This is more an observation than a rebut to the article linked by David in the previous post.
Will Self says that “the supposedly difficult language” he uses in his stories and novels “seems to have become more and more offensive to readers.” It’s not the language that’s offensive, guv'nor. It’s the attitude, if you know what I mean. I'll spell it out for you. When you use a word like “milt” you’re saying: I know this word and you don’t, and you should know it because it’s good for you, and if you’re too lazy to look it up, then I’m not interested in trying to communicate with you. The proper response to that kind of arrogance is an Anglo-Saxon expletive followed by “you.” Writing is an act of communication with a reader, so damn right we’re offended when we find that you’re actually masturbating for our apparent entertainment and edification.
Of course Self is right about the richness of English vocabulary. And thanks to modern technology, perhaps there are ways to bring its more arcane elements back into play. Since World War II, there have been continuing official moves here in Japan to limit or abolish Chinese characters in the interests of effective communication. But today, thanks to technology (type in word, out come its kanjis) there are more obscure Chinese characters being used than ever.
So don’t be a wanker, Will. If you write stuff like
I'd observe that English, being a mishmash of several different languages, had a large and exciting vocabulary, and that it seemed a shame not to use it - especially given that it went on growing all the time, spawning argot and specialist terminology as freely as an oyster does its milt.
and you want us to understand, enjoy and learn, give us a click-through definition.