Sir, I write in response to recent queries on the Gaelic spelling of Perth from Garry Barnett and Bob Ferguson.
I have very limited knowledge of the language, but I think that after prepositions, nouns beginning with certain consonants have ‘h’ tucked in behind the initial consonant.
So perhaps the Peairt (persht) Mr Barnett saw at the railway station in thecity was not preceded by a preposition, whereas the Pheairt (fersht) seen on the road sign was, as in Failte gu Pheairt or Welcome To Perth.
As for the other query from Mr Ferguson as to whether Gaelic is the only language to translate proper names, I am pretty sure that all languages do.
Is not the city known as Venice to English speakers known as Venezia to Italians?
In addition, most place-names in Scotland are Anglicised versions of the original Pictish, Brythonic and Gaelic ones.
Even when they are not, Gaelic spellings of place-names from other languages will be modified because there are only 18 letters in the Gaelic alphabet.
For me, the rather dismissive tone of both these queries reinforces the main reason I am trying to learn Gaelic.
I am thoroughly fed up, not only with nationalist attempts at monopolising it and their ham-fisted imposition of it, but also the ill-informed, petty point-scoring of their political opponents.
In addition, the language faces opposition from the Gaelic-was-never-spoken-here brigade. I would urge readers just to look at a map of Courier Country to detect the footprint of the language.
Of course, in these economically straitened times, we cannot afford unlimited public spending on Gaelic but with superb free resources across various BBC platforms, it has never been easier to learn.
Let us reclaim our language from the politicos and the sneerers. We cannot afford not to.
Fiona Fairlie. 23 Lubbock Park, Brechin.
Time to back head teacher
Sir, An Angus Council employee is being harassed, vilified and bullied for doing the job she is employed to do and for which she is qualified, by an MSP (not for this area) and the council have not expressed any support for her or defended her right to do the job she is paid for. Why is that?
Is it that our SNP council are following the latest rules of their party which requires them not to speak against other SNP members?
Or is it that the vilification comes from Alex Salmond and he is allowed to get away with such bullying behaviour without criticism?
Angus Council must, if they want to have any credibility, give the head teacher at Webster’s High School their unqualified support. The merits of the Black Watch play are not the issue and should not be used to justify either the behaviour of the former first minister or the lack of support by Angus Council.
Maureen Robertson. Cairnie Loan, Arbroath.
German roads ‘hole’ lot better
Sir, I travel to southern Germany, near to its border with Austria, at least once a year. The weather in winter is more severe than in Scotland, with very hard frosts.
The roads are always in pristine condition with no potholes or patchwork. Can we not get their secret surfacing here and save money on repairs?
Derek Mitchell. 13a Braehead Road, Letham, Angus.
Why do we cull hares?
Sir, The letter from Duncan Orr-Ewing of the charity RSPB (March 25) refers to culling of mountain hares on Scottish grouse moors.
Could he please explain to me the reason for culling these beautiful animals at all?
Iain McLaren. 1 Clinkerheel Drive, Birkhill.
Threat to local democracy
Sir, Can we be sure of what the Scottish National Party and the Labour Party will do after polling day?
If, as expected, they do get together in some arrangement or another after the general election, can I suggest they call themselves the National Socialist Party?
It would come as no surprise as both parties believe in the over-centralisation of politics.
The SNP has led the way. Consider the centralisation of Scotland’s police forces, the reduction in the number of sheriff courts and the attempts to remove corroboration, a principal asset of Scots law, from the statue books.
Harry Wills. Feus House, Kelock Feus, By Cupar.
Scots influence at Westminster
Sir, A disingenuous letter, Temerity of the Scots (April 2) complains of an ‘outrage’ that Scottish ministers might ‘exert a modicum of influence in the corridors of British power’.
Scottish politicians have always enjoyed a more than healthy representation at the United Kingdom Parliament, over and above Scotland’s population.
Many British Prime Ministers have been Scottish, or had Scottish roots, including the last three.
What more Scottish a surname than Cameron?
Monique S Sanders. Giffordtown, Ladybank.