Posted by / 27-Apr-2020 14:35


For many peo­ple both out­side Scot­land and with­in, Twit­ter has pro­vid­ed a brand new view into the Scots lan­guage and its vari­eties in all their sweary, hys­ter­i­cal, some­times incom­pre­hen­si­ble glo­ry.Has the plat­form spear­head­ed a resur­gence amongst its young users or is this some­thing more pro­found altogether?I do think it’s great how Scot­tish peo­ple carved out their own niche and quick­ly pushed it to being one of the most promi­nent, albeit infa­mous, col­lec­tives on the plat­form,” agrees Twit­ter user But­say.While But­say reg­u­lar­ly finds him­self amongst lists of Scot­tish Twitter’s fun­ni­est tweets, he and oth­ers also use the plat­form to dis­cuss seri­ous and some­times con­tentious issues in the Scots lan­guage, exact­ly as they might over a drink or in a casu­al con­ver­sa­tion.In a way social media is help­ing to estab­lish a whole new Scots prose tradition.” Dr.Ryan has stud­ied the use of Scots on Face­book by pre-teen girls and sees par­al­lels with its usage on Twit­ter.

Where Twit­ter has pro­vid­ed a space for every­day young Scots to express them­selves more freely, it’s also pro­vid­ed an invalu­able plat­form for the lan­guage itself to devel­op and evolve – and for lin­guists and oth­er experts to track it as it does so. There aren’t that many arti­cles or let­ters just talk­ing about nor­mal things.Twitter’s all about iden­ti­ty and build­ing a per­sona, a pub­lic face,” points out Dr.Sadie Ryan, an Eng­lish Lan­guage and Lin­guis­tics aca­d­e­m­ic at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Glas­gow and pre­sen­ter of the Accen­tric­i­ty pod­cast.Scot­tish­ness” in which humour is a key com­po­nent.This, says Michael Demp­ster, Scots Scriev­er and Direc­tor of the Scots Lan­guage Cen­tre, is a rad­i­cal shift from old­er humour in which Scot­tish peo­ple and their lan­guages were the butt of jokes rather than their archi­tects – some­thing which has had an impact far beyond Twitter.


E Jamieson, who spe­cialis­es in Scots syn­tax at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Glas­gow.

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