THIS week is Ulster-Scots Language week, celebrating centuries of Scots dialect in Ulster, with poetry, music, tales of locality, community, diaspora and much more.
But TGL being cynical aule satirists, thought it was a perfect time to shine a light on the antics of a more destructive, yet all to common breed – the Ulster-Scots detractor.
Part one is dedicated to Irish columnist Newton Emerson.
Ignorance and a mouse helped him write the strikingly dismissive line a few years back:
“Ulster Scots is not a prize to compare with Irish. It is a load of nonsense, and everyone knows it.”
If there had been less ignorance, with a few clicks of the mouse, he could have educated himself to a point where he does himself some credit.
Hint: type James Orr, Ballycarry.
Try harder young Newton, we have confidence that with the blinkers off, you might have something nicer to say.
(If you changed from the scatter gun dismissal to “the Ulster-Scots Agency needs reforming,” we might even agree with you. )
There are many far more dogmatic detractor types in our prejudiced society.
They use certain rhetorical techniques to browbeat, demean and dismiss.
Here is number one:
First, set up one factually incorrect idea as a needle and draw the universe of Ulster-Scots through the eye of it.
Example: there is a group in Ulster who believe themselves to be Scottish.
Conclusion: they are not Scottish, therefore Ulster-Scots is rubbish.
Be rhetorically unassailable in this view using the maxim that it is easier to destroy than create.
Delude yourself that wrapping these views in nationalist or pseudo progressive idealism somehow makes you tolerant, equal and fair.
More detractor types to follow