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21st Century Scots

Scots is a vibrant living language.

In spite of educational policies which until recently have followed the anglicising forces and in various ways sought to eradicate both Scots and Gaelic, spoken Scots has survived in a vigorous form. Forecasts of its imminent disappearance, recorded since the mid 18th century, have so far proved false. Scots is still heard throughout the land in every walk of life and in the new Scottish Parliament.

Scots has a strong literary tradition.

Allan Ramsay and others in the early 18th century drew attention to the glories of early poetry in Scots, and its stature has been increased by poets such as Robert Fergusson, Robert Burns and Hugh MacDiarmid, and by novelists such as Sir Walter Scott, James Hogg, John Galt, Robert Louis Stevenson and Lewis Grassic Gibbon. The strength of literary Scots has probably never been greater than it is today.

Scots is enjoying growing popularity.

Scots has demonstrated its growing popularity in the success of W L Lorimer's New Testament in Scots (1983) and the Concise Scots Dictionary (1985), as well as more recent burgeoning of popular literature; modern Scots authors include William McIlvanney, Liz Lochhead, Irvine Welsh, Janet Paisley, Matthew Fitt and James Robertson. But it needs a great deal of support in a world ever more dominated by English.

Scots organisations:

Many organisations actively support Scots, including ourselves, and:

Association for Scottish Literary Studies
Scots Language Society
Scots Language Centre.

The Scottish Parliament has a Cross-Party Group for the Scots language and a Cross-Party Group on Scottish Writing and Publishing. The Parliament website offers visitors the option to change the language from English to Scots.

Modern educational policies from primary school to university level are beginning to recognise the value of Scots, and courses on Scots are available in some institutions.

We will continue to do all we can to encourage the use of Scots and to foster more positive attitudes towards it.