Thursday, 10 March 2011

Tally of the Bally

Census day 2011 will soon be upon us, with forms due to be delivered to households across Northern Ireland over the next two weeks or so.

The Blether Region predicts another increase in the numbers of those able to understand, speak, read and write Irish. It further predicts that Unionist elected representatives will claim that people have exaggerated their ability in the language for political reasons. It is to be hoped that such claims can be dispelled, or at least heavily qualified, by a proper follow-up study.

Meanwhile, for the first time, a question on ability in Scots is to be included.

Predictably, census organisers have bowed to the politicised construction that is "Ulster-Scots", ignoring speakers of other Scots dialects resident in Northern Ireland. The Blether Region will be taking a rather angry pen to that part of the census form in an attempt to disabuse the demographers of their ignorance and recommends that other Scots-speakers who lack an Ulster accent do the same. If they try to put us in prison for it, the publicity can only advance our cause.

In Scotland, an attractive new website has been launched to help people determine whether they speak Scots. Strangely enough, the Blether Region suspects that many speakers of "Ulster-Scots" can speak Scots too.

That's because it's the same language.

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