Reminder: Ulster Scots

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Fri Apr 2 22:15:55 CEST 2010


ejp10 ejp10 at 
Fri Apr 2 15:56:22 CEST 2010 

> Well...I am with Peter and Randy in that I didn't interpret the "BZZZT" response as "levity" either, but rather as >dismissive.  Randy's information may have been incorrect, but since he is a newcomer, I would have preferred to see a >more neutral approach in explaining why he was in error. 

> FWIW - I serve on a "Ask a Linguist" panel and I do see some really outrageously ill-informed questions (sometimes the >same one several times a year). While I am often tempted to reply with "Do you have any idea how ass-backwards that >is?", > I have found that a non-sarcastic tone with detailed, non-technical explanations have made people realize exactly >why linguists think they way they do (and not just that they want to "ruin the English language").

> I would add that if the language tag process is too intimidating, people may be tempted to implement their own codes just > to avoid the registration process, and I am not sure that's a good development either. 

> Elizabeth

> Peter Constable wrote:

>>> I couldn't have suggested a change to the proposal because I'm still trying to understand what relevant distinctions >>>need to be made. Randy raised very good questions, and your response to him was "BZZZZZT!" This is not how I think >>>this process should be managed.

>> Michael Everson wrote
>> Randy did not ask very good questions. Randy didn't read the documentation, 
>> because Randy though that "the Hamely Tongue and the one under consideration" 
>> were two different orthographies, 
>> when they are not. And then he got all in a huff about it because I attempted levity to defuse 
>> his error.
It was not just Randy.
I did not ask enough questions either; 
quickly checking, I noted that the writing combined with the language/dialect
has been catalogued several times; see:

Catalogues of the written form include:

* T. F. O'Rahilly's [(1932) "Ulster Irish,"
* Fenton's "Hamely Tongue," 
* Macafee's "Concise Ulster Dictionary,"
* HGA Hughes' "Ulster-Scots:  A Grammar of the Traditional Written and Spoken Language,"
* Philip Robinson ([2006]; along with Anne Smyth and Michael Montgomery)'s "The Academic Study of Ulster-Scots: Essays by and for Robert J Gregg."

 Though differences as we move from one catalogue to the other may be trivial initially, 
there may be some reasons for providing two subtags -- one for the dialect in general, one for the current orthography.

But I do support the current registration form.

(And hope Randy will be back.)




--C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at

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