Z is for Zygoma


by Lillian Csernica on April 29, 2013

Most of the people you meet will have a zygoma. You have one. I have one. Supermodels are often known for their zygomatic arches. I have read one description of the zygoma as being slanted like the blades of a scissors.

Do you, at this point, have any idea what a zygoma is? If you’re not in some field related to medicine, it’s a safe bet that you don’t.

The zygoma is the cheekbone.

Now you’re probably asking yourself, “What could the zygoma possibly have to do with writing technique?” I’m glad you asked that. The answer is simple.

  1. Do not use technical jargon unless you can create a context that communicates the meaning to the reader.
  2. You can explain the term in dialogue, but please don’t make it one character lecturing another. Dramatize!

It’s important to write vivid and realistic detail. If your characters have advanced degrees or they’re specialists in their fields, they will probably be using some technical jargon in their interior narrative, their dialogue, or any writing they do in the course of the story (journal, letters, memos, etc.). Context is everything.

Let’s make up a word: rumtinkflan.

Noun: My mechanic told me that it takes three weeks to get a rumtinkflan. There’s only one factory in Austria that still makes them.

Verb: If you try to rumtinkflan me again, I will take that serving fork and show you the color of your liver!

Adjective: The roses really are quite rumtinkflan this year, don’t you think?

Adverb: “Please, Jonathan, you can’t leave now!” she cried rumtinkflanly.

Yes, this is very silly. Does it make the point? I hope so. Put the technical jargon, foreign word, medical term, or invented jibberish into a context that gives the reader some clues about form and function.

This brings me to the end of the A to Z Challenge! Thank you all for joining me on this, my first blogging challenge! Please stay tuned for the Challenge Reflections post, where I shall give my post-game thoughts and analysis.

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12 Comments

Filed under Blog challenges, fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Writing

12 responses to “Z is for Zygoma

  1. A very good reminder … don’t use technical terms in writing, unless perhaps it is a medical book. Great word.

    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

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  2. Thank you! I wanted to come up with something unusual for the grand finale!

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  3. LOL !
    U have rumtinkflaned me now 🙂 I dont understand such jargon . Truly said . Its better not to use
    Dropping by from A to Z
    good day

    Like

  4. Congrats on completing the A to Z challenge! I am glad you made it!


    Tim Brannan
    The Other Side and The Witch
    Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

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  5. Great advice and post.
    Congrats on reaching the end of the challenge.

    Like

  6. Fun lighthearted post! I’m laughing my rumtinkflan off.
    Congratulations on finishing the A-Z!

    Like

  7. Pingback: Running the Marathon with Team A to Z | Hopes and Dreams: My Writing and My Sons

  8. Pingback: 5 Interesting Links for 08-23-2013 | Tales to Tide You Over

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