Mavis's Shoe

Author of two novels and a creative memoir.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Tweeting and Rones

I am a tweeter. I now tweet. Am I a twit to tweet? We'll see. To the right is my new twitter button. I've tweeted twice so far, the first with a slip-of-the-left-index-finger spelling mistake, but hope to be a better bird-taking-flight in future. Watch this big blue virtual space.

Scots-English. At the risk of opening up another huge and occasionally fierce discussion of Scots as a language/dialect/variance etc I came across this Scots-English dictionary while looking up ‘rone pipe’ for correct spelling, something I'm in need of, and for exactly which bit of guttering a rone is. ‘Rone’, it turns out, is a Scottish word or ‘wurd’, I suppose. Not nationalistic, if still pleases me that there are so many Scottish words, sorry, wurds, in common usage, particularly my own usage, particularly if my usage is unwitting. I'm glad that some form of individuality survives the tidal wave of popular worldwide culture. It gives me a safe warm feeling.

Apparently ‘outwith’ is uniquely Scottish too, although in this particular ‘dictionar’ it’s down as ‘ootwi’. It means 'outside something', a bit like ‘without a city wall’ in the old hymn, ‘There is a green hill far away without …’ except the other way round. This hymn always confused me when I was wee and hymns were still sung in all schools, but mainly because my city, Glasgow, (I belang tae Glesgae) doesn't have or need city walls. If it had been 'There is a green hill far away outwith a city wall ...' I would of course have understood instantly. I loved singing those hymns every morning and probably only ever wondered vaguely about their meaning. I didn't expect to understand and actually thought less of certain hymns when the meaning was too obvious. For instance, 'In the Bleak Mid-Winter' is beautiful in the extreme but is readily understood and therefore carries no mystery. The mystery of the wurd 'rone' is that it doesn't exist outwith Scotland. Why not? And why does it exist 'inwith' Scotland?

'Inwith' is pretend. Or is it?

'Reid', of course, is another one. Guess what colour I wore to marry Mr Reid? There's a clue in the arrow.