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Issues relating to the geography and politics of the United Kingdom and nearby territories can be surprisingly complex and controversial, and the subjects raised in this FAQ regarding the Scotland article are best understood in this context. We aim to be enyclopaedic and neutral. We also recognise that reconciling diverse views can be hard work as common phrases are sometimes interpreted in different ways in different cultures. We ask that editors new to this page read the following with an open mind. Where necessary, please research the facts rather than simply jumping to conclusions based on what you "know to be true".
A1: Numerous reliable sources support the view that Scotland is a country—see for example the article entitled Countries of the United Kingdom, and a table of references at Talk:Countries of the United Kingdom/refs. This view is shared with other reputable encyclopedias. There has been a long-standing consensus to describe Scotland in this way.
This is one of the most frequent questions raised by visitors to this talk page. However, in the absence of a formal British constitution, and owing to a convoluted history of the formation of the United Kingdom, a variety of terms exist which are used to refer to Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Wales and the UK itself. Reliable and official sources support use of the word "countries", and this term has broadly won preference amongst the editing community. Note however, that a country is not the same as a "sovereign state", and that "constituent country" is also used in other parts of Wikipedia. The community endeavours to achieve an atmosphere of neutrality, compromise, and camaraderie on this issue.
A2: Widespread confusion surrounds the use of the word "nation". In standard British English, and in academic language, a nation is defined as a social group and not a division of land. This is also the approach taken in the article entitled nation, across Wikipedia and in other major encyclopedias (for example, the Scottish people and the Québécois are described as "nations"). The term Home Nations is generally used only in sporting contexts. It is not used in major reputable sources outside of sport.
A3: There have been extremely complex discussion about these matters. The Royal Standard of Scotland (commonly referred to as the "Lion Rampant") was used by the King of Scots until 1603. Today, its correct use is restricted to official representatives of The Monarch. The blue and white Saltire is the flag of Scotland and is widely used by national and local government offices and in numerous other less official capacities. As with other issues described here this outcome is to some extent a compromise solution that seems to suit all parties in that it identifies symbols of Scotland as an entity in its own right, whilst also emphasising the importance of the relationship with the United Kingdom.
A4: There is no official Scottish national anthem. Although there is no doubt that Flower of Scotland is currently amongst the most popular unofficial national anthems in Scotland, it is not the only one, nor even the longest established.
A5: Scots is spoken by 30% of the Scottish population (approximately 1.5 million individuals) according to the 1996 estimate of the General Register Office for Scotland. It is recognised by the European Union's European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. By contrast, Scottish English is a variation of standard British English. Whilst the distinction is by no means clear cut, Wikipedia policy permits the use of Scottish English words and phrases where appropriate. Scots, on the other hand, has its own site: see the Scots Wikipedia.
A7: See the article entitled "Terminology of the British Isles". Great Britain is the name of the largest island that the UK encompasses, and is not generally used in source material as the name of the sovereign state.
A8: This view is supported by some sources, but the current consensus amongst the editing community is aligned to a greater body of work which describes both Northern Ireland and Wales as countries. However, the terms are not all mutually exclusive: a country can also be a principality or a province, and these terms are mentioned throughout Wikipedia as alternative names in afternotes.
|This subject is featured in the Outline of Scotland, which is incomplete and needs further development. That page, along with the other outlines on Wikipedia, is part of Wikipedia's Outline of Knowledge, which also serves as the table of contents or site map of Wikipedia.|
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Sorry I tried to update the population figure but I mucked it up. Here's the new figure and the reference. 5,295,000 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-20754750
26th September - PLEASE. This article needs to be edited with regards to the recent referendum on independence and the issue of Scotland's status as a part of the United Kingdom. At the moment it uses language which is biased in favour of unionism and contains factual inaccuracies and un-sourced assertions.
EXAMPLE 1: "Regarding internal affairs, the Scottish Government had expressed unwillingness to admit the same right to inhabitants of Shetland and Orkney, where the constitutional status of the isles is debated and where parts of the population desire autonomy within the UK, independence of their own or reunification with the Kingdom of Norway." If this is so, please show that there is a movement in the Northern Isles campaigning for reunification or autonomy. It is sloppy just to write that "parts of the population desire" when there is no political movement afoot to achieve these aims.
EXAMPLE 2: "In May 2011, the Scottish National Party won an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament; as a result a referendum on Scottish independence took place on 18 September 2014, in which independence was rejected by a majority of the Scottish electorate." - I would suggest that a reasonable change to this paragraph would be: "...as a result a referendum on Scottish independence took place on September 18th 2014. A 55% majority of participants voted "no" against 45% who voted 'yes' to the question on the ballot: "Should Scotland be an independent country." I feel that this wording is more accurate and less emotive than the word "rejected". It also offers a concise perspective on what the final result was without discriminating for or against either position.
- Example 1 could certainly use a reference. Example two seems correct to me - this article is about Scotland, and Scotland did indeed reject independence. "Reject" is accurate and the correct word to use here, it has negative connotations but the result was "no", which is by it's very definition, negative. We need to be careful not to blur the lines between "negative as opposed to positive" and "negative as opposed to affirmative".
- Similarly the detail of the result should be kept to the Referendum article, the important fact for this article is to state that there was a referendum which led to Scotland remaining in the UK... any inclusion of the breakdown of the result adds emotion rather than removing it, as we can see in the debates raging since, and risks a reduction of clarity/conciseness. Audigex (talk) 09:51, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
7 December I agree with the comments above also please correct the following:
"in which independence was rejected by a majority of the Scottish electorate"
- I've added the voter turnout figure, replaced the ref link with a better (IMHO) one and made the language 'neutral'. Trust this does the job. Rab-k (talk) 02:55, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
The infobox currently implies English, Scots, and Scottish Gaelic are 'official languages'. Is there a source for this? The Scottish Government's Gaelic Language Plan states:
'The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 was passed by the Scottish Parliament with a view to securing the status of the Gaelic language as an official language of Scotland commanding equal respect to the English language.'
Does that imply English is already an official language of Scotland? The article current implies that English is an official language of Scotland because it's an official language of the UK, however that isn't considered at Northern Ireland's article. Could we use the Gaelic Language Plan as a source for English as an official language? And then bold 'Recognised regional languages' so that it is no longer implied that Scottish Gaelic and Scots are official languages?
Rob (talk | contribs) 16:15, 22 September 2014 (UTC)