It's been a good week for ...
Confirmation that we're a miserable bunch: "dreich" is the nation's favourite word, winning 23% of a public vote. It beat off glaikit (20%), blether (12%) and crabbit (11%) in the YouGov survey which asked people to select their number one Scots word from a list of eight options.
According to the dictionary definition, dreich means "dreary or bleak (especially of weather)". The word is of Middle English origin, in the sense of "patient and long-suffering", and corresponds to Old Norse drjúgr: "enduring, lasting". So it looks like the Vikings brought the weather with them when they raided Scotland.
It's been a bad week for ... nicht
Did you celebrate Burns Night on Friday ... or did you have a braw, bricht, moonlicht Burns Nicht instead?
The Scots Language Centre has hit out over the dwindling use of the word "nicht". The centre claims that in the past 15 years the use of the term Burns Nicht has been replaced by Burns Night and that some Scots are losing the ability to pronounce certain parts of the language. It also accused some supermarkets of using English forms to promote Scottish items.
Scots Language Centre director Michael Hance said it is calling on VisitScotland and others such as supermarkets and broadcasters to use the traditional form.
He also claimed there is evidence that the "ch" sound is dying out in some Scots speech.
"If people don't read or hear the word 'nicht'," said Mr Hance, "in a short time the Scots language will have lost another bit of ground to the standard English form - We celebrate the birthday of Scotland's greatest poet at a point in our history where many people can no longer produce the basic sounds of the language he wrote in."
He didn't seem to draw a distinction between the evolution of dialect and that of pronunciation, and I'm not sure where Mr Hance carried out his research, but a straw poll of colleagues from all over Scotland and of all ages failed to uncover anyone who had ever heard of the bard's birthday bashes referred to as Burns Nichts.
As for the Scottish velar fricative: it's alive and well and coming to a loch near you.
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