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Scots branded 'Blunt'

Scots branded 'Blunt'

An American travel guide which brands Scots as less than polite, Ben Nevis nothing more than a big hill and Loch Ness as boring, has been slammed by critics - the book, entitled Culture Smart! Scotland, promises readers a guide on how to avoid making gaffes when visiting Scotland, but has instead been accused of painting an inaccurate and unflattering picture of the country...

The guide claims: 'They often have very firm opinions and are prepared to defend them forcefully.

'To the unprepared their bluntness may seem downright rude. But be warned that these same forthright people can be very touchy and extremely easily offended if you speak to them in the same vein.'

It also refers to Scots as obsessed with the supernatural referring to fairies as their 'guide neighbours' and planting Rowan trees outside their homes to ward off witches.

However, according to the guide, sectarian divide is so strong in the country that 'some Protestants will not allow green objects within their home.'

Author John Scotney does not just give opinions on the temperament of Scots, he also has some insights into the country's best tourist attractions.

He writes: 'People speak of the 'mountains' of Scotland but by international standards Ben Nevis and Ben Macdhui are no more than biggish hills.

'And Loch Ness is one of Scotland's duller lochs.'

The guidebook has been criticised for a catalogue of inaccuracies.

Whilst giving a brief history of the country the tome declares Scotland was once ruled by the 'Steward' dynasty, misspells Shetlands Viking pageant as 'Up Helly Ya' and states national icon, Robert Burns had 'nothing much to say about religion.'

The Ayrshire born poet's work, Holy Willie's Prayer, is widely regarded as being one of the most persuasive attacks on the hypocrisy of organised religion.

The book also informs readers that porridge, followed by Arbroath Smokies remains the 'standard breakfast' and that Highlanders have 'no great love for pork.'

Yesterday Mr Scotney apologised for his inaccuracies.

The BBC producer and historian said: 'One does not like to make mistakes but I take full responsibility.

'I am not particularly worried about one or two of them but I'm rather embarrassed by some of the others.

'I hope people in Scotland won't think too badly of me.'

Publishers, Kuperard added: 'These are embarrassing mistakes which will be corrected in the next edition.'


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