A Gaelic train of thought

Le basedrones

I have an Opinion piece in The Scotsman today, about Scots Gaelic and signage, available here. This is a (sign)post directing to it and offering a bit more background.

In terms of tags for this blog post, I have filed it under “Gaelic” and “FFS WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE ME STILL NEED TO WRITE ABOUT THIS SHITE”.

The article was written in response to an Opinion piece by a gentleman I have never met and, until last week, had never heard of. He was irked by a bilingual sign that he saw from a train whilst passing through Fife.

My mind has also been known to wander whilst gazing out of a train window, although normally I leave those thoughts when I disembark without writing about them. Wilson decided to channel his thoughts into an Opinion piece. With respect, his article demonstrates the nuance of someone who thought about a topic on a train for five minutes. Perhaps he should have left those thoughts on the train. It is difficult to know where to begin with a critique of it, but I gave it a try.

The Scotsman actually toned down my response, which they were entitled to do. Something like that preceding paragraph was in my first draft. I also wrote that his analogy with Northern Ireland demonstrated a loose understanding of the language issues in two jurisdictions, and noted that his attempt to make an argument out of there being no Gaelic monoglots was “so simplistic, culturally imperialist and ignorant of minority rights it does not even deserve engaging with.” (Only “simplistic” remains in the final version, and I cut the NI point owing to the word limit.)

For background, this is not the first time I have dabbled in the Gaelic signage issue, with all the related law and policy matters that so many people do not event begin to understand before wading into the topic. This is illustrated by way of a Storify story here and another blog post here.

Anyway, that is enough from me. I actually have other things to do, and (as noted at the end of my Storify story) for some people this is not so much about actually wanting to analyse the issue sensibly, rather it is about lobbing a cat amongst the pigeons then smirking as someone else tries to restore some order to the doocot. I really am tired of writing about this cac.

Tadhail air Gaelic – basedrones

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