Emily (mysticpenguin) wrote in little_details,
Emily
mysticpenguin
little_details

Language detail

I suppose that this is a matter of opinion as much as anything else.

I have an urban fantasy I'm working on. One my my characters is a magic junkie. I'm not sure whether it's part of his addiction, but one of the things he's into is bizarre magical body modification. He's had his eyes done--essentially the same effect as permanent colored contacts--and avian wings built in. They're almost purely ornamental, but he's ridiculously vain about them. My only real problem with this is that I boxed myself into writing a scene from his point of view, and I can't quite figure out how he would talk about them.

I know that birds' wings have more or less the same basic anatomical structure as a human arm, but I'm not sure if the language to describe it is the same. Something like "My supracoracoideus hurts" (it's the muscle that does most of the work on take-off) isn't really the type of dialogue you'd expect from a guy who only heard about the procedure and said "Ooh, pretty. Want!" Or anyone who isn't an ornithologist, really. So, what? Does the arm metaphor still hold--"wing-shoulder" and like that? Or could I get away with being lazy and referring to them in terms of "upper/lower wing"?
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