Here’s Joanna’s reply.
“Instead of saying something’s ‘big’, you say it’s ‘gargantuan’. Instead of saying something’s ‘good’, you say it’s ‘magnificent’.
“Obviously, there are times when this is appropriate. [But] there are times when it makes your writing read like it’s been fed through a thesaurus machine.
“I spend all my time taking wow words out of students’ writing, because they’re ugly most of the time. It’s a focus on the rules, rather than on the story.”
Writing this post reminded me of Ken Robinson’s brilliant TED talk from 2006 that asked, Do schools kill creativity? Well worth (re)watching.