In an extraordinary and somewhat devastating discovery, it turns out virtually the entire Scots version of Wikipedia, comprising more than 57,000 articles, was written, edited or overseen by a netizen who clearly had nae the slightest idea about the language.
The user is not only a prolific contributor, they are an administrator of sco.wikipedia.org, having created, modified or guided the vast majority of its pages in more than 200,000 edits. The result is tens of thousands of articles in English with occasional, and often ridiculous, letter changes – such as replacing a “y” with “ee.”
That’s right, someone doing a bad impression of a Scottish accent and then writing it down phonetically is the chief maintainer of the online encyclopedia’s Scots edition. And although this has been carrying on for the best part of a decade, the world was mostly oblivious to it all – until today, when one Redditor finally had enough of reading terrible Scots and decided to look behind the curtain.
“People embroiled in linguistic debates about Scots often use it as evidence that Scots isn’t a language, and if it was an accurate representation, they’d probably be right,” noted the Reddit sleuth, Ultach. “It uses almost no Scots vocabulary, what little it does use is usually incorrect, and the grammar always conforms to standard English, not Scots.”