Hazlitt on Fitting Words

If you don't know who William Hazlitt is, that's OK. You've got time to learn. So do I: I don't know much about him, and I haven't read much of his stuff.

For the time being, let me share with you this excerpt from his essay On Familiar Style:

Any one may mouth out a passage with a theatrical cadence, or get upon stilts to tell his thoughts; but to write or speak with propriety and simplicity is a more difficult task.
 
Thus it is easy to affect a pompous style, to use a word twice as big as the thing you want to express: it is not so easy to pitch upon the very word that exactly fits.
 
Out of eight or ten words equally common, equally intelligible, with nearly equal pretensions, it is a matter of some nicety and discrimination to pick out the very one the preferableness of which is scarcely perceptible but decisive.

The verbal craftsman picks the word that fits.