O is for Hoolet – Research Adventures

Jingso. Thir’s nae place lik hame, forbye mibbes Frieslan (linguistically, at is – it’s awfie flat).

That’s me back frae a jam packt fortnicht traivlin aw aboot tae learn masel on Scots leid, an minority leids mair general like. A wis through tae the Schuil O Scottish Studies an the Dictionar o the Scots Leid in Embrae, ower the watter tae the Mercator Centre in Leeuwarden in Holland, and doon tae London tae UCL tae meet wi weel kent linguist, an stotter o a chiel, David Crystal, an his fair smart wife, Hilary (A didnae quite get masel roon tae cryin him Dauvit or Davie – next time).

Here's me aff on ma ventures frae ma gey wardly kitchen.
Here’s me aff on ma ventures frae ma gey wardly kitchen.

It’s been a braw time, it really his. I’ve thocht aboot ma auld life as an academic ivry day throughoot this excitin whilie. A think A mak a better academic creative than a creative academic. The joy o ma joab oan these trips wis that A cuid pick and chaise hoo muckle o ony yin thing A wis needin. A wee paragraph frae a body’s PhD – yoink. A wee turn o phrase frae a lexicographer – yoink. An idea frae a linguistic historian – yoinkidoodledoo. Ye can never git iverythin, ken? But that’s no sic a stressfest as whan yer haein a gae at a thorough owerview. Anither thing – if ye’r daein a ploy, hud ye no better be at the ploy, een a bittie?

mei'k wol oer/A like thon

A’m jist gettin stertit oan the epic task o transcribin ower fower oors (hae a go at sayin at ten times fast) o interviews fir yaise in the shaw. Though A’m pleased tae be daein this journey as a theatre makar an no an academic, A’ve the archivin, collectin, catalogin instinct that belies ma time as an ethnology student. A’m indebted tae the man at recordit ma mither in 1971, this shaw cams frae his wark, in mony weys. It’s guid tae try an repay the debt.

But it’s no jist the wark o the past that his got me on the road. Mony thanks are awriddy due tae the fowk at huv let me speak wi them. A’ll try an dae their knawledge jusitice.

Noo, the wark o the future…

PS. If ye’re wantin a few mair photies o the trip, heid ower here tae ma Flickr.

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