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Subject: Re: Beginner Issues
From: Tom Thomson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Tom Thomson <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 18 Aug 2001 19:32:30 +0100

text/plain (39 lines)

>Iain scriobh:
>Tìoraidh!!  ( What dreadful Gaelic)
>May a relative rookie inquire why you find it to be dreadful Gaelic?

I suspect Iain had his tongue firmly in his cheek.

It might be thought of as dreadful that Gaelic uses this English word (often
considered as slang or dreadful even in English); but for me, while I don't
use it myself and think it's a pity that Gaelic idioms are being lost in
favour of Anglicisms like this, I think that change is a sign of life and
that the only languages that don't change are dead languages - and Gaelic
isn't dead so it's changing, and if us old-fashioned fogueys don't like some
of the changes that's just hard luck. After all if Gaelic hadn't changed
since the days when it was Scotland's majority language we would be left
without words for a lot of things we encounter in our daily lives and then
we wouldn't be able to use the language at all.  (Of course attempts by
academic bureaucracy to impose change, like GOC '82, are quite different
from organic change, but that's not the issue here at all.)  I still advise
learners not to use Tioraidh, but some teachers advise the opposite and I
can't see that anyone is in any sense wrong (and certainly not dreadful) to
use it.

I tend to agree with Iain on one issue: I thought some people over-reacted
to the spelling errors on the new group home page (if I had a penny for
every spelling error I've posted in Gaelic I'd be able to buy myself a
couple of cases of decent whiskey and have a lot of change left over, but
no-one ever roasted me like that for it; and a penny for every error in my
English would probably allow me to retire comfortably).

On other issues I disagree with him.  It's useful for some learners to get
technical stuff; people who don't understand it and don't want to don't have
to read it; people who can't understand it and want to can ask for
explanations (lots of us are fairly good at giving simple explanations).


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