From the title of this post, you might think I'm going to talk about swearing, or graphic sex in books. Nope. Something much more wholesome and edified. I want to know if I should apologize for my everyday vocabulary.
Recently, a critique partner lambasted me for using "$10 words instead of $0.50 words". I was told to get rid of all the long, fancy words. And my hackles immediately rose.
I don't speak - or write - like a walking encyclopedia. I use contractions, slang, you name it. In other words, I'm fairly certain I sound normal. The editors who published my two books certainly never complained. And in this particular case, the two words that set her off were 'loquacious' and 'capricious'. Yes, I was trying to indicate a higher level of education for the speaker than might be readily apparent to the other characters. So far, I have exactly two of these big-ticket words in my 61,000 and growing words.
So here's my question - do I need to dumb it down? Doesn't that insult the reading public as a whole? After all, it isn't as if I'm using obsolete words like icasm or scaevity. (Both wonderful, almost obsolete words - go to http://www.savethewords.org/ to learn more). The definition of both the offending words is readily apparent in the context. They are both words with which any graduating high school senior should be familiar. Frankly, I feel that if they don't know what they are, it is about time they opened a dictionary and learned! But, I could be wrong. Let me know what you think?