I am still quasi off the grid, in San Antonio now, surrounded by boxes. This is a truncated repost from my blog from back in November, so it might look familiar to some of y'all.
I remember when I first started writing I thought one of the marks of a good writer was the size of his vocabulary. And while I think this still holds some truth, I believe that a mark of a good writer is limiting this vocabulary -- i.e., knowing your audience. In my first novel I wrote some odd years ago, I used the words ambagious, sententious (maybe a 5 dollar word), apotheosis, marmoreal (this is one I actually might still use b/c I like it so much :), estrade... to name a few (all off the top of my head, perhaps sadly)... now, one of these words might be alright every 100 hundred pages (emphasis on might, and dependent on target audience), but you don't want your readers having to struggle to determine what words mean (this isn't the SAT... we're not testing vocab and we want paragraph comprehension to be fairly straightforward, usually -- unless you're in the lit fic realm, which is above my pay grade).
Sure, some of the above words might be sexier to dictionary hounds and entertainment-article writers, but they're obtuse and can easily be replaced by more straightforward words that still might be worth more than a penny (e.g., tortuous, paragon, marble-like -- see, marmoreal's prettier :) -- dais) and won't confound your readers.