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The result is a disconnect between spoken and written language, and a diminished record of written Scots as it is spoken informally, rather than in literature or poetry.For many young Scots, social media might be a new and unique opportunity to write in the same way as they speak.In a way social media is helping to establish a whole new Scots prose tradition.” Dr.Ryan has studied the use of Scots on Facebook by pre-teen girls and sees parallels with its usage on Twitter.The phenomenon of Scottish Twitter highlights what might be a particularly Scottish brand of humour: observational, self-deprecating, playful with language.But away from the viral hits, Scots is also being used much more widely on the platform.And a lot of jokes that you’ll find on Scottish Twitter wouldn’t function in standard English – rhymes and puns and things like that. There’s an absolute need for it.” It may also be that Scots has allowed Twitter users to also find a political voice. Its growth and recognition echoes the development of meme culture in general, but also a resurgence in nationalism and discussion of Scotland’s history and culture in the aftermath of the bairns”, and found that they were – but not necessarily in tweets relating to the independence discussion.
If the self-publishing and informal nature of Twitter has allowed people to find an authentic written expression of their spoken voice, the identity-forming nature of it may also have allowed others to find an inauthentic one.
I do think it’s great how Scottish people carved out their own niche and quickly pushed it to being one of the most prominent, albeit infamous, collectives on the platform,” agrees Twitter user Butsay.
While Butsay regularly finds himself amongst lists of Scottish Twitter’s funniest tweets, he and others also use the platform to discuss serious and sometimes contentious issues in the Scots language, exactly as they might over a drink or in a casual conversation.
For many people both outside Scotland and within, Twitter has provided a brand new view into the Scots language and its varieties in all their sweary, hysterical, sometimes incomprehensible glory.
Has the platform spearheaded a resurgence amongst its young users or is this something more profound altogether?