Viewed in this light, Ramsay's use of Scots vernacular is a re-mediation within language that contrasts directly with the move by elite Scots toward London and English as the polite standard after 1660, a move accelerated by the Act of Union, and a corresponding disparagement of Scots embodied at mid-century by a coordinated effort among polite authors like David Hume to purge their writing and speaking of 'Scotticisms
Leddy Grippy's amusing Scotticisms
add great spice to her disparagement of her lawyer, one "Jamphrey" (an unsubtle play on Jeffrey and "clamjamphrie," which currently meant "rabble," "trumpery," or "purse-proud vulgar").
To create 'social' and 'cultural capital' with their counterparts in London, where valuable networks ('social capital') and appropriate cultural references ('cultural capital') could be adhered to and expressed, Edinburgh society eagerly wished to shed the 'provincial' image speaking 'Scotticisms
' or Scots provided (Jones 1995: 1-21).
Waller observes, he was "indirectly depriving those Scottish courtier-poets who accompanied him of much of their native cultural independence and individuality." (12) Alexander was no exception: from then on, he embarked on an unending anglicization of his own writings, which he kept revising in order to expunge as many Scotticisms
For those less familiar with Scottish culture, the absence of detailed explanatory notes and a glossary of less transparent Scotticisms
may be problematic.
But when political power moved south, Scotland's upper classes decided that to "get on" they needed to rid themselves of "Scotticisms
Stevenson was writing at a time when the prescriptive tradition in phonology, grammar and vocabulary still considered Scotticisms
both barbarous and vulgar, but had no objection to their use in poetry (Dossena, 2005: 116-133).
The lexical level only occasionally contains a few Scotticisms
, in accordance with McCrum et al.'s words (1987, p.
(16) On debates over these terms, see Marina Dossena, Scotticisms
(Edinburgh, 2005), especially vii-ix and 8-17.
The indexing of coterie speech (without definition) and of Scotticisms
(with definition) in the general index help facilitate understanding, but make for more shuffling of pages.
David Hume, of all people, meekly submitted his prose to David Mallet for the eradication of Scotticisms
. James Beattie's 1787 pamphlet Scottisisms ...
Basker claims that it was probably Tobias Smollett who suffered more than any other writer of his time from the clash between the Scottish and English cultures" ("Scotticisms
and the Problem of Cultural Identity in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Eighteenth-Century Life 15 [Feb & May 1991]: 86).