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Do they really mean us?

SO Scots are kilt-wearing, ginger, dour, miserly types, are they?

Did we hear that right? Actually, the chances are, we probably didn't.

Research by scientists at the University of Aberdeen suggests that such stereotyping is a myth created by the way social information evolves, developing through a type of cultural Chinese Whispers.

Many of us have played the party game before in which there is a sequence of repetitions of a story, each one differing slightly from the original, so that the final telling bears only a scant resemblance to the original.

One famous, though apocryphal, example, said to have originated on the battlefield, has the message "Send reinforcements, we're going to advance" becoming "Send three and fourpence, we're going to a dance".

That final rendition, obviously, is arrant nonsense.

As is the one about the Scots, as anyone who watched the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, for example, will know. Certainly not dour. And with that Unicef initiative, the exact opposite of miserly.

We will, however, concede the bit about the kilts.

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