It’s marvellous being a copywriter in Cornwall. And no, it’s not because I get to bunk off and go surfing– it’s because the language down here is an absolute joy.

So, when a friend posted a link to 22 words that take on a whole new meaning in Cornwall, I just had to share it.

There is a vaguely serious point in this – be aware of your vocabulary and your idiom, the specific, figurative expressions found in your language and dialect.  I once wrote a couple of web pages for a (Cornish) client who works mainly with American customers. Going through my first draft with him I was pulled up by the amount of UK English idioms I had peppered the text with. Like “pulled up”, and “peppered”.

In these global days, it’s always worth thinking about just how many versions of our lovely language there are. Phrases that we use every day may make very little sense to another English speaker. I wrote the web copy for an international marine company recently, and had to be extremely conscious that as well as UK and US English, many readers would not be first-language English speakers. This probably means that their grammar and vocabulary are far better than mine, however I may inadvertently use throw-away terms (there’s one) that they are unfamiliar with.

At the moment, all my clients are British, with mainly British-based clients themselves. Even so, it’s worth remembering that clarity is the most important thing, and elaborate idioms are of very little benefit. And as most of my clients are from the other side of the Tamar they may get busy with Track Changes if I start copywriting in Cornish – “We can deliver anywhere upcountry: first class, guaranteed next day or dreckly”…

“Madder do ee?”*  Well yes, it does.


*Does it matter?