BBC Alba shows power of Gaelic lobby” essentially argues for cultural genocide in the form of the forced extinction of a minority language that apparently isn’t a language anyway.

The Gaelic community in Scotland is infamously small; 50,000 is a healthy estimate…. What it lacks in numbers, though, it compensates for in avidity…. Education authorities, broadcasters, government and cultural apparatchiks have been harried and chivvied relentlessly, hustled into acknowledging, accommodating — and, ideally, cheerleading — a language that is really little more than a geographical and historical vestige, a linguistic comfort blanket for a hard-pressed, marginal community.

I say language but Gaelic isn’t one, not really. Its vocabulary is tiny, with no form of saying yes or no and attuned to a distant, pre-technological world. It’s essentially a kind of rural patois, a bonsai idiolect; a way of specifying concepts central to a particular, highly codified way of life. […]

“The Gaelic lobby is powerful in Scotland because there are a lot of fairy tales about the suppression of the culture and how terribly fascist it all was,” says historian and author Michael Fry[,]

fascistically attempting to suppress the culture.

“The channel is a waste of money,” adds Fry. “The entire Gaelic population of Scotland can speak English perfectly well, so there is no problem with communication, which is the central issue of linguistics.”

Apparently as soon as people who speak an unpopular language dare to become bilingual, the unpopular language must be wiped off the face of the earth. Perhaps your firstborn should be smothered in his sleep the day your second child is born?

Articles like these prove why BBC Alba needs to exist. Keeping languages alive costs – in time, effort, money, and, apparently, in blood, toil, tears, and sweat. If Fry has such an easy time of communication with English-speaking Scots, why is he worried about what Gaelic-speaking Scots wish to do? He isn’t talking to them.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2009.01.22 13:24. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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