Category Archives: An Ghaeilge

Goo-goo

This is another incredibly stupid claim made in Daniel Cassidy’s staggeringly incompetent book How The Irish Invented Slang. Apparently, goo-goo is an American slang term for upper class ‘reformers’. This term derives from the phrase Good Government, and there was a string of Good Government clubs at the end of the 19th century promoting this ideology (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goo-goos).

Daniel Cassidy, of course, begs to differ. No, this well-known and well-attested derivation is wrong. Really, it has its origins in the teeming Irish-speaking slums of New York and represents the Irish guth guth. The Irish what? I hear you ask – especially if you speak Irish. Guth guth, says Danny the Dork, a reduplication of Irish guth meaning voice or (rarely) blame. So according to Cassidy, this phrase means:

‘guth guth (pron. guh guh), complain, complain; reproach, reproach; blame blame; censure, censure; fig. blah, blah.’

Is this true? No, of course not. There is absolutely no evidence of this phrase existing anywhere outside of Cassidy’s fantasy world. It’s that well-known English phrase, shit shit.

 

Seo píosa cacamais eile i leabhar sáramaideach Cassidy How The Irish Invented Slang, cacamas atá chomh bómánta sin, is deacair a thuiscint cén fáth a gcreidfeadh duine ar bith é. De réir cosúlachta, is téarma é goo-goo a bhí in úsáid i Meiriceá le cur síos ar dhaoine saibhre a bhí sásta tacú le hathleasuithe rialtais. Níl aon amhras faoi bhunús an fhocail seo. Tagann sé ó GG –Good Government, agus bhí slabhra de chumainn Good Government ar fud na Stát i ndeireadh an 19ú haois a bhí ag cothú na hidé-eolaíochta seo (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goo-goos).

Ní chreideann Daniel Cassidy sin, ar ndóigh. Dar le Cassidy, tá an tsanasaíocht seo (míniú a bhfuil a lán tacaíochta ar a shon) mícheart. Deir Cassidy go bhfuil bunús an téarma le fáil i bplódcheantair Ghaelacha Nua-Eabhraic agus is ionann é agus an ‘Ghaeilge’ ‘guth-guth’. Ar ndóigh, ní Gaeilge sin. Níl ciall ar bith leis an tsainmhíniú a thugann Cassidy air:

‘guth guth (pron. guh guh), complain, complain; reproach, reproach; blame blame; censure, censure; fig. blah, blah.’

Is raiméis cheart é an sainmhíniú seo. Níl fianaise ar bith ann go raibh an frása guth-guth in úsáid riamh taobh amuigh de bhlaosc chraiceáilte Daniel Cassidy. Lena rá i mbeagán focal, níl ann ach an friotal clúiteach Gaeilge sin, cac-cac.

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Hick and Aitheach

The English word hick (peasant, bumpkin) means the same as the Irish words tuathánach, cábóg, tútachán, farcach. That is, it means the same thing, more or less, as that common word in the English of Ireland, culchie.

According to Daniel Cassidy, in his work of fantasy How The Irish Invented Slang, it comes from the Irish word aitheach. Aitheach is an old-fashioned, literary word for a churl and of course, the sound of aitheach is nothing like the sound of hick. (For English speakers with no Irish, it’s pronounced something like Aha or eye-hah. To get a proper flavour of how it might be pronounced in the main dialects, go to focloir.ie and play the sound files for the words maith and teach.)

And of course, etymologists know where the word hick originated in English. Hick is an affectionate version of the name Richard. It’s a form of the name which was found among rural people. Hick is used with the meaning of yokel as far back as 1565. As usual, Cassidy ignored what real scholars had to say about this word.

Cassidy’s conjecture about this word is just a bare-faced lie – just like the rest of Cassidy’s stupid conjectures.

 

Ciallaíonn an focal Béarla hick an rud céanna leis na focail Ghaeilge tuathánach, cábóg, tútachán, farcach. Is é sin, ciallaíonn sé an rud céanna, a bheag nó a mhór, leis an fhocal choitianta sin i mBéarla na hÉireann, culchie.

De réir Daniel Cassidy, ina leabhar fantaisíochta How The Irish Invented Slang, is ón fhocal Gaeilge aitheach a tháinig sé. Is focal seanfhaiseanta liteartha é aitheach a chiallaíonn cábóg nó duine tuaithe agus ar ndóigh, níl fuaim aitheach cosúil le hick ar chor ar bith.

Agus ar ndóigh, tá a fhios ag lucht na sanasaíochta cá has a dtáinig an focal hick sa Bhéarla. Is leagan muirneach é Hick den ainm Richard. Bhí an leagan seo den ainm le fáil i measc na dtuathánach. Faightear hick leis an chiall sin tuathánach chomh fada siar leis an bhliain 1565. Mar is gnách, rinne Cassidy neamhaird den méid a bhí le rá ag daoine léannta faoin fhocal seo.

Níl i mbuille faoi thuairim Cassidy faoin fhocal seo ach deargbhréaga, ar ndóigh – go díreach cosúil leis an chuid eile de thuairimí amaideacha Cassidy.

The Captain Returns/Filleann an Captaen

Some while back, I gave out to and about Captain Grammar Pants (a.k.a. Sean Williams of Evergreen State) for buying into Cassidy’s nonsense and helping to spread it far and wide through her grammar and ‘etymology’ site on FaceBook. After a while, she contacted me and admitted that she had made a mistake with Cassidy’s rubbish. Fine, I thought. At least one sinner has returned to the fold …

However, imagine my surprise when I came across this piece of crap on Captain Grammar Pants the other day. It was published about four months ago. (October 2017)

Dude! Slang can be fun and mystifying at the same time; its meaning also changes over time. Today we sort out DUDE (Irish, “incompetent fool”) …

Oh, for God’s sake! Didn’t you learn anything last time? There is a word dúid in Irish. It means 1. Stump 2. (a) Stumpy object, protuberant part; (short) horn, (cropped) ear, tail. (b) Short-stemmed (clay) pipe. 3. (Craned) neck, throat. 4. (a) Stumpy person. (b) Mopish, shy person; numbskull.

So where did the definition “incompetent fool” come from? Who invented that one? It’s not a direct quote from Cassidy but it’s close enough. And dude means a dandy or fop, which dúid doesn’t. The English dude almost certainly comes from Yankee DOODle DANDY, who stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni (which was also slang for a fop or dandy in the 18th century). There are several other possibilities but dúid isn’t as good a candidate as Yankee Doodle Dandy, as these sources agree:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2013/11/05/dude_etymology_of_the_word_is_traced_to_doodle_as_in_yankee_doodle_dandy.html

https://www.etymonline.com/word/dude

So, Captain Grammar Pants, PLEASE wise up and stop misleading people about language!

 

Tamall beag ó shin, thug mé amach do Captain Grammar Pants (nó Sean Williams ó Evergreen State mar is fearr aithne uirthi) as glacadh le raiméis Cassidy agus as cuidiú lena scaipeadh i gcéin is i gcóngar tríd an suíomh gramadaí agus ‘sanasaíochta’ atá aici ar FaceBook. I ndiaidh tamaillín, chuaigh sí i dteagmháil liom agus d’admhaigh go raibh meancóg déanta aici le cacamas Cassidy. Go breá, arsa mise liom féin. Ar a laghad, tá peacach amháin i ndiaidh filleadh ar an tréad … Samhlaigh an t-iontas a bhí orm, áfach, nuair a chonaic mé an cacamas seo ar Captain Grammar Pants an lá faoi dheireadh. Tuairim is ceithre mhí ó shin a foilsíodh é (Deireadh Fómhair 2017):

Dude! Slang can be fun and mystifying at the same time; its meaning also changes over time. Today we sort out DUDE (Irish, “incompetent fool”) …

Ó, ar son Dé! Nár fhoghlaim tú a dhath an uair dheireanach? Tá an focal dúid sa Ghaeilge, ceart go leor, ach ní hé sin a chiall. Seo na sainmhínithe, de réir FGB (Ó Dónaill):

  1. Stump 2. (a) Stumpy object, protuberant part; (short) horn, (cropped) ear, tail. (b) Short-stemmed (clay) pipe. 3. (Craned) neck, throat. 4. (a) Stumpy person. (b) Mopish, shy person; numbskull.

Cá háit a bhfuarthas an sainmhíniú sin “incompetent fool” mar sin? Cé a chum an ceann sin? Ní sliocht díreach as saothar Cassidy atá ann ach tá sé cóngarach go leor. Agus ciallaíonn dude gaige nó scóitséir. Níl an chiall sin ag an fhocal dúid, ar ndóigh. Tá sé chóir a bheith cinnte gurbh ó Yankee DOODle DANDY a tháinig an focal dude, ‘who stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni (focal a raibh an chiall gaige nó ‘dandy’ leis i mBéarla an ochtú haois déag). Tá roinnt moltaí eile ann, ach níl dúid chomh maith mar bhunús an fhocail le Yankee Doodle Dandy, mar atá le feiceáil sna foinsí seo:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2013/11/05/dude_etymology_of_the_word_is_traced_to_doodle_as_in_yankee_doodle_dandy.html

https://www.etymonline.com/word/dude

Mar sin de, a Chaptaein, LE DO THOIL, bíodh ciall agat agus stad de bheith ag cur dallamullóg ar dhaoine faoi chúrsaí teanga!

An Fear Nach dTig Leis Ubh a Fhiuchadh

Nochtadh a lán tuairimí spéisiúla maidir leis an Ghaeilge le déanaí ar na meáin shóisialta, tuairimí a léiríonn cuid mhór faoi dhearcadh na ndaoine a chum iad. Ceann de na tuairimí ba spéisiúla ná ceann le hÉireannach (is léir nach Gael é) a bhí ag gearán faoin chur amú ama a bhaineann le Gaeilge a fhoghlaim: I help my daughter with her Irish homework, that she knows is pointless in life at age 9 & it’s so frustrating knowing her time could be spent better learning things she’ll need in the future. I wasted time on Irish and finished school unable to boil an egg.. Ní gá dom a rá gur magadh faoin fhear seo rud bocht as an tuairim seo a nochtadh (go háirithe an non-sequitur faoi uibheacha a fhiuchadh), ach nuair a léigh mé é, thosaigh mé a smaoineamh ar dhaoine agus ar thuairimí den chineál seo.

Ar an chéad dul síos, nár fhoghlaim gach duine rudaí ar scoil nár bhain siad úsáid astu riamh? D’fhoghlaim mise a lán acu. Cothromóidí cearnacha? An fhisic? Ní hamháin sin, ach tá mé lánchinnte nár bhain mé úsáid phraiticiúil riamh as cuid ar bith den eolas a d’fhoghlaim mé i ranganna staire, cé gur mór liom an t-eolas atá agam ar an stair agus bheinn i bhfad ní ba bhoichte gan é.

Agus sin ráite, tá níos mó i gceist le hábhair a fhoghlaim ar scoil ná fíricí ags faisnéis a bhailiú, nach bhfuil? Don chuid is mó againn, baintear úsáid as ábhair scoile le píosa páipéir a fháil, agus ansin, bogaimid ar aghaidh chuig rud éigin eile. Tá an píosa páipéir againn a chruthaíonn go raibh muid maith go leor leis an phíosa páipéir a fháil. Agus mar gheall air sin, táimid i dteideal dul ar aghaidh agus píosa páipéir níos speisialaithe a fháil. Tá ábhair a rinne mé ar scoil nár bhain mé úsáid astu riamh, ach tá an cháilíocht agam. Ní cur amú ama a bhí ann. Cuid den oideachas agus den oiliúint a bhí ann, sin a raibh.

Agus nuair a amharcaim siar ar na hábhair a bhí agam ar scoil, bhí cuid acu a raibh dúil agam iontu agus cuid eile nach raibh, ach ní cuimhin liom riamh a rá ag aois a 9 (nó fiú ag aois 12 nó 14) nár chóir roinnt ábhar a theagasc cionn is nach bhfuil maith ar bith iontu. Agus sin an fáth a bhfuil amhras orm cé acu a rinne páiste 9 mbliana d’aois cinneadh mar sin léi féin nó nach ndearna. Nó arbh é an tuismitheoir a d’fhág an scoil agus é chomh hamaideach sin a chinntigh go mbeadh an tuairim sin aici chomh hóg sin?

Agus ar ndóigh, tá scileanna eile a bhaineann le hábhair a fhoghlaim. An dóigh le staidéar a dhéanamh, an dóigh le ham a bhainistiú, an dóigh le nótaí a bhreacadh, an dóigh le foinsí eolais a aimsiú agus an chuid is fearr a bhaint astu. Agus ansin, tá an cumas rudaí a fhoghlaim de ghlanmheabhair. Agus níos tábhachtaí ná rud ar bith eile, tá muinín ann. Tá scileanna den chineál chéanna ag baint le teanga ar bith a fhoghlaim. Tá scileanna inaistrithe ag baint le rud ar bith a fhoghlaim, is cuma cad é atá ann.

Daoine aineolacha ar nós fhear seo na n-uibheacha amha, glacfaidh siad leis nach fiú teanga mar an Ghaeilge a fhoghlaim, mar ní chuideoidh sé leat teangacha eile a fhoghlaim. A mhalairt atá fíor. Tá a lán fianaise ann go bhfuil sé i bhfad níos fusa do dhuine atá dátheangach an tríú nó an ceathrú teanga a fhoghlaim. Is é an bhacainn is mó atá ar fhoghlaimeoirí teanga nó na rudaí sa chéad teanga a nglacann siad leo mar rialacha dochta uilíocha agus ní mar ghnéithe randamacha dá dteanga féin. Más féidir leat na bréagchinnteachtaí sin a bhriseadh, bíonn an fhoghlaim i bhfad níos fusa. Is é rud é, níl a fhios ag fear na n-uibheacha amha cad iad na teangacha a mbeidh ar a iníon iad a fhoghlaim amach anseo. Asairis? Rúisis? Indinéisis? Ní féidir sin a thuar, ach is féidir teanga nach bhfuil cosúil leis an Bhéarla a theagasc di a fhágfaidh go mbeidh sé níos fusa aici Teanga 3 nó Teanga 4 a fhoghlaim más gá. Ach ina áit sin, b’fhearr leis a cuid oideachais a theorannú mar gheall ar na claonta páistiúla atá aige féin.

Is é fírinne an scéil go mbaineann teangacha ar fud an domhain úsáid as réimse teoranta fuaimeanna, struchtúr agus straitéisí le cur síos ar an domhan. Baineann Araibis agus Eabhrais úsáid as struchtúir ar nós liom, agat, astu i nGaeilge. Tá a lán lán teangacha ar fud an domhain a bhfuil an fhuaim a scríobhtar sa Spáinnis mar j nó sa Ghaeilge mar ch iontu, fuaim nach dtig le cuid mhór Béarlóirí a rá ar chor ar bith. Cuireann na teangacha Polainéiseacha sealbhaíocht in iúl mar shuíomh, ionas go bhfuil an rud ‘agat’, go díreach mar a dhéantar sa Ghaeilge nó sa Bhreatnais. Thiocfadh liom na céadta sampla eile a thabhairt. Má fhoghlaimíonn tú teanga ar bith, thig leis cuidiú leat teangacha eile a fhoghlaim ar an iliomad saindóigheanna praiticiúla.

Tá a lán fáthanna ann leis an Ghaeilge a fhoghlaim mar is ceart. Fiú más dóigh leat gur cur amú ama í an Ghaeilge, tá a lán fáthanna maithe le do pháistí a spreagadh leis an teanga a fhoghlaim mar is ceart. Agus sin ráite, má mhúintear do pháistí nach bhfuil sa Ghaeilge ach cur amú ama, beidh sí ina cur amú ama, dóibhsean agus do na páistí a gcaithfidh seomra ranga a roinnt le páistí ar cuireadh brú orthu éirí as an teanga a fhoghlaim sular thosaigh siad.

Agus sin gan smaoineamh fiú ar na fáthanna deimhneacha cultúrtha leis an Ghaeilge a fhoghlaim. Tá beagnach 4 mhilliún duine ag foghlaim Gaeilge le Duolingo faoi láthair – i bhfad níos mó ná foghlaimeoirí na hEabhraise, nó na Tuircise, nó na hIoruaise. Cad chuige a bhfuil an oiread sin daoine ag iarraidh Gaeilge a fhoghlaim? Is é fírinne an scéil go gcuireann sí an duine i dteagmháil lena oidhreacht chultúrtha. Is ón Ghaeilge a tháinig an chuid is mó de na logainmneacha agus na hainmneacha pearsanta in Éirinn. Tá litríocht iomlán i nGaeilge atá an-difriúil leis an Bhéarla. Agus tá an oiread sin ceoil in Éirinn atá bainteach leis an teanga.

Ní hamháin sin, ach gan dul rófhada ar bhóthar na polaitíochta, rinneadh feachtas den chinedhíothú theangeolaíoch ar an Ghaeilge agus bhí sin freagrach as meath na teanga. Lena rá go simplí, is geall le ciníochas an meon atá ag na daoine a rinne agus a dhéanann iarracht an Ghaeilge a mhilleadh. Tá na tuairimí seo cosúil leis an nóisean gur chóir foraoisí báistí nach bhfuil ach ina gcur amú cionn is go bhfuil siad lán speiceas atá galánta ach gan tairbhe a stróiceadh agus plandálacha ordúla lán de chrainn rubair nó bhanana a chur ina n-áit. Má ligimid do bhiogóidigh agus ciníochaithe an bua a bheith acu sa chás seo, cé chomh fada agus a mhairfidh teangacha ar nós na hOllainnise nó n Danmhairgise nó na Seicise sula gcuirfear i mbaol iad cionn is go measann daoine nach bhfuil siad inmharthana a thuilleadh mar gheall ar a n-easpa cainteoirí.

Away and Boil Your Head

One of the interesting and revealing comments about the Irish language on social media recently was an Irishman complaining about the waste of time involved in learning Irish: I help my daughter with her Irish homework, that she knows is pointless in life at age 9 & it’s so frustrating knowing her time could be spent better learning things she’ll need in the future. I wasted time on Irish and finished school unable to boil an egg.. I need hardly say that this man was slagged off mercilessly for his comment (especially the non-sequitur about egg-boiling), but it got me thinking about this kind of person and this kind of attitude.

Firstly, didn’t everyone learn things in school that they have never used? I certainly did. Quadratic equations? Physics? I am also quite sure I have never used any of the content or information I acquired in history lessons for any practical purpose, though my life would be greatly impoverished without a knowledge of history.

However, learning subjects at school is not only about acquiring facts and information, is it? For most of us, we take our school subjects far enough to acquire a piece of paper, and then we move on and do something else. We have the piece of paper which proves that we have the ability to acquire the piece of paper. And that entitles us to go for a higher level and a more specialised piece of paper. There are subjects I did at school which I have never taken any further but I have the qualification. It wasn’t a waste of my time. It was a part of my education, pure and simple.

And when I look back at the subjects I studied at school, there were some I liked and some I didn’t, but I don’t remember ever saying at age 9 (or even age 12 or 14) that certain subjects shouldn’t be taught because they’re useless. Which makes me wonder whether a child of nine actually made a judgement like that on her own. Or was it the parent who left school an idiot who made sure she knew exactly what to think?

Then again, there are other skills involved in learning subjects. There is learning how to study, how to manage time, how to take notes, how to find sources of information and evaluate them and exploit them properly. There is the ability to memorise things. And above all, there is developing confidence. Similar skills are involved in learning a language – any language. There are transferable skills involved in learning anything.

Ignorant people like the man who couldn’t boil an egg will assume that learning a language like Irish won’t help you to learn another language. However, there is a lot of evidence that learning a second language to a high level will make learning a third or a fourth language easier. The greatest barrier to learning a language is the assumptions you acquire from your first language. If you can break those assumptions, that is half the battle. The fact is, the man who can’t boil an egg doesn’t know what languages his daughter might need in her life. Azeri, Russian, Indonesian? You can’t predict that, but you can teach her a language which is quite unlike English and which will make it easier to learn Language 3 or Language 4. However, he’d rather screw up her education because of his own childish prejudices.

The fact is, languages all over the world use a limited range of sounds, structures and strategies to describe the world. Arabic and Hebrew use structures like liom, agat, astu in Irish. A huge number of languages use the sound of Spanish j or Irish ch, which many English speakers can’t pronounce at all. Polynesian languages use the concept of location for possession, so the thing possessed is ‘at’ you, just as it is in Irish or Welsh. I could give hundreds of other examples. Learning any language will help you to learn other languages in a multitude of practical, specific ways.

So there are lots of reasons for learning Irish properly. Even if you do think that Irish itself is a waste of time as a language, there are still good reasons to encourage your children to learn it properly. However, if you teach children that Irish is a waste of time, it will be, both for them and for other children who are forced to share a classroom with kids who have already been encouraged to give up on the subject.

And that’s not even taking into account all the positive cultural reasons for learning Irish. There are currently nearly 4 million people learning Irish through Duolingo – far more than are learning Hebrew, or Turkish, or Norwegian. Why do so many people want to learn Irish? The fact is that it puts you in touch with your own past. Most place names or personal names in Ireland are Irish. There is a whole literature which is very different from that found in English. And so much Irish music is linked to the language.

Also, without going too far down the road of politics, Irish has been brought to the brink of extinction by a campaign of linguistic genocide. Basically, the mentality of those who tried to destroy it is akin to racism. These attitudes are also similar to the notion that ‘wasteful’ rainforests full of colourful but useless species should be replaced with ordered plantations full of banana or rubber trees. If we allow bigots and racists to win on Irish, how long before languages like Dutch or Danish or Czech are endangered because people think their smallness means they are not viable anymore?

Cultural Appropriation/Leithghabháil Chultúrtha

(https://nos.ie/gniomhaiochas/polaitiocht/leithghabhail-chulturtha/)

There was an interesting little article in NósMag recently about leithghabháil chultúrtha, or cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation is basically the misuse of a minority culture by a majority culture. The NósMag article asked the question, where do we draw the line? There was an immediate response by Dennis King, who wrote this on Twitter with a picture of Cassidy’s ludicrous book: An leithghabháil chultúrtha é nuair a scríobhann duine ar bheagán Gaeilge leabhar a bhfuil a lán cacamais faoin nGaeilge ann? (Is it cultural appropriation when someone with little Irish writes a book which is full of crap about Irish?)

There have been a lot of arguments about what is or is not cultural appropriation. I don’t think anyone would argue about the most extreme cases – the Black and White Minstrel Show, or the writings of Asa Earl Carter are definitely inappropriate. Others are more dubious. Is it wrong for Anglo children to use a piñata? Should non-African Americans play the blues? Is it cultural appropriation when people get tattoos in bad Chinese or even worse Irish?

Wherever we draw the line, there is no doubt that Dennis King is right and that Cassidy is on the wrong side of it. After all, Cassidy’s book is basically a collection of made-up rubbish by a man who couldn’t even be bothered learning any Irish. Like Dennis King, I find Cassidy’s smugness and arrogance deeply offensive. It makes me angry to hear someone claiming that baloney comes from the Irish béal ónna, when there is no Irish phrase béal ónna – Cassidy invented it and then pretended it was Irish. Or that crony comes from Irish comhrogha, which exists but never had the meaning of friend or companion. Or that giggle comes from gíog gheal, which (if it existed), would mean a bright squeak. It’s all insulting, arrogant, stupid nonsense from a man with no degrees or qualifications who managed to con his way into a university job. Cultural appropriation or not, it’s a pack of lies.

 

(https://nos.ie/gniomhaiochas/polaitiocht/leithghabhail-chulturtha/)

Bhí alt beag spéisiúil ar NósMag ar na mallaibh faoin leithghabháil chultúrtha, nó an cultural appropriation, mar a thugtar uirthi i mBéarla. Is é atá i gceist leis an leithghabháil chultúrtha, lena rá i mbeagán focal, ná mórchultúr ag baint mí-úsáid as cultúr mionlaigh. Cuireadh an cheist san alt ar NósMag, cá háit a dtarraingítear an líne? Bhí freagra ann láithreach ó Dennis King, a scríobh seo ar Twitter maraon le pictiúr de leabhar bómánta Cassidy: An leithghabháil chultúrtha é nuair a scríobhann duine ar bheagán Gaeilge leabhar a bhfuil a lán cacamais faoin nGaeilge ann?

Bhí a lán argóintí ann le blianta beaga anuas maidir le cad is leithghabháil chultúrtha ann agus na rudaí nach leithghabháil chultúrtha iad. Ní dóigh liom go mbeadh amhras ar dhuine ar bith faoi na cásanna is measa – is cinnte nach bhfuil The Black and White Minstrel Show nó scríbhinní Asa Earl Carter inghlactha ar chor ar bith. Tá rudaí eile níos éiginnte. An bhfuil an ceart ag páistí nach bhfuil acu ach Béarla piñata a úsáid? Ar chóir do Mheiriceánaigh nach bhfuil de bhunús Afraiceach na gormacha a sheinm? An leithghabháil chultúrtha é nuair a fhaigheann daoine geala nach Gaeil iad tatúanna i ndrochShínis nó i nGaeilge uafásach?

Cibé áit a dtarraingítear an líne, is cinnte go bhfuil an ceart ag Dennis King agus go bhfuil Cassidy ar an taobh mhícheart den líne sin. Níl i leabhar Cassidy, i ndiaidh an tsaoil, ach bailiúchán de raiméis a chum duine nach dtiocfadh leis bheith gaibhte Gaeilge ar bith a fhoghlaim. Go díreach cosúil le Dennis King, cuireann féinsástacht agus ardnósacht Cassidy olc an domhain orm. Cuireann sé fearg orm nuair a chluinim duine ag rá gur ón Ghaeilge béal ónna a tháinig an focal baloney, cé nach bhfuil a leithéid de fhrása ann – chum Cassidy é agus lig air gur Gaeilge a bhí ann. Nó gur ón ‘Ghaeilge’ gíog gheal a tháinig giggle an Bhéarla, in ainneoin go bhfuil fianaise chuimsitheach leis an bharúil sin a bhréagnú. Níl ann ach raiméis mhaslach, ardnósach, amaideach ó fhear nach raibh céimeanna ná cáilíochtaí ar bith aige ach ar éirigh leis post ollscoile a fháil trí chaimiléireacht. Níl sa bhrilléis seo ach deargbhréaga, bíodh sí ina leithghabháil chultúrtha nó ná bíodh!

Amadáin na Míosa – The UK Passport Office

Tá roinnt amadán féideartha ar an liosta faoi láthair ach seo ceann nach dtiocfadh liom dul thairis. Cé nach bhfuil baint dhíreach aige le Cassidy, tuigfidh léitheoirí an bhlaig seo go gcreidim go láidir i gcearta teanga lucht na Gaeilge. Creidim fosta i gcearta den chineál chéanna do lucht labhartha na Breatnaise, Ghaeilge na hAlban agus teangacha mionlaigh eile na teangacha seo a úsáid go saor, gan bhac gan chosc.

Tá pas Éireannach agamsa agus ligeann an pas sin dom m’ainm a bheith i lár báire ann, litrithe mar is ceart i nGaeilge mhaith. Shíl mé i gcónaí go raibh na cearta céanna i gceist le pasanna na Breataine agus dá mbeadh duine ón Bhreatain bheag darb ainm Siôn ap Rhŷs nó Albanach darb ainm Dùghlas MacLeòid nó bean ó na Sé Chontae darb ainm Máirín Nic Néill ag iarraidh pas Briotanach a fháil agus a n-ainm litrithe mar is ceart ina dteanga féin, nach mbeadh fadhb ar bith ann. De réir cosúlachta, bhí dul amú orm!

Níl tú i dteideal d’ainm a bheith litrithe mar is ceart agat i nGaeilge, i nGaeilge na hAlban ná i mBreatnais, más amhlaidh go bhfuil carachtar ann nach bhfuil le fáil sa Bhéarla. Is léir nach bhfuil fadhb theicniúil ann, mar níl fadhb ag tíortha eile san Eoraip (na Sé Chontae agus Fiche san áireamh) ligean do dhaoine a n-ainm a litriú le cibé diaicritic nó fada nó aiceann atá de dhíth. Ní hé sin é. Am éigin na blianta ó shin, rinne na focairí faisisteacha seo socrú randamach gan a gcearta daonna a thabhairt do dhaoine agus gan ligean dóibh a n-ainm a litriú mar is ceart. Agus ní hé sin a dheireadh! Nuair a amharcann tú ar a suíomh gréasáin (https://passportapplication.service.gov.uk/help/html/pages/10.05_01_name-to-appear_en.html), míníonn siad é ar an bhealach seo:

If your name has a special character or accent mark please enter your name using a normal letter eg e instead of é or a instead of ä etc.

Á, sin an fáth ar shocraigh sibh leatrom a imirt ar mhionlaigh dhúchasacha theanga! Mar nach bhfuil siad normálta! Go raibh míle maith agaibh as sin a shoiléiriú dúinn …

Tá súil agam ó chroí go ndéanfaidh daoine an t-alt seo a athbhlagáil agus go scaipfidh siad an scéal chomh fada agus is féidir, agus tá súil agam go dtógfaidh duine éigin, áit éigin, na bastaird seo go dtí an Chúirt Eorpach um Chearta an Duine.

Ní bheidh pas Briotanach agamsa choíche, ach creidim go daingean go bhfuil an ceart ag daoine a úsáideann teangacha Ceilteacha mar phríomhtheanga a bhféiniúlacht a chur in iúl taobh istigh den RA agus nach bhfuil an ceart ag na faisistigh aineolacha seo bunchearta daonna a cheilt ar dhaoine ar an bhonn gur rud mínormálta é úsáid a bhaint as teanga eile seachas an Béarla.