On Vocabulary: or What the Rest of Us Call ‘Words’

Timeless advice for writers is to not use long and difficult words when short and easy ones suffice.

I see lots of otherwise brilliant people writing due to when they mean “because”, complex when they mean “complicated”, in order to or towards when they mean “to”, in the midst when they mean “in the middle”, or just overusing indirect language. Academics are especially good at this — as are undergraduates trying to copy them — thinking that the more complicated and high-flying their sentences, the better the text must be.