‘Avoid Fancy Words’ is one of the injunctions in ‘The Elements of Style’. The British novelist Will Self…
(this guy, who is cordially invited for tea and banter)
…says he has often been criticized by readers who, whether they absorbed the lesson from Strunk and White or not, take the sentiment as gospel:
‘“I have to look them up in a dictionary”, they complain – as if this were some kind of torture.’
‘[W]e are repeatedly told … that athletes capable of the most difficult feats offer vital inspiration to couch-potato kids,’ Self writes. ‘Let the same be the case for mental athletics, because without the bar to jump over set high, we’ll all end up simply playing in the sandpit.’
*The piece is transcribed from a radio feature.
Extra Nerd Points!
What two elements of the content above indicate that this text originally came from a UK publication? I’ll give you a hint: “British novelist” doesn’t count.