Cottage...or Cabin? Consider Regional Differences in Your Word Choice
You know that small house in the country? The rustic, oftentimes romanticized one, usually nestled by a lake? The place where people like to relax, read, sleep, and drink beer on weekends? (And maybe swim or ski?) Well, I call it a cottage. And I'm not the only one My English-speaking friends and family members in and around eastern, southern and central Ontario also call it a cottage. And apparently, so do folks in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. But not everyone does. Same country, same language, different vocabulary While researching about cottages for an client’s e-newsletter article, I learned that English-speaking folks across Canada call it:
a cabin in Newfoundland, British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan;
camp in Northwestern Ontario;
and the lake in Manitoba (as to whether the building must reside by a lake to be called "the lake," I have no idea).
Lesson learned: always consider regional differences! Even if your audience speaks the same language, they may not use the same vocabulary. Small nuances that demonstrate you understand your audience – such as communicating in a way that acknowledges regional differences – can go a long way in appealing to their heads and hearts (and, hopefully, their wallets). Need content...but hate writing? You're not alone. Comment below or contact me to discuss your content needs!
"Ottawa writer for hire" Lindsey McCaffrey is an award-winning freelance writer, editor and content strategist for businesses and non-profit organizations. Learn more about Lindsey here.