Wednesday, 31 July 2013
The BBC reports that the Scottish Government is to contribute £2 million to an ongoing Gaelic dictionary project equivalent in ambition to the two historical multi-volume dictionaries of Scots, DOST and the SND.
Judging by the large number of comments appended to the article, it seems that not everyone is happy with a few bawbees being slung the way of something cultural, despite the fact that, at a language promotion level, the project in question hardly goes much further than a "glass case" approach. One person eager to vent his spleen even contrasted the supposed pointlessness of spending money on Gaelic with his own favoured alternative, spending on cancer.
The Blether Region is no expert on such matters, but it seems unlikely that assigning the paltry sum of £2 million to a health initiative would extend the average person's existence by more than a few days or weeks at most — days or weeks that might be spent in agony or even unconscious. Modest spending money on Gaelic, on the other hand, provides benefit to all generations.
Of course, one is not advocating the diversion of the entirety of the current health budget to Gaelic, or even 1% for that matter, just suggesting that folk keep the heid and avoid an excessive — and, frankly, diseased — focus on what is viewed by many Lowlanders as the culture of a peripheral ethnic minority.
On the other hand, the jargon of those kilted Mohammedans up north might even be positively flattered by a comparison with other elements of Government spending. How many people would choose a Trident submarine in place of a Gaelic-medium school, for example — or, indeed, enough of them for the entire population?
In which context another BBC report, regarding the opening of a new school in Thurso, is particularly welcome.