Reminder: Ulster Scots

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Apr 1 02:25:32 CEST 2010

Michael Everson scripsit:

> Nevertheless, for good or for ill, in Ulster they are standardizing
> to a set of different conventions from those used in mainstream Scots
> writing.

Which is why it must be clear that this tag marks an orthography, not a
dialect (albeit an orthography used for just one dialect).  Using anything
based solely on the name "Ulster" would not meet that criterion.

> > The important thing to focus on is the unique Robinson orthography,
> > which is applied to Ulster Scots only (though it would serve Central
> > Scots about as well).
> Robinson wrote it up but was not a one-man orthography guru. 

If he did it as representative of an institution, then it would be
well to use the name of that institution as the source of the tag.

> I don't know Mr Dooley to evaluate this claim.

My father was born in the Irish ghetto of South Philadelphia in 1904
(it's still a ghetto, but not Irish), and could talk exactly like this
(okay, Mayo not Roscommon, but that's a detail) when he chose to.
He told me that he hardly met an "American" until he left high school.

> I can say that Scots proper is very much separate from mainstream
> English in a number of significant ways.

I am not comparing Scots to English here, but a dialect of Scots with
unusual orthography to certain dialects of English (Plantation Creole,
conventionalized 19th-century Irish-American) that have been written
with unusual orthography.

John Cowan        cowan at
To say that Bilbo's breath was taken away is no description at all.  There are
no words left to express his staggerment, since Men changed the language that
they learned of elves in the days when all the world was wonderful. --The Hobbit

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