I love reading novels. Rarely is there a reference to printing and/or typography. I was delighted to read this from Conceit by Mary Novik,
“But Pegge listened. She could hear the bodies decomposing under her feet in the privacy of tombs. Her hearing was acute, able to pick out threads of silence, like the sub-human sounds of worms extruding casts or like the silent descenders in a printer’s font.”
A descender, rarely silent, is any part of a lowercase letter that extends below the baseline, found for example in g, j, p, q, etc.
You can find out more about typeface anatomy at FontShop.