Sunday, April 9, 2017

NaPoWriMo 2017 - Prompt #9 - Jargon

A slice of the gorgeous meteorite Esquel, with its clasts of
gem-like peridot (olivine).  Meteorites are often studied by
Cosmochemists to learn more about the early Solar System.
Continuing along the idea of language, our next prompt deals with "jargon."  Jargon is a unique vocabulary that is commonly associated with a job or discipline.  For example, let's look at some of the words found in the discipline of Cosmochemistry.  There we find words and phrases such as:  ternary diagram, cosmic abundances, chondritic, CRE age, presolar grains, and mass spectrometry.  These words all have a very specific meaning to me, and help me understand more precisely what another scientist is trying to say.  However, if I were not familiar with Cosmochemistry, many of these terms would mean nothing, or worse, create misconceptions.  Jargon can include slang or an in-group language.  It can separate those who are included from those who are not.  Or it can include more people by attempting to specifically clarify meanings.

Prompt #9:  Write a poem that uses at least one word of jargon from a single discipline or source.  Are you using this word to be more specific, that is, to better communicate an idea?  Or are you using it to create a lack of understanding and distance?  Is your use of jargon one that creates an air of authority or expertise around your poem?  Is the language used to protect and shield, or to open and reveal?  Consider these questions when crafting your poem.

For something more specific, and a little bit of fun, use a rhyme scheme in your poem where one or more jargon words are rhymed.  Need some additional fun?  When crafting your poem, use a discipline with which you are completely unfamiliar, so that is requires some research to write.

The fields of science fiction, horror, and fantasy have their own jargon.  So perhaps I'll look there for a bit of inspiration, myself.

Did you use this or one of our other prompts?  You can post your poem in our comments, if you like.

Happy Writing!

Prompts crafted by:
J.A. Grier, Senior Scientist and Education Specialist, Planetary Science Institute
Amy Grier, Managing Editor, Solstice Literary Magazine
Image Credits:  Esquel  CC 2.0 Wikimedia Commons

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