the fact he ended up like that showed the vacuity of the whole punk thing

  • Dualta

    I’ve been checking up more about Ulster Scots and I’ve just realised that I can understand vast amounts of it.

    Maybe it was all those Oor Willie and The Broons annuals my Aunt Kate bought for me every Christmas……….

    http://www.thatsbraw.co.uk/Oor Wullie/OW-Page.htm

  • Alan2

    “from the fact that the whole (re?)discovery of Ulster-Scots”

    If you care to look through the archives on the Newsletter antime from the 1730`s onward you will see the archives full of Ulster-Scots. Take a dander over tae Books Ulster an tak a keek at thar Ulster-Scot series, which includes reprints of Ulster-Scots books from the 1850`s. And we having the Rhyming Weavers material much of wich is in the Linen Hall Library.

  • Alan2

    Thanks fer that Dualta – class.

  • Mick Fealty

    G.

    “…attitudes towards this and posts in Irish”.

    The common link is that we have to re-engage in the legitmacy of using it. The arguments are different in each case, but it is tendious.

  • Garibaldy

    Alan2,

    I’ve looked at large numbers of the Newsletter from the 1730s on, and I can guarantee you it’s an English-language newspaper. I’ve never seen a reference in it to the idea that a language called “Ulster-Scots” existed in the C18th or C19th but I’d be interested in one if you have one. I’m aware of the Rhyming Weavers material too. Do we know if these people regarded themselves as speaking distinct language?

    I’m well aware that people in our part of the world have a whole range of words for things that are all our own, and I take great delight in spreading them whenever possible. I never expressed an opinion on whether Ulster-Scots is a language or not, just on why this post provoked hostility the Irish stuff does not.

    Mick,

    I’ve no problem with people using Irish or Ulster-Scots. Nor with them milking government for money. I do have a problem with people using langauge as a political football, particularly if the aim is to exclude others and to develop some sort of psuedo-scientific distinction between the inhabitants of our island. Or, for that matter, any island. We’ve seen where that can lead before, and it’s not good.

  • Padraig Óg

    Did The Crankies speak Ulster Scots?

  • Paul O

    I find it funny that the only person I know who can speak Ulster Scots is my republican grandmother!

  • Skintown lad

    Ulster Scots is a complete joke – i’m a Protestant from NI and I hate the way this thing was pushed through supposedly in our name. Everyone knows it’s not a real language – just a strong dialect. We Protestants should be above all this petty culture-grabbing, as if we haven’t a strong enough identity to stand on our own two feet. I certainly don’t need to make up a language just to show the world who I am and where I come from. The reality is the world sees all people from Northern Ireland as essentially the same, one people, because we are. We need to learn to accept this and work together to make sure their impression of us is a good one.

  • Henry94

    Skintown

    Much as I agree with your sentiments I can’t accept the claim you make

    The reality is the world sees all people from Northern Ireland as essentially the same, one people, because we are.

    If there is one thing the world knows about the north it is that it is a divided society.

    There is a logical case for saying that the people of Ireland should regard themselves as one people but a state created on the refutation of that claim can not expect Irish people caught on the wrong side of that division to see themselves as anything other than Irish.

  • Loveit

    I LOVE this blog. Did you read his likes and dislikes? Showering, shaving, getting a hair cut, capuchino coffee from a tin, garlic bread and Thursdays are all good. Being late and mopers are bad. Surely we have found the Ulster Scots Peter Kay? There’s no way this is made up – you just couldn’t.

  • na

    I loved the idea of him chatting away to folks in Cork in Ulster Scots and neither party understanding a word of the other. Then I realised he has only recently started learning and probably wouldn’t be able to carry out a conversation yet.

    Are there any blogs by people that actually speak Ulster Scots?

  • Skintown lad

    Henry, you are commenting how the Irish see themselves. I am commenting on how the world sees the Irish, particularly the Northern Irish. They know we are a divided people, in the sense that they know we regard ‘themuns’ as different, such that we cannot get on. However, the world does not decipher our sense of division, and see us as the same in most repects. Perhaps best unfortunately described as “they’re all as bad as each other”. What I am saying is that we should aim to make this “they’re all as GOOD as each other”.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Every time someone posts anything on Ulster-Scots, the debate is reduced to “It’s not a language, it’s a dialect.”

    Since the only Prods who consider it a language are Leaping Lord Laird (who can’t speak a word of it anyway), Nelson McCausland and a few others in the linguistically discredited Ulster-Scots Agency, is there any chance of moving the debate on?

    Please?

    As Nevin said in a moment of clarity above, “the more disturbing aspect is the (ab)use of Irish and Ulster-Scots by political and parapolitical groups?”

    It’s tedious, as Mick indicated, to constantly have to debate the legitimacy of whether something is a language or not.

  • Skintown lad

    Some of us are new to this debate Gonzo – sorry if we’re re-hashing old ground, but that appears to be what Northern Ireland is all about!

    If everyone agrees it is a farce, why are we still wasting money on it?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    PS: The blog linked to isn’t really in ‘Ulster Scots’!

  • gg

    The conception that Ulster Scots is supposed to be a Protestant language is partly the problem. Ulster Scots is a geographic conception. Protestants in Armagh are unlikely to speak it. Protestants in parts of North Antrim are more likely to speak it. However, so are Catholics in the same area. Generally, people speak like their neighbours.

    To me it matters not whether it is a dialect or discrete language. What is important is to record and maintain the unique forms of expression and grammar, amongst other things, which the people actually use. Diversity should be cherished, not ridiculed.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    gg – good points.

    Skintown

    Just because it’s a dialect, doesn’t mean it has no value. It’s a bit like saying: “Scots is just a variation on English, therefore Rabbie Burns is a waste of time.”

    I don’t think that is true, and the poetry of the rhyming weavers, for example, might convince some critics otherwise.

    The problem for people who appreciate ‘Ulster Scots’ is that the debate has been hijacked on one side by unionists using it as a cultural weapon, and republicans on the other who ignorantly dismiss it as nonsense.

    In between, there are a few people (and IJP springs to mind!) who seem to have a genuine appreciation of Ulster Scots, and who are opposed to the appropriation of it by unionism for the wrong reasons.

  • Skintown lad

    That’s fair enough Gonzo, I agree entirely. I fully appreciate the value of such elements of our (collective, as you maintain) culture. As with townlands, I would not like to see them slip by the way side.

    The trouble is that I have an impression of its importance being exaggerated, and its authenticity being undermined, even to the extent of words and phrases being made up rather than evolving naturally. The reason for this could either be hijacking of Ulster Scots for use as a cultural weapon, or that people are being duped by a few lunatics who wish to start up an agency so they can be president of something.

    In light of this, I am concerned about the allocation of everyone’s money towards promotion of something that holds value for only a very few. I’m not saying those with an interest should be ridiculed (I meant it is a farce in the way it is currently being held aloft), I just don’t think we should go overboard. I don’t think we should be seeing official documents translated into Ulster Scots; it is not something for officials to be concerned with. If it is a language, let it flourish in its own natural way. If there are bards and poetry and art which use the medium, let them be recorded by those who have an interest in it. Just don’t foist it upon the rest of us.

  • gg

    Gonzo,

    Indeed. That is why I feel that Ulster Scots scholarship needs to be taken on properly by academics, and not left to parti pris pseudo-linguists. I wonder what the University of Ulster people are actually doing with the language at their Institute. Maybe if they give people the necessary academic skills, it can be rescued from these politicians and the mad fringes. Language preservation and politics do not mix.

  • The Bog

    anyone who’s been to Derry City/Londons-Derry or read the Derry dialect dictionary “Talk o the Town” will instantly realise that Derry wans speak fluent OOlster-Scoots as an every day dialect. Funny that considerin’ the place is moostey feeneyans, hi.

  • An Ulster/Scots podcast would be good!

  • circles

    G’wan Colin, give it to them godless natives ye boy ye.
    I think they’ll understand him alright (after all shouting is a proven international language) but God help him in deciphering that Cork accent.

  • Alan2

    Skintown – Dialect or language does it really matter? It is a very strong cultural heritage that should be preserved and promoted as unique to ulster & Scotland. It is far and beyond any other dialect in the UK with James Fentons “Hamely Tongue” and various Scots dictionaries cataloging thousands of unique words and not dozens / hundreds that dialects normally have. I would also point out that Scots derived seperately from English (from a common Germanic language) and is not therefore an dialect except where the two have merged and what we generally have commonly spoken is Ulster-English and Scots-English rather than Scots or the Ulster form of Scots.

  • Alan2

    Garibaldy – I will have to look things out but the Nesletter whilst of course being English did infact carry substantial amounts of Scots articles as did alot of the more localised papers.

  • Politico

    Drink the Kool Aid

  • Alan2

    “I find it funny that the only person I know who can speak Ulster Scots is my republican grandmother!”

    Political affilliation and religion are irrelevant, it spans the divide the only thing is like with Irish only one community seems interested in promoting it – but it is spoken at least in the older generations right across the divide…it has definitely been lost to many of the younger generation as has alot of the accents which seem to be repaced by a single “northern” accent.

    “Do we know if these people regarded themselves as speaking distinct language?”

    Dont know about language, what language did robert burns consider he was using?

    Samuel Thomson (1766-1816)
    I love my native land, no doubt,
    Attached to her thro’ thick and thin
    Yet tho’ I’m Irish all Without,
    I’m every item Scotch within

  • PaddyReilly

    Feer plee tae ye the bloggaer fair bringing the waird o the laird tae thase benichted airts and pairts. I’ve e’en writ a wee bit sairmon for ye:-

    O Thou that in the Heavens does dwell,
    Wha, as it pleases best Thysel,
    Sends ane to Heaven an’ ten to Hell
    A’ for Thy glory,
    And no for onie guid or ill
    They’ve done before Thee!

    I bless and praise Thy matchless might,
    When thousands Thou hast left in night,
    That I am here before Thy sight,
    For gifts an’ grace
    A burning and a shining light
    To a’ this place.

  • Dualta

    Gonzo said: [i]Every time someone posts anything on Ulster-Scots, the debate is reduced to “It’s not a language, it’s a dialect.”[/i]

    I just stirred the soup Gonzo to see what bits floated to the top……….

    And you’re right, the real debate is about how both Irish and Ulster Scots have been used as ethnic dividers by our fine folks on the front line.

    A term I once heard is, ‘ethnic entrepreneurs’, which hits the nail on the head. Maybe I should tinker with it and produce ‘ethnic entreprewhoores’ :oP

  • “Derry wans speak fluent OOlster-Scoots as an every day dialect.”

    Funny, you don’t look Deerish.

    I visit John and his family each year. John has been involved in public sector jobs ever since he ruined his first set of bellbottoms on Bloody Sunday.

    Wherever we go in Derry he always knows someone. They get to talking and I might as well be sitting in on the Somali session at the UN.

    I pretend I am sitting in on a kickoff meeting at a Chinese startup and nod and smile, nod and smile from time to time. It’s like the scene in the original Manchurian Candidate where the squad is sitting in on the ladies garden society meeting. I can get the odd word from time to time because I bought the Derry dictionary a couple of years ago but content and context are currently on Altair.

    The guy goes away and John shifts back to his best RTE English and goes on as if nothing had happened. They might as well have been in the Cone of Silence.

  • Skintown lad

    Alan2 – for someone who apparently considers it irrelevant whether Ulster Scots is properly described as a language or a dialect, you go to some length to convince me of the former.

    In any case, I have accepted that the point is that such elements of culture, whether they be languages, dialects or whatever, should be allowed to flourish. The story recounted by Smilin’ Jim above shows that they are many differrent dialects/languages/aspects of rural culture all over Northern Ireland. What I find faintly ridiculous is the obsessive requirement to be “inclusive” to the extent that we are now spending money translating these dialects/languages on official documents. Ulster Scots is a cultural medium; it’s context is and should be the arts.

  • Garibaldy

    Alan2,

    I’ll take your word on the Newsletter, but I’ve never seen an article in Scots, Ulster or otherwise, in it (or in the other northern papers I’ve looked at) myself. Apart from some of Burns’ poetry, which you could find in many places across the British Isles.

    What I would be interested in is any printed propaganda, by government, rebels, loyalists, churches, socieities etc in Ulster Scots in the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries. If Alan2 or anybody else knows of some, I’d be very interested to hear of it.

    Does anybody know Sammy Wilson’s opinion of Ulster Scots? He once called Irish a leprachaun language. Is he as dismissive of Ulster Scots?

  • IJP

    That’s not Ulster Scots, or at least not in the form that could claim language status.

    It’s a fair approximation of the way many people speak but it is, at best, (Ulster-)Scots-influenced English.

    Even though the boundary between Scots-influenced English and English-influenced Scots is hard to define, there is no doubt what appears on the blog is very much the former.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Part of the problem is of course that the way that Ulster Scots is written frankly adds to the perception of ill disposed persons that they’re making it up to accentuate the difference. And they have a point. What is the point of writing “Belfast” as “Bilfawst” in Ulster Scots notices?.

    Another part of the problem is that -like Scots- the vocabulary is shrinking not expanding, as many words relate to archaic agricultural practices or rural living. Who nowadays is going to go down a “slap” except a farmer on a tractor?

    But is the alternative to do as Irish has by cannabalising words to give them a modern applicability? How is Irish really advanced by the adoption of phrases/words such as “Lana Bus” “Lana Tram” or even “Aerofort” “Radio”,or”Telefis”?

    And of course the Irish language movement recognised the difficulties of Ulster Scot pioneers today when they were attempting to standardise Gaelic in the 19th century. To a large degree the three main dialects were crammed into a “one size fits all” language because that was what was expected then- and still is today. Local idiom, pronunciation, and even some vocabulary was different between the northern Gaeltacht and Kerry- as it was between Donegal and the Outer Hebrides.

    Truthfully the modern Irish language of TG4 would puzzle many Irish speakers from the last century never mind the 19th and before. Does that invalidtae it? of course not, but its evolution has been at the expense of the purity of the language, and it’s still slipping into obscurity.

    Ulster-Scots will never have language -medium schools, redio and TV stations, and probably no daily newspaper and little literature. But because- like Scots- it has already become so assimmilated into English it is paradoxically better placed to survive. Irish is like Latin in that regard. As little as thirty years ago it was widely taught in schools and regarded as essential for the civil service etc- now it’s disappeared from the curriculum without trace

  • DK

    “… but it is spoken at least in the older generations right across the divide…it has definitely been lost to many of the younger generation as has alot of the accents which seem to be repaced by a single “northern” accent.”

    Would that be (Lagan) Estuary English?

  • Garibaldy

    Darth,

    Interesting points. On the Irish words for things like television etc, all languages adapt words from other ones, particularly ones for newly invented items. So the word for television may be an adaptation, but the word for computer is not.

    Mass media does produce as you say a standardisation of language and terminology, although significant differences do remain in both English and Irish. Irish is still compulsory in the south. Although the project to rejuvenate the language as the language of the people has failed, and was in reality doomed to fail from day one, Irish is in a strongish position in that it has a relatively large and dedicated base who will ensure that it continues to develop and survive.

    So I’d be less pessimistic than you about it.

  • Dk

    Darth: you have a point about Gaelic & Ulster Scots losing their identity by adapting modern words straight from the English, but the point should be made that these modern words are new to the English language as well, so there is no real difference. The main difference is that there is now no-one alive who speaks Gaelic/Uslter Scots who does not also speak English. But plenty who speak English but not G/US. Same goes for Welsh.

    The biggest eye opener for me on these languages has been Big Brother where the 2 Welsh contestants speak frequently to one another in Welsh. You can spot all the coloquialisms and modern terms, but they are both clearly comfortable and at ease with the language. I wonder if there were 2 Gaelis/Ulster Scots equivalents whether they would be as comfortable speaking to one another in their own languages?

  • Droch Bhuachaill

    Darth,

    “Truthfully the modern Irish language of TG4 would puzzle many Irish speakers from the last century never mind the 19th and before. Does that invalidtae it? of course not, but its evolution has been at the expense of the purity of the language, and it’s still slipping into obscurity.”

    True, it might be confusing to past speakers, but this is just the latest stage in the evolution of the language. When the vikings came here, words like ‘bád’ and ‘sciain’ came into use- confusing again to past speakers i suppose. The same when the Normans and English etc came.

    Irish is no different from any other language in that respect. Terms will always cross languages.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “I wonder if there were 2 Gaelis/Ulster Scots equivalents whether they would be as comfortable speaking to one another in their own languages?”

    -Man sorr Davina, thon fella Pete’s some han’lin’. He’s a quare geg, so he is.

    I quite agree that words transfer into other languages. I remember someone saying television would never take since it was an amalgam of Greek “tele” and Latin “vision”!

    The point is surely that Ulster Scots is experiencing many of the problems Irish had in the 19th century when it was being codified, and dare I say it, was perhaps being riciculed as an artificial contruct. No such aspersions are now being maintained in serious circles. And I do think there is a difference between modernising a language-who still speaks Chaucerian English?- and the importation of basic terms such as “tacsai” for taxi. Perhaps Irish should adapt as German did by adding multiple “native” terms to form a new word.

  • DK

    or the French with “une avion gross portif” instead of “une Jumbo Jet”. Trouble is, this doesn’t stop people using the more media-common term. The number of “English” words a french/German person speaks per 100 is creeping steadily upwards. Gaelic and Ulster Scotts (and Welsh) are just part of the phenomenon, with the added bonus that all of the speakers have English as their first language.

  • Droch Buachaill

    “Perhaps Irish should adapt as German did by adding multiple “native” terms to form a new word”

    Like Fón Poca (Pocket Phone) Ríomhaire Baclainne (arm computer (laptop)) fleadh fulachta (barbeque) etc?

  • Greenflag

    “Perhaps Irish should adapt as German did by adding multiple “native” terms to form a new word”

    Well I’m not sure . When the Germans saw the first ‘tanks’ coming at them acros no man’s land in World War 1 they first called called them ‘Schutzengrabenvernichtungspanzerkraftwagen’

    Presumably in the midst of conflict this was shortened to ‘Panzers’ on the basis that calling for reenforcements took a lot less time .

    To get by and survive in any English speaking country you need only 600 words . In German it’s 2,000 and if I’m not mistaken French could be more .

    Irish Fon Poca (Cell Phone) in German is called a ‘Handi’ which seems to represent both main traits of the cell phone . One it’s held in the hand and two it’s handy 🙂
    It’s also a bloody nuisance but marketing people did not recommend ‘Das Verdamnte Bloede Ding Ding ‘ as being a realistic alternative to ‘Handi’.

  • colonel_grim

    The Ulster-Scots language is officially and legally regognised under both european and British law as one of Europes 40 lesser used languages- thats LANGUAGE NOT DIALECT. Debate over.

    I also remember other cultural fasists……. oh yes the Nazis who hated and derided other peoples cultures! ULSTER-SCOTS AND PROUD get over it!

    Mined in Scotland, forged in Ulster, exported world wide!

  • Dualta

    colonel,

    The law’s an ass. It’s a dialect and the whole ‘revival’ movement around it is little more than an attempt by some to demonstrate just how incompatable they are from the rest of the people on this island.

    Politicians make the laws, not linguists, and the decision to grant language status to Ulster-Scots was a political one.

    I am not denying the existance of Ulster-Scots or its deep value to the cultural life of this society. It should be nurtured, cherished and celebrated, but, just like Irish, is should not be used as a weapon in our ethnic conflict.

  • Colonel_Grim

    Dualta,

    The Ulster-Scots language was first recognised by the Europen Beaurau of lesser used languages, which made the recomendation to the European Parliament that it be recognised as a language.

    We must then assume that Irish is not a language then, according to you, because its recognition came through the exact same channels and is also one of Europes 40 lesser used languages.

    If the law is an ass, then Irish is merely a Gaelic dialect invented by Presbyterians in the 18th and 19th centurys.

  • Dualta

    Colonel,

    Maybe you’re right about Irish. In fact maybe it’s just a wider dialect of Gaelic with Scottish Gaelic being another. I’m not sure one way or the other.

    What I am sure about though, is that Ulster Scots looks to be so grammatically similar to English that it is for more likely to be a dialect of English, or English blended with Scots, than a language all of itself.

    All across the world there are places where peoples have made English their own, for example, Singapore, Jamaica and many different places in Africa. The language used in these places is English, but there are strong dialects, often blended with words from mother languages. Ulster Scots strikes me as something in this category, but a much earlier example of it.

    Also what I am sure about is that there are people in the Unionist and Loyalist community who are using Ulster Scots as a political football, as a weapon of ethnic conflict and as far as I am concerned they can blaw it oot their ain arses.

  • Colonel_Grim

    Dualta,

    No more than the republican movement has used Irish and the Celtic identity as a cultural weapon. They have just used it more effectively!

  • Dualta

    Colonel,

    I agree with you entirely on your last point, and in an eariler post I stated that I thought that it was wrong for Republicans to use Irish in that way too. It’s sectarian and wrong.

    Also, I’m glad to see that you agree with me that Ulster Scots is being abused in that way too.

  • Colonel_grim

    Dualta,

    Of course I agree! But we should get over this constant need to slag off other peoples cultures!

    I have attended meetings of the Nothern Ireland Committee of the EBLUL, where Irish language and Ulster-Scots members get on with the business of maintaining their languages and culture together where there is genuine mutual repect for eachothers identity. After all we do not find Ulster-Scots cultural activists or ordinary Ulster-scots folk slagging off Irish culture, we accept everyones right to their own culture and practises, it is only Ulster-Scots which is derided by folk from outside who refuse to accept that there can be anything other than celtic identity on this island. It is the same with other asspects such as Orange Culture etc… it is derided as sectarian and clandestine because it is soley a Protestant organisation, whereas soley Roman Catholic Organisation such as the AOH, The Foresters, the Knights of St Columbanus and the Knights of St Patrick are somehow more acceptable as Irish culture. Is this how our society should be?

  • Fraggle

    “After all we do not find Ulster-Scots cultural activists or ordinary Ulster-scots folk slagging off Irish culture”

    really?

  • Dualta

    Colonel,

    I posted this earlier, you must have missed it: “[i]I am not denying the existance of Ulster-Scots or its deep value to the cultural life of this society. It should be nurtured, cherished and celebrated, but, just like Irish, is should not be used as a weapon in our ethnic conflict.[/i]

    Unlike the sectarian muppets here, I see both Irish culture and Ulster Scots culture as being, to a large extent, my own. I see everyone in NI as being my own people. I don’t like all of what is claimed to be Irish and Ulster Scots culture, but hey, why should I?

    I’m not slagging off Ulster Scots per se. I’m merely stating that I do not see it as a language in it’s own right. I am, however, slagging off those who use it to try to tell me that around half of my fellow citizens are culturally different from me.

  • IJP

    At no stage did I see Dualta slagging off anyone’s culture. All sound points to me.

    If people invent a language, try to claim it’s something it isn’t, and alienate its speakers, then it is perfectly legitimate to ‘slag them off’.

    The problem is that most of the stuff passed off as Ulster Scots is either English (as it this case) or invented claptrap.

    Which is unfortunate, because Ulster Scots in its true form is fascinating, forms part of a fine literary heritage, and is in fact a definite candidate for language status. But the ongoing politicization of it has denied us access to the real thing.

    A real shame.

  • Colonel_Grim

    Dualta, IJP,

    I would never desire to imply that Dualta did slag of Culture. I was just making the comment because many of these threads do descend into a slagging match. No offence was intended and i would hope none was taken.

    As far as I can see we are both coming from the same sort of approach yet still being able to keep our own view points. Thats the kind of debate i like and respect.