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Anent the Scots Wikipedia an Sunday’s editathon

Sae a thocht a’d gie ma pynt o view on aw ’is, an ’e story ahint whit caused iz tae stairt the editathon muivement an whit a hink anent the hale hing.

On ’e 25t August 2020, a 4chan an Reddit post wis pit oot bi Ryan Dempsey, unner the uisername “Ultach”, fae Ulster, anent an American Wikipedia admin, whase name a willnae mention tae jouk thaim gittin ony mair potential harassment (lat’s juist caw thaim Admin fae nou), an hou thay contríbutit near hauf o aw the airticles on ’e Wikipedia, an hou the ither tap fower contríbutors wis American an aw.

The problem wis, thair Scots wisnae the best, an thay war relyin on a dictionar tae help thaim oot. Somehing thit’s actual pretty common amang lairners o the language, an a common mistake thit comes wi that is thit ye dinnae chynge the grammar, an ’is wis whit happent here.

A mate o mines sent iz the Reddit post on ’at day, an readin throu hit, it wisnae bad. The OP unnerstuid thit the admin wisnae oot tae cause tribble or dae daimage tae Scots, but their Scots wisnae the best, an sometimes broken.

Despite that, a kent thit ’is wis gaun’ae stairt a storm; a’v been on ’e internet lang eneuch tae tell whan thir things happen. Bein in contact wi Admin, a wis gittin wirrit for thair weelfare.

A’v talkit tae Admin for a few year on an aff, an kent thit awtho their Scots wisnae the best, they war passionate an genuine anent it an wantit tae dae whit they coud tae help. Ye dinnae pit ower near hauf o the airticles on ’e hale site juist tae troll, efter aw.

A wis hinkin anent a wey tae sort oot the mess an help oot Admin. A wis talkin wi anither fríend an Wiki editor, CanadianToast, anent an idea on hou tae git fowk tae sort the Wikipedia, an wis hinkin o daein editathons on ’e server. He thocht it wis a grand idea.

Than a decidit tae contact Admin, an try tae git theirsel on buird tae, an try tae teach thaim some Scots an aw. They war on buird, an war kibbie anent ’e idea an aw.

Than ’e bad airticles stairtit comin in, no hivin ony idea whit thay war on aboot. Thay war pure slammin Admin, an e’en hivin airticles referenced an screencapped thit they didnae e’en dae. A kent thit gin this wis masel, a wadnae want tae git oot ’e hoose again, or pit masel in danger.

Admin wisna takkin hit weel, an wis gettin a lot o abuise an trauchlin. A wis gittin pure wirrit. A wis constantly checkin up on thaim, tryin tae reassure thaim an share ony positivity a coud. A wis up till 5am on ’e first nicht makkin siccar thit thay war awricht, an daein whit a coud tae help oot an promote the editathon.

At ’e same time as aw ’is wis happenin, a wis talkin tae Michael Dempster on Twitter. A decidit tae ask him anent ’e controversy, an mentiont tae him, passive-like, anent ’e editathon idea a haed. He liked it tae, an a few mínutes later, said thit a few ither fowk wis interestit an aw, an made us a Facebook group, an ’e rest is history.

Dae a hink Admin did daimage tae the Scots language? Weel, bi Ultach’s wey o’t, it potentially caused a problem wi Scots’ status in Northren Ireland, whaur the wiki is uised in pairlament tae pruive thit Scots isnae a language. Somehing the editathon an group ur potentially gaun’ae sort oot.

Apairt fae that, naw! No at aw! Scots haes nivver been in ’e limelicht or haes haed this mony fowk takkin tent tae the language in ony o wir lifetimes! Ma Twitter haunles an ma Scots Discord server haes blawn up in popularity, an no fae trolls, aither, tho a’v haed a few. It’s maistly fowk genuinely interestit in lairnin ’e language! An judgin bi Tweets bi ither Scots Twitter accoonts, a’m no the anenly yin thit’s benefitit!

Even gin it did dae ony real daimage, is it richt tae pit the blame solely on them?

Tae stairt wi, Admin wis actual wan o the better editors; ither airticles no duin bi thaim war e’en waur.

The problem, a hink, is the lack o regulation on ’e Scots Wikipedia, an generally the lack o natives on ’e admin buird.

Furriners maintínin Wiki pages for minority an marginalised languages is mair common’n it shoud be, acause natives o the languages juist neglect thaim, an mony juist want thaim tae dee aff.

Mind thit for the langest time, Scots wisnae e’en seen as it’s ain language bi maist fowk, an see gin ye daur uise it in ony environs this wisnae at a hoose in some neddy scheme, ye war seen as lesser’n fowk thit talked “proper English”, an war telt thit ye’ll nivver git a proper job unless ye stairtit talkin like ’at an aw.

Wha dae yese hink’s mair likely tae care anent Scots an it’s Wikipedia? A body thit wis telt aw thair life thit it was dirty talk, or a furriner wi an interest in Scotland, it’s cultur, an languages?

A hink the society we aw bide in creatit ’e sítuation thit alloued ’is tae happen in ’e first place, an thae same fowk ur nou wheengin anent it.

A howp whit’s happent is appenin some een an gittin fowk tae stairt takkin ’e language mair seriously, a mebbe mair will be duin tae help it an its spikkers oot.

This isnae tae say, aither, thit thir admins cannae lairn Scots proper. Like ony language, thay kin lairn an impriuve. ’At’s how am wantin ’e Scots admins on buird wi the editathons. Thay’r thare tae teach Scots as much as it is tae sort oot airticles, an a dinnae want thaim tae gie up or tae hink thit we’v abandoned thaim an want thaim awa.

We’r aw wantin Scots tae spreid; gittin angert at fowk isnae the wey tae dae it!