Don't shrink from the polysyllable
Carol Fisher Saller isn’t afraid of Big Words. Neither am I. Neither should you be.* Read what she has to say about them at The Subversive Copy Editor.
What she is trying to tell you in that post is a variation on a familiar theme: In writing and editing, there is no substitute for judgment. Many short words pack a punch, and many words of Anglo-Saxon origin can be more effective than Latinate counterparts. But that isn’t always the case.
You have to match up vocabulary with subject, audience, occasion, and publication, and that requires developing judgment. If you heed those one-sentence oversimplifications and dogmas about writing — always pick the short word rather than the long one; never use the passive voice, &c., &c. — you will deny yourself the full resources of the language.
*Of course, best beloved, if you weren’t comfortable with Big Words, you wouldn’t be reading this blog in the first place. Have I told you recently how much I enjoy having a literate audience?