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21 Days to a Bigger Vocabulary - Day 3

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Tuesday, 18 December 2007

cicatrix

Pronunciation:  SIK-uh-TRIKS or si-KAY-triks

Definition:  New tissue that forms over a wound and later contracts into a scar. 

This is a cool sounding word of limited use to the layperson.  For general fiction writers, unless you're composing poetry, if you need to mention a scar then say scar.  Any word that should be used in everyday conversation would most certainly appear in a sentence somewhere in the first 5 pages of a Google search.  Not so, cicatrix.  Aside from appearing in medical journals, the only other search results pointed to a company and a band sporting the name.  The fact that there is a company and a band named Cicatrix, though, proves there are a few of us out here who get our jollies by scouring the Webster's for obscure words.

Cicatrix can be a fine thread to weave into a fantasy yarn.  The term vicious cicatrix refers to a scar that results in permanent deformity or loss of use of a limb.  Vicious Cicatrix - now there's potential. 

When would you use cicatrix?  1.  If you want to sound like a doctor, but can't afford a night at the Holiday Inn Express; 2.  To get a discount on a tree at Home Depot.  Sure, you know that kid who's there to help answer your question is also pre-authorized to give a discount.  Inform him that this mark on the trunk is going to result in a vicious cicatrix; 3.  I don't know...come up with a joke:  Did you hear the one about the doctor, the arborist and the crossword puzzle geek who walked into Starbucks... Is that your nose or a vicious cicatrix?  (HAhahaha)

 
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