Sinclair remarked upon 'how many words are now condemned as Scoticisms, which were formerly admired for their strength and beauty, and may still be found in the writings of Chaucer, of Spenser, of Shakespeare, and other celebrated English authors.' Was the period between the late fourteenth and the early seventeenth century, Sinclair seems to hint, a lost golden age of 'British' literature?
James Beattie, Scoticisms, arranged in alphabetical order, designed to correct improprieties of speech and writing (Edinburgh and London, 1787), p.
An advocate of the purging of 'Scoticisms
' from Scots speech, in the cause of the cultural assimilation of his countrymen, Beattie also seems to have repudiated Scottish literary tradition, in favour of an Anglocentric understanding of the poetry of the past.