John Michie suggests that many Scots words can send a chill down your spine. Words like 'mirk', 'smoored', and 'thrappled' and the phrase ‘Howe Dumb Dead’ combine to link crime and murder with traditional Scottish language.

This clip is from:
Blethering Scots, 1
First broadcast:
20 June 2011

This clip is useful when studying atmosphere in fictional texts. It could be used as an illustrative example of effective vocabulary choices.
It is also helpful as a creative writing stimulus to encourage students to reflect on language choices they make as writers. Students could construct their own murder mystery story relying on their knowledge of Scots words when describing the crime scene. Students could label a skeleton and take on the role of the forensics expert, outlining the wounds sustained by the victim, using Scots words. This clip could be linked to extracts from crime fiction, such as Ian Rankin or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Students could be asked to rewrite as much of the scene as they can in Scots.