The following is a post from my LiveJournal I thought worthy of re-posting here:
My friend Crys made an interesting point. Why do some of us (I am a huge offender here) use words that others might not understand?
Is it to make people feel stupid?
Is it to obfuscate the truth?
See how I just offended in the last sentence. Obfuscate is a fancy word meaning to hide or obscure from sight. I can't speak for my fellow offenders but for me these words are in my day to day vernacular (vocabulary) and I use them in normal conversation because for me they most accurately describe what I am thinking. I had girlfriends more than once in high school need dictionaries when reading love letters from me.
Is it a form of intellectual elitism (smart kid thinks he's better than you)? Sadly it might be, although it is often unintentional.
Our usage of words often defines who we are, especially online. When I want to be taken seriously, I up the vocabulary a level. Sadly I often lose people because for me upping the vocabulary a bit throws my writing into the college thesis level.
So for myself and all my fellow intellectual obfuscators, I'm sorry.
Please forgive our verbal flatulence.