Robert Garioch's Different Styles of Scots
Tulloch, Graham John
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In 1977 Robert Garioch was asked by Duncan Glen, as editor of 'Akros', to describe his poetic language. He did so very succinctly; "My language is my native local Scots, plus words and expressions of any other date or provenance, from speech, dictionaries and books: I follow the practice of most writers in Scots, at least since they became self-conscious sometime about the eighteenth century. Latterly I have been inclined to spell less phonetically, assuming, e.g. that a reader will not usually pronounce the final letters of 'and' and 'of'. Also I use Scots of different styles for different purposes, and try to use it as any writer would use any language." This description is very helpful and what this paper aims to do is largely to flesh out these comments with details. In particular it takes up Garioch's comment that he used "Scots of different styles for different purposes". Indeed, the whole question of his language will be examined from this particular angle.