Can they "coont" in "Eberdeen"? It appears not. Councillors last week heard of difficulties over teaching mathematics and science but officials themselves seem to be in a tizzy over the precise number of people in the Granite City.
In a paper on community education, the population is put at 204,885, based on the 1991 census. By the next paper, on special educational needs, it had surged to 218,220. A check with the city fathers, however, revealed a third version of the 1991 count: 214,949.
Either Aberdonians move house rapidly or statistics are at it again. And if you want to know the 1996 figure, it is 219,752. Want to bet on it?