25th September


A substantial majority of Scots, it has emerged, speak a language about which questions were asked for the first time ever in the most recent national census.

Figures released today reveal that 4.48 million people, or eighty-four per cent of the Scottish population, talk Pish some, most or all of the time. This means that Pish is second only to English in terms of common usage.

A spokesman for the General Register Office for Scotland said that it was important to qualify this headline figure as some significant statistical discrepancies underlay it. For example, while seventy-six per cent of people over the age of sixteen said that they could talk or write Pish fluently, and sixty-five per cent said that they could immediately identify Pish when they heard it, a mere twenty-one per cent admitted to being able to understand Pish spoken or written by others.

The council areas with the highest proportions of people who talk Pish were the cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Rural areas had the lowest proportions of talkers of Pish, but this might be due, the spokesman said, to greater distances between inhabitants and high levels of taciturnity among farmers.

Professor Ranald Fowlis Wester, Director of the Institute for Talking Pish, commented: ‘I have been talking Pish all my life, and it is gratifying to see firm evidence of what I have suspected all along, that I am not alone. Indeed, it is clear that most of my fellow citizens talk Pish to a greater or lesser extent. I call on the Scottish Government to give Pish official status, to legislate for the teaching of Pish in our schools, colleges and universities, and to oblige the BBC to broadcast Pish at least six hours per day.’

The Tory MSP Findo Gasket said: ‘These figures are deeply disturbing and no credence should be placed in them. If concessions are made to talkers of Pish the floodgates will open and we will have talkers of Shite, Bollocks and Mince all clamouring for equal representation. I talk Mince all the time but I don’t expect anyone to take me seriously.’

No Scottish Government minister was available for comment in any language.

Reader: Marianne Mitchelson
Fiddle: Aidan O'Rourke
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