Great Scot!....good grief (Don Ward)

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

Come on people, let's all try to learn just a little about the rest of the world.


My family has some friends who are from Scotland.  They've lived in Colorado Springs for quite a while and they like it here.  They've probably heard just about everything when it comes to people not really knowing much about their home country.  They're probably OK with that.

Today they heard this...."but your English is so good!"

Really?  An adult human, presumably with some level of education beyond about the third grade, and some exposure to...oh I don't know, books, movies, newspapers, newcasts, magazines, the internet, other people...hasn't somehow absorbed the little knowledge nugget that in Scotland they speak English?  Really?

It's not Thailand, or Switzerland or Poland, or Finland, or Iceland or any of the other "lands" that do have other languages.  Scotland is due North of England, They're connected. The Roman Emperor Hadrian did build a wall between the two beginning in the 2nd century...but it didn't prove to be a language barrier.

 Our friends do have accents...then again, they think we have accents. 

A little research shows that many centuries ago the Scots did speak different Germanic languages and Celtic languages.  There is a little bit of Scottish Gaelic out there in a few spots, but since about the 17th century it's pretty much been English.  I don't think their well-wisher was referring to any of the ancient dialects. 

They laughed the whole thing off, dismissed it as funny, and it is. (Some of their friends have been asked if they have to take a boat to get from Scotland to England).  As Americans though, we should find it a wee bit embarrassing.  It's one thing to be under-informed, quite another to be so confident in your misinformation that you actually say it out loud.  I'm not saying we all need to be experts on other cultures...but just a few basics would be....polite?

At least they weren't asked when they were going to learn how to "talk American"

We'll talk again soon (In English, not Scottish)

Don Ward


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