I tried to slip verisimilitude into a sentence today, and as much as I do know how to use it in a sentence, and I know what it means, it just doesn’t sound right. So if I won’t use a word in my speech, should I use it in a novel (even non-speech parts of novels)?
At what point does a big word nail the meaning, perfectly portraying the feeling you were going for, compared to when it just makes you sound like you are trying to be clever by sending the rest of us off to check the dictionary? I guess this all comes back, again, to the reader.
For me, I like it when you can gather what a word means by its usage (and I will check the dictionary just to make sure I’ve understood it correctly), which also shows if the author really does know what it means. I also think that if you haven’t collected one new word from a novel, then you have been a little cheated.
So bring on the wankey words, we need to keep them alive! But please don’t let me drown in them when I’m reading your story, or else I’ll find I’ve made my way further into the Macquarie than I have into your book!