The Scottish Herald: sadly, as arrogant as Facebook

This wasn’t going to be a post. Until The Herald removed my comment on the following article.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/facebook-apologises-after-banning-scottish-gaelic-login-names.119438358

My comment related to this section of the article:

Common names which remain off limits include Macleod (MacGilleChaluim).

Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell (Brian Greum MacIlleMhaoi) would be told off for “invalid characters” as would soup tycoon Ena Baxter ( Ena Mac a’ Bhacastair).

However tennis star Andy Murray (Aindrea Moireach) would get the thumbs up.

Linguist Àdhamh Ô Broin, who worked as a consultant on the Outlander series said: “I’m very aware of the whole issue. I’ve got a few friends who were forced to change their name.

After a moment with my head in my hands, I decided to comment. Not because I have any deep rooted need to stand up and  fight for the Gaelic world any more, those days are over (it is a long story), but because this is just really sloppy journalism. It is also insulting to all of us for whom Gaelic is still a living language.  If they made the same arse of French or German, they would be laughed at, especially in a story decrying the lack of accent support and spelling support at Facebook.

Here is my comment:

I would take the time to translate these properly for you, but since you clearly can’t be bothered, neither can I. We might be a minority, but show a little respect and get the translations done by someone who actually speaks the language!

Common names which remain off limits include Macleod (MacGilleChaluim). #fail

Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell (Brian Greum MacIlleMhaoi) would be told off for “invalid characters” as would soup tycoon Ena Baxter ( Ena Mac a’ Bhacastair). #fail

However tennis star Andy Murray (Aindrea Moireach) would get the thumbs up. #fail

And don’t get me started on the mess you made of Àdhamh Ô Broin, and Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba. Try UTF8, it’s a pretty standard encoding.

My comment was removed, but this comment (by someone else) was let through.

Gaelic is only spoken by a tiny minority of Scots. It is a disgrace how much money is thrown at it, especially by BBC Scotland (see Albaaaaaa) where they need to put on football to justify half-decent viewing figures. Time to be consigned to the dustbin.

Looks like the Herald is happy to have Gaelic, and indeed Facbook criticised, but not so keen on being criticised themselves. Sorry about that, Herald. I simply posted it elsewhere online.

And, for future reference…

Macleod (MacGilleChaluim) – should be MacLeòid. MacGilleChaluim would apply to the MacLeods of Raasay only.

Alexander Graham Bell (Brian Greum MacIlleMhaoi)  – should be Alasdair Greumach MacGilleMhaoil, if we were going to be pedantic…

Ena Baxter ( Ena Mac a’ Bhacastair) – should be Ena Nic a’ Bhacastair

Andy Murray (Aindrea Moireach) – should be Anndra Moireach

And for your web developers, Herald, please let them know that UTF8 is easy, and avoids embrassing encoding problems such as “invalid characters”.

My pleasure.

2 thoughts on “The Scottish Herald: sadly, as arrogant as Facebook

  • 27th February 2015 at 5:22 pm
    Permalink

    I could not have put it better myself

    Gu dearbh, gun teagamh agus gun seadh.

    Reply
  • 3rd March 2015 at 4:08 am
    Permalink

    Mo nàire oirbh – do you know how much of an embarrassment you must be for the many Gaelic speakers in Glaschu, not to mention Irish Gaelic speakers?

    Reply

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