Stick with the Simpler Word

Avoid bizarre, grandiose and made-up words so readers don't view your writing like a strange Salvador Dali painting.A great way to prove you are a bad writer is to convert nouns into odd-sounding verbs, overlooking simpler word choices that would convey your meaning just as well and a lot less pretentiously.

Good examples provided by Austin-based writer Laura Hale Brockway are "incentivize," "synergize" and "operationalize," which can be nicely replaced, respectively, with motivate, work together and start.

There is enough jargon in many business communications without adding pseudo-words that sound stiff and can put off readers. Using these kinds of uppity words is like wearing your high school letter jacket to college.

Word invention can be good if the word you create serves a purpose. Shakespeare created a lexicon of new words that added meaning and depth to the English language. However, the word "ideate" doesn't add much meaning or depth to the more common word "think," so why use it?

For that matter, why type "utilize" when "use" works just as well and seems less stilted. 

Strange vocalizations can have the opposite effect of what you intend. Just ask word-challenged Sarah Palin. 

It is safer and usually better writing to pick the well-used word, which is less likely to cause readers to roll their eyes and more likely to convey what you mean to say.

Good writing is tight and clean. It relies on word choices and sentences that paint pictures in the minds of readers. The last thing you want to do is conjure up through your word selection grandiose and bizarre images like in Salvador Dali's paintings.