The TART-in revulsion

[Editor’s note: Our guest writer today is Keely Bites of ScotGov’s Science, Computing and Advanced Technology office, which was formed in 2012 by the rebranding of The Office of the Witch-finder General]

snp computer centre
Keely and the rest of Scot-SCAT, pictured yesterday

Good day, it’s great to be addressing you all; I honestly don’t think I’ve been this excited since I got my first letter published in Spectrum User, in 2014.

My team and I have been working hard to capture, in technology form, the buzz going around about the Scottish Government’s efforts to pump much needed money into teaching the Scots language to children and persuading adults that it’s not illiterate nonsense.  We’ve developed a brilliant new plug-in that provides Training, Assistance, Re-eduction and Translation, so we’ve called it…

80,000 computing hours went into generating this image.  We think it’s worth it.

In layman’s terms TART-in translates your e-mails, documents, tweets, texts and even your Tinder profile into authentic Scots as you type! To ensure that the plug-in meets your every need it has 4 levels of Scots-ness:

Level 1 (“My inner monologue sounds like a 1950s BBC radio announcer”)

radio announcer
“Good evening. Here are today’s results from the Glasgow street fighting league…”

This level is ideal for times when minimal Scottish-ness is called for, such as when you’re speaking to somebody foreign or when trying to explain to a police officer that, no, you haven’t been drinking.

At this level, and all levels above this, any spell-checking or auto-correcting tools are turned off, as they’re the invention of the Devil/Imperialist English.

Sample text

“Hoi, Manuel, can I get some gravy wi’ my chips, please?”

Level 2 (David Tennant, when he’s not doing his Doctor Who voice)

“I’d give it 10 minutes if I were you”

This is the perfect level for when you want to tap into the calm and reassuring air that comes with a gentle Scottish lilt and, as such, is ideal for job interviews, making a statement to the police, reading the local news on TV, defending yourself in court, presenting your PhD thesis, answering the question “Do you have anything to say before I pass sentence?”, or just flogging shitty TV and broadband packages to people.

It’s basically what Mel Gibson was aiming for in Braveheart, and it’s just a shame he actually landed somewhere in the Balkans.

Sample text

“Aye, ah might live in Bath, but aye’ve gowt the heart of a tru Scotsman an the brain of a child!”

Level 3 (“Gosh! Doesn’t Irvine Welsh’s gritty dialogue paint a vivid picture of the underclass that we here in Oxfordshire rarely get a chance to see?”)

“…I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. I chose bangin’ oan about independence for the rest o ma puff.”

Level 3 may be thought of as ‘standard’ Scots and is perfect not only for gritty novels about heroin addiction on the streets of Edinburgh, but also for needlessly jingoistic articles in Scottish newspapers, “wabsites” that piss taxpayers’ money up the wall, helping the English out with their Sky TV billing issues while wishing them dead, or waxing lyrical about how much you love Scotland and miss it every day that you have to spend in London, where your home and your job are.

The written form of the language is widely agreed to blend the charm of illiteracy with the originality of one of those “Olny fvie prencet of polepe wlil be albe to raed tihs” Facebook posts and the deep joy that you get from realising that some people are knowingly taking money that should be spent on educating kids by claiming to be experts in this shite.

Sample text

“The sweat wuz lashin’ oaffa Sickboy, bu itz owa Nashun what’s sick…an the sickness is called ‘Wastemonster’!  Is tha enuff ta get me pay?”

Level 4 (Glaswegian explaining his many grievances to you at the end of a 14 hour cider-marathon)


This is the nuclear apocalypse of Scots.  Selecting this level shifts the minimum font size to 24, engages caps lock and bolds the text.  It will randomly remove most of the consonants from your text, but add a few extra vowels to compensate.  the only punctuation is allowed is the word “fukin”, which will be sprinkled throughout the text if you forget to do it yourself.

As a means of communication this level is, therefore, completely incomprehensible and we’re particularly proud of how realistically we’ve managed to capture the experience of encountering a native speaker.

Sample text


But that’s not all

Here at SCAT we’re fully aligned with the SNP’s policy of dumping their load of love on you. This means that as well as correcting your appalling, Anglicised writing TART-in also keeps on eye on what you text and say and makes sure that the relevant authorities are informed.

If, for example, you mention in a Facebook post that your lovely children, Rehab and Indy, are feeling under the weather we’ll pop a quick Scots e-mail to their Named Person, who can nip round to check that the problem isn’t that they’ve got visible bruises.  And, thanks to TART-in, you can be sure that the e-mail will be secure, as it will be incomprehensible bollocks to anybody outside of Scotland.

Well, it’s been great talking with you all, and I hope you’ll drop me an e-mail telling me how you feel about TART-in…we can have a wee blether abou’ it (see how great it is!), but now it’s back to work for me.

See you all soon.

Our state of the art computers are analysing GERS, so I’ll be back soon to explain how BLACK=WHITE

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