Of all the wacky things that happened during last year's big vote my favourite was the internet discovery of a secret oil field west of Shetland.

Westminster, the conspiracy theory went, was covering up untold riches in Scottish territorial waters till after the referendum.

Now, I have no idea who cooked up this nonsense. A Putin-style unionist troll factory? Random wackadoodles on the Yes side?

But the story, whoever invented it, really did tap in to a deep distrust of the establishment in the Yes movement.

Memes, you see, can be telling. Take the latest barmy offering, this time from fringe unionists rather than Cybernats.

So-called Pouters - those who use the #snpout hashtag - think the Scottish Government spends £26m a year on Gaelic road signs in some kind of "fake Celtic" nation-building exercise.

The real cost of such signs is - drumroll - nothing.

That is because signage is simply being updated as and when it needs replaced, according to European-wide best practice on supporting minority languages and laws that predate the SNP.

The idea isn't - as sarkier commentators have suggested - that Gaels would get lost in Dumfries without signs in their own tongue. Nor is it to "force" places with Anglo-Saxon or Welsh names to be Gaelic.

No, signage is just a cost-free way of raising awareness, understanding and esteem of a minority language.

Yet seeing something written in Celtic seems to do strange things to some otherwise sane people.

Peak Gaelophobia, I hope, came last week when inaccurate reports emerged that Police Scotland had rebranded its chopper with Gaelic signage. (It's a new aircraft, there was no cost).

Cue much-repeated but bizarre chat that Gaelic has no word for such an aircraft. I suppose it doesn't, but then neither, does English, "helicopter" being a Greek-rooted term borrowed from French.

And that crazy £26m figure? Well, that appears to be the total cost of all Gaelic services, including schools. This isn't an extra cost: Gaels pay taxes too.

Politicians know this. After all, they passed the 2005 Gaelic Act giving the language parity of esteem, in theory if not practice.

Today the Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the quango that supports the language, will be in Holyrood thanking MSPs for their near universal support.

Hopefully they'll catch up with Tory Jackson Carlaw, who was among those who retweeted garbage about signs.

Remember I said memes could be telling?

I think bogus concern over the cost of this signage exposes bigotry on the No fringes.

But what does it say about unionism that those who should know better on Gaelic, such as Mr Carlaw, fail to challenge their own extremes?

The Pouter obsession with the language also underlines that many British nationalists genuinely misunderstand their SNP opponents, wrongly imaging them all to be romantics who do Gaelic night classes.

Me? I think the scorn shown for Gaels - or any minority - is unhealthy. It is also politically counter-productive. After all, those who speak Gaelic are as split on independence as the rest of us. So let's stop the bigotry.