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SLD News

Staff news and update

The Principal Executive Officer of SLD, Dr Ruth O'Donovan, started her maternity leave earlier this summer. We are delighted to report that her daughter was delivered safely in July, and all at SLD would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Ruth and her family. We hope you have a lovely maternity leave with your new arrival and her big sister.

Ruth's period of leave is being covered by three people, each of whom is working on a part-time basis. Alison Macaulay is heading up the team and covering the office management aspect of Ruth's work. She is a dictionary professional with many years' experience in commercial publishing and a background in teaching.

Anna Stevenson, another dictionary and reference specialist with many years' experience in commercial publishing, is project managing the new edition of the Concise Scots Dictionary, due to publish in the autumn of 2017.

Thomas Widmann is a computational linguist, who brings his long experience in dictionary publishing to help with the more technical aspects of the CSD2 project and to work on various other SLD projects including the Dictionary of the Scots Language and a planned update to the Schools Dictionary app.

Dictionary of the Scots Language Supplements Project

Ann Ferguson

Work continues on the DSL supplements project, whose aim is to merge the content of the two Scottish National Dictionary supplements (1976 and 2005) into the main entries, so that all of the material relating to each headword is displayed in a single entry. Most of the merging has now been completed, and SLD staff are busy reviewing the work that has been carried out, and merging the cases (some hundreds) which were not tackled by our freelance staff. Once the project is complete we will have dealt with nearly 9,000 supplementary entries and the DSL will be more streamlined, making it easier and quicker to find words.

Concise Scots Dictionary – second edition

Anna Stevenson

Editorial work continues on the second edition of the Concise Scots Dictionary. SLD's core team has now been joined by three freelance editors and lexicographers, all of whom bring many years' experience to the project – as well as a love of Scots! We have recently finalised the new dictionary design and are now entering the final editing phase before files are handed over to the typesetter. As ever, we are grateful to the Scottish Government for our core funding.

Outreach and Education

Elaine Webster

SLD's Outreach and Education Officer was delighted to host Dictionary of the Scots Language focus group sessions, working with practitioners who are interested in sharing Scots with their learners. Participants worked in pairs to explore the content and structure of DSL with support from SLD staff. The discussions have given SLD valuable feedback specifically on the online Dictionary of the Scots Language particularly in relation to the DSL supplements project which is being led by editor Ann Ferguson. Participants discussed a range of ways SLD can support their work and it was a great opportunity to raise awareness of SLD's projects and resources generally.

The sessions have encouraged valuable collaborative working. As a direct result of this work, a PowerPoint and worksheets have been developed by members of the group and these materials have been posted on the Scuilwab in the 'Teachers and Parents' section. We thank all who were able to come to the sessions and to those who have linked with us and offered views and feedback by email, including the Scots Language coordinator and former coordinators.

We shared information about these developments and the materials produced at the Association of Scottish Literary Studies' Schools Conference in early October and will encourage ongoing feedback informally at conferences and on visits. The wider DSL focus group includes librarians and we are keen to build our links with school librarians further. It is lovely to share enthusiasm for Scots and the work of SLD in formal and informal discussions. We are planning to keep in touch, disseminate materials further and to get feedback from piloting the materials. Please get in touch with Elaine Webster for more information.

Sponsor a Scots word as a birthday or Christmas gift

A Scots word or phrase makes an unusual gift. This sponsorship scheme supports our editorial work. For more details please see our Sponsor a Word section.

You will receive a certificate, a print-out of the entry from the Dictionary of the Scots Language and some postcards and bookmarks. Examples of words and phrases which have been sponsored are 'whirliwha', 'tanner ba' and 'snotter'.