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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?

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