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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Doric Robbie Supports Nicht

24th January 2013

Veteran North East broadcaster Robbie Shepherd, who has been a lifelong supporter of the Scots language, and in particular, of the North East Doric, voiced his support for the campaign to support and maintain the language. His comments came after Scots Language Centre Director, Michael Hance, used the example of ‘Burns Night’ to illustrate the displacement and Anglicisation of Scots names and terms by many public bodies. Speaking to the Press and Journal, Mr Shepherd declared that he had been to many Burns Nichts but “...never a Burns ‘night’ and I’m not about to start now.” Bizarrely, Helen Anderson-Wright, who is North East convener of the Robert Burns World Federation, made the additional comment that while supermarkets and other public places made a great job of promoting the ‘ideology’ of Burns it was immaterial whether Burns was pronounced nicht or night. This one word, though, is an example of a far, far bigger problem. We are sure that Scots speakers will disagree with the strange notion, that the pronunciation of the language is ‘optional’. How would anyone ever learn any language, or maintain consistency in it, if they were told the rules of that language were immaterial. Ilka jaiket maun hae its peg tae hing on.