''full'' and ''fool''

The Police   Sunday, September 12, 2004, 02:15 GMT
Is it true that Scots can't distinguish ''full'' from ''fool''.

Is it true that Scots pronounce ''fool'' and ''full'' the same way?
ET   Sunday, September 12, 2004, 18:06 GMT
The Police, Of course everyone distinguishes ''fool'' from ''full'' and ''full'' from ''fool''.

I'm not a Scot, but are you saying that Scots can't tell the difference between ''full'' and ''fool''.
Damian   Sunday, September 12, 2004, 21:09 GMT
Oh dear.....The Police are here making enquiries! I wasnae there at the time, Officer.....I didnae do it, honest! Och, I'll answer your question anyway.

Of course all Scots can distinguish between "full" and "fool" if you refer to their meaning! Just what d'ye take us for? Don't be such a silly wee bobby! ;-)

Pronunciation is a different ball game...you are right when you say we more or less use the same vowel sound....there is little to distinguish between them ...at least in Lowland Scots (my accent). It is roughly (but not quite) similar to the French vowel sound in words like "tu" and "mur" but in the case of "fool" the "u" sound is just a bit longer. This is true.......this word too has the same sound again, as near as dammit. So had "too", too.... ;-)

But, hey copper....Scotland has a variety of accents as I keep on saying and what applies in this area does not quite apply in Killiecrankie or Ballachulish or all points north....or west, or wherever ye care to roam in the gloaming (ie the twilight).

While we are on this Scottish theme, I'd just like to tell you that Scotland is the only country (apparently!) that uses the correct words in "Auld Lang Syne"....Scots get a wee bit riled when they hear the wrong words being sung!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,

So there! Will ye all get it right by next Hogmanay, please?

OK, Mr Plod.....will you take the handcuffs off now...please? They're hurting my wrists.
The Police   Monday, September 13, 2004, 01:05 GMT
Damian, the handcuffs are off now.

Do you also pronounce ''pull'' and ''pool'' the same way and ''cook'' and ''kook'' the same way?
Jark   Monday, September 13, 2004, 01:10 GMT
The Police, Scots cannot distinguish [u] from [u:] and so they say [u] for both. It sounds really crazy.
Franco   Monday, September 13, 2004, 01:57 GMT
Sois locos, todos vosotros habéis perdido la equibrilidad entre locura y sanidad.
Damian   Monday, September 13, 2004, 06:28 GMT
The Police:

<<Damian, the handcuffs are off now>> : thanks!

"pull" "pool" etc etc : yes...almost...just a slight different when I come to think of it. You know, Mr Plod, you have got me standing in front of the bathroom mirror enunciatiating all these words and watching my lip movements! You have driven me insane....I think you are a candidate for the handcuffs now! ;-)

Jark....you have a point!
Random Chappie   Monday, September 13, 2004, 06:49 GMT
Eh? I wonder how "Auld Lang Syne" is sung in the "other countries".
Ailian   Monday, September 13, 2004, 08:12 GMT
One could watch just about any American-made television show or movie dealing with New Year's Eve/Day to hear how most Americans sing "Auld Lang Syne", I believe. I always associate it with hearing it on television, at least.

Which reminds me! Damian, is this accurate?
I had a good time reading it, I did! It took forever and I had to say some parts aloud, but I got through it.
Mi5 Mick   Monday, September 13, 2004, 08:42 GMT
It looks a lot like English, though I can't read some parts of it. Are there any voice recordings?

Walcome til the Scottish Pairlament wabsite
The Scottish Pairlament is here for tae represent aw Scotland's folk.

We want tae mak siccar that as mony folk as can is able tae find oot aboot whit the Scottish Pairlament dis and whit wey it warks. We hae producit information anent the Pairlament in a reenge o different leids tae help ye tae find oot mair.

This section o wir wabsite introduces ye til the information that is tae haun on wir wabsite in Scots.
Damian   Tuesday, September 14, 2004, 14:53 GMT
The link is a good one...the Scots dialect is just a wee bit extreme and to be honest not many people use it to that extent in day to day conversations, certainly not in this area. I use it in a much more modified form when I'm with my mates and in informal situations, but that's all. I sometimes use it at work with some people selectively, but certainly never with customers. I can follow it through on this link alright, but as you know you can compare it with the standard English version.

The new Parliament building at Holyrood, Edinburgh, just opened....cost millions over budget....devolution doesnae come for free.

Auld Lang Syne.....words written by our national poet Robbie Burns in 1788. ALS means "days of long ago". It is of course a Scottish song through and through, but now sung throughout the English speaking world, not only on Hogmanay (New Year's Eve to all non Scots) but usually at the end of any occasion when you are not likely to meet again for some time.

The words I quoted are those used in Scotland, especially the last line I capitalised. Different words are used in both England (and presumably Wales) and maybe elsewhere, not sure on that.....: "For the sake of auld lang syne". In the USA (and presumably Canada): "In days of auld lang syne". The last one seems a wee bit tautological, like saying "In the days of days long ago" which seems weird.

One more point....in Scotland we never cross over our arms, normally, to hold the hands of persons on either side, like they do down in England...we form the link by just holding the hands of the persons on either side of us.

Easterner   Tuesday, September 14, 2004, 18:15 GMT

Was the dialect used by Robert Burns restricted to his native Ayrshire or is it a general version of Scots? Are there people who still speak that way? I'm quite a fan of Burns, so I'm just interested... :-)
Damian   Wednesday, September 15, 2004, 10:48 GMT

The general Scots English dialects had become more and more Anglicised before Burns' lifetime but that doesn't mean their distinctive characteristics were eradicated..far from it...they still flourished.

As you say, Robbie (or Rabbie as he is usually called in Scotland) was born in Ayrshire....in a tiny cottage in Alloway, a wee village just south of Ayr itself. You can visit the cottage to this day and look down into the tiny little crib where he was actually born in 1759. You can hardly believe a baby could be born in such a confined space but it was only the 8th century.

He was a very literate child and read widely, and as far as I know spoke in the local dialect, which would have been much stronger than that of the area today. In his time people were nothing like as mobile as they are today. Mobility has had a huge influence on accents and dialects in Ayrshire, as anywhere else in the UK, and there has been a general standardisation as you can appreciate. In spite of this, local accents are still very distinctive but the dialects have become much more modified. Because of the static nature of life in those days I suppose his dialect was very much of the locality - Ayrshire.

If Rabbie were to be resurrected and he visited 21st century Ayrshire I don't think he would find it very easy to communicate with the local people, especially younger people. In fact, I'd like to bet that it would be very difficult.

Much as Shakespeare would today if he went walking around 2004 Straford-upon-Avon, and his lifetime was nearly 200 years earlier than Rabbie. I'd love to be his guide and introduce him to 21st century living....could be good fun. Just a fantasy of mine....
Damian   Wednesday, September 15, 2004, 10:51 GMT
<<it was only the 8th century>>

oops! add another 1000 years to that......sorry.