In a blow to Alex Salmond's promise to bring Scotland into the 21st century, the translation software that enables the rest of the world to understand what Scotch folk say, has broken down.
The software, named Rabbie Burns, after a famous poet, enables the rest of us to understand what Scottish people say, and has been working for several decades. It is installed in every telephone network in the western world and a version can be found in radios and televisions, too.
Thanks to advanced, image-recognition software, whenever anyone in the western world is approached by a red-haired man in a kilt, the translation software automatically runs and beams a translation of the Scotchman's grunts and fart noises into perfect English. Different accents are used, according to the facial features of the Scotchman, ranging from "posh Morningside" for clean people who look educated to "gutteral Barlinnie", for the hairier members of the Scottish community.
Nobody knows why the software has stopped working, though conspiracy theorists believe it is part of a "Die Hard 4" style "firesale". Government scientists say it is "just a glitch".
Cabinet meetings have had to be abandoned, as nobody can understand Prime Minister Gordon Brown any more. Many Scotchfolk, owing to their inherently intimidating appearances, have collected an unexpected bonus, namely people mistake them for robbers and are handing over money to them,
Scientists believe that they will be able to restore the "Rabbie Burns" system by the end of the week, but by then the financial damage could be inestimable.