Great writers simplify complexity, while amateurs complicate simple things.
I am guilty of often using difficult words in the place of their simpler cousins. In recent times, I have understood how this is actually a sign of incompetence and insecurity. Difficult words can often serve as a crutch, which writers use to hold on to their weaknesses.
Words in a sentence serve several purposes – to convey or clarify meaning, to invoke imagery or as ornamentation by way of rhyme, rhythm and alliteration. Ornaments are elegant when used purposefully. If overused, they can make our writing gaudy and unreadable.
Some cardinal rules for the choice of words in writing:
1. Simpler words are better than complicated ones
2. Fewer words are better
3. Shorter sentences are better than longer ones
Fancy words must pull themselves into sentences, and should not be pushed into them.