Once again I have to sit back and laugh at debates people have over writing. This time it’s about the words and how complex and simple the ones used are. I have a simple philosophy: use the right word for the right time. And how do I do this? I constantly look up words, even the ones I know, in the dictionary and see how they’re used. I’ve found that there’s been many a time where the word I thought worked really didn’t fit once I studied it to check its proper usage.
Now, with that said do you need to use the complex word when a simple will do? Personally I lean towards the simple and try to make each line easy to read. Why? So the reader has a quick and enjoyable read. However, you’ll find that this is a debate that writers have had over the years. Hell, Faulkner and Hemmingway argued back in forth over this as part of their feud. In fact, Hemingway’s got a quote on it:
“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.”
I am from the Hemingway school of thought: there are simpler words to use. In fact, try too hard to sound smart and one comes across as pompous and stupid. So, with that said, always make sure the right word is used at the right time.