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At 18:10 16/01/01 -0500, you wrote:
>Bingo! right on! Yes!
>This is the language referred to as "Inglis" and although Niven refers to it
>as a bastardized version of English, my reading tells me that what was
>spoken in England and Lowland Scotland at this time was roughly the same and
>that it was the Southern English that went through dramatic changes such as
>"the great vowel" shift circa 1700 and that what Scots speak today is closer
>to the 'original' than is received BBC prounounciation whatever our
>pleasures may presently be for hearing our language spoken.
>Source: "Scots, The Mither Tongue" Billy Kay, Grafton Books, London 1986.
>Rory in Toronto
Yes, it is often said: "If it wasn't for the Scots, good English would die
Having 'lived' in Caithness, I know that those who professed to understand
and speak Gaelic were seldom called upon to prove the point.
In any event, we either originated from Norway or from Norway via Normandy
and in no way was Gaelic spoken in either country. Therefore, If Sinclairs
spoke Gaelic they had 'acquired' the language by dint of living with Gaelic
speakers just as I acquired Kiswahili by dint of living in Africa for 30 years.
There seems to be a bizarre belief that if one could speak Gaelic one was
(by some strange metamorphosis) a truer Scot. Nothing, repeat nothing,
could be further from the truth.
Indeed, it is as far of the truth as the meaning of my own name in Gaelic
(as far as it relates to me personally) because, believe it or not, Niven
'little saint' in Gaelic - a description which even my own mother had to agree
was somewhat wide of the mark in my own case. Nevertheless, when I
appeared, they had harboured hopes which, alas, were quickly dashed.
The 'little saint' St Clair.
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