A 19-year-old American was behind the language fad on Scottish Wikipedia

The other day we wrote about how large parts of the low scottish edition of wikipedia are written in pretend scottish – seemingly pure copies from english wikipedia with individual words replaced from the first word in the dictionary.

The Guardian reports that it is a 19-year-old in North Carolina who is behind 49 percent of all articles in the encyclopedia. At first he added a warning in articles that they have been written by “someone whose mother tongue is not Scottish”, but eventually he stopped.

The teenager has received a lot of criticism and sadly also harassment. Some editors have suggested that the entire Scottish Wikipedia should be shut down, others that all contributions written by the teenager should be removed. But Michael Dempster, who runs the Scots Language Center in Perth and has, among other things, given a Ted talk on (and in) Low Scottish, does not agree.

– We know that this guy has put in an enormous amount of work and he has created an editable structure. It is a fantastic resource but now we need people who can speak Low Scottish who can help edit everything.

There is now a lively discussion among editors and administrators on Wikipedia about how the site should proceed, but the interest in Low Scots seems to have received a real boost from the whole spectacle.