It’s a good title for an excellent study from Princeton on the effects of using more complicated words in your writing. Basically, simple writing will make readers think you’re smarter.
The study backs up what I’ve suspected for a long time. Overly complicated writing is the nouveau riche of the literary world. Flashing around all that glitzy language makes you look like you’ve got something to prove.
In all honesty, I love a fancy word here and there. I delight in the irony of obfuscate, and thrill when I’m called an erstwhile actor, or affectionately labelled a poltroon. But the sad truth remains that if you’re writing for communication, simple words are better (unless, of course, you’re writing exclusively for an audience of lexicographers).