Thursday, 5 November 2009

McCausland Slams Coverage of Ulster Scots in "Foreign" Dictionary

An odd case of doublethink has emerged in the Culture Minister’s response to Scots Anorak's comments on a recent blog posting.

Forcefully arguing that fair fa ye was the Ulster-Scots equivalent of English "welcome", Mr. McCausland decried the variety's unsatisfactory coverage in the online version of the Scottish National Dictionary, stating that "it is generally recognised that its Ulster-Scots content needs to be enhanced".

Yet the Minister is himself at the forefront of the lobby promoting the view that Ulster Scots is a language separate from Scots and therefore, one imagines, hardly suitable for inclusion in the dictionary. Has the Minister changed his mind in the light of overwhelming academic consensus or the convincing linguistic arguments presented to him? Has he balked at the projected £12 million cost to Northern Ireland’s taxpayers over the first three years of codifying Ulster Scots independently?

Or might it be the case that to contend Ulster Scots is not Scots has always been to adopt a confused, contradictory and expedient stance?

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