So Ian Óg Paisley has decided that Ulster-Scots isn’t a language. Well whoop-de-doop. In doing so he’s aligned himself with the majority of middle-class unionists who are simply embarrassed by the efforts of people like Nelson McCausland to push for Ulster-Scots parity with Irish. “Ulster-Scots is a language” Nel insists. C’mere a minute, Nel, I have information for you. It’s not. OK? It doesn’t have its own grammatical construction, its own sentence formation, its own vocabulary – it’s not a language. Ian Óg says that while he loves it, it’s ‘just bad English’, which shows that he doesn’t understand it either. It’s not ‘bad English’, Ian Óg. Linguists abandoned the idea of ‘bad English’ about fifty years ago. It’s a dialect, and a very interesting one too. We’re very fortunate to have it as part of our speech inheritance and we all should be proud of it, and use it in appropriate situations where it can add meaning and colour to what we are saying. But Paisley the Lesser is right that it’s not a language, wrong that it’s ‘just bad English’ and very wrong for keeping his large mouth firmly closed when hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money was being pointlessly pumped into the dialect on the grounds that it was a language. Cud ye nat hev opind yir bake a’ the tium, Ian?