Wednesday, May 7, 2008


In Scotland today, there are four notable languages spoken - Gaelic, Scots, English and Wendy-speak. Fortunately, the latter of these is the easiest to learn. It's almost identical to English (albeit with a strange system of tones and related facial expressions that are known to grate on non-native speakers), but with one key difference - if you want to convey that you don't have a bloody clue what the answer to a question is, you instead say "well what I'm saying to you is..." Witness the textbook examples on Newsnight Scotland tonight.

"Ms Alexander, do you want an independence referendum to be held in twelve months' time?"
"Well, what I'm saying to you is..."

"If Alex Salmond said let's compromise and have a referendum in 2010, that would be all right with you, would it?"
"Well, what I'm saying to you is..."

"So when do you want a referendum?"
"Well, what I'm saying to you is..."

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