An American teenager who, by the way, doesn’t speak Scots. They copy Wikipedia articles written in English and use a dictionary to change a few words here and there, and they’ve been doing this at such a steady pace they’ve churned out tens of thousands of articles and hundreds of thousands of edits, and are the sole author on about a third of that version of the wiki.
The problem is that this person cannot speak Scots. I don’t mean this in a mean spirited or gatekeeping way where they’re trying their best but are making a few mistakes, I mean they don’t seem to have any knowledge of the language at all. They misuse common elements of Scots that are even regularly found in Scots English like “syne” and “an aw”, they invent words which look like phonetically written English words spoken in a Scottish accent like “knaw” (an actual Middle Scots word to be fair, thanks u/lauchteuch9) instead of “ken”, “saive” instead of “hain” and “moost” instead of “maun”, sometimes they just sometimes leave entire English phrases and sentences in the articles without even making an attempt at Scottifying them, nevermind using the appropriate Scots words. Scots words that aren’t also found in an alternate form in English are barely ever used, and never used correctly. Scots grammar is simply not used, there are only Scots words inserted at random into English sentences.
Wow. As a kid, this person must have stumbled into Wikipedia editing, discovered a formula for getting credit as an “author” by rote copying, and then turned it into a matter of personal prestige. He probably thinks he’s making a legitimate contribution, but it’s “simply English, spelled poorly, likely intending to resemble a stereotypical Scottish accent.”
This is my problem with Wikipedia, and why I tell students it’s not an acceptable source for their papers. The lack of professional oversight means some people’s enthusiasms take over and are used as a substitute for expertise, and you can never be sure when that has happened, so you have to double- and triple-check everything the wiki says — you can use it in an initial exploration, but mainly to pluck out additional sources and rely more on authenticated publications.
This is the first I’ve heard of such wholesale fabrication, though.
This is going to sound incredibly hyperbolic and hysterical but I think this person has possibly done more damage to the Scots language than anyone else in history. They engaged in cultural vandalism on a hitherto unprecedented scale. Wikipedia is one of the most visited websites in the world. Potentially tens of millions of people now think that Scots is a horribly mangled rendering of English rather than being a language or dialect of its own, all because they were exposed to a mangled rendering of English being called Scots by this person and by this person alone. They wrote such a massive volume of this pretend Scots that anyone writing in genuine Scots would have their work drowned out by rubbish. Or, even worse, edited to be more in line with said rubbish.
Now I’m wondering what Wikipedia will do about this massive vandalism. Are they just going to rely on crowd-sourcing the cleanup? Will they even try to do a cleanup?