Originally Posted by Garage/Surf Rock
You can often substitute compare for juxtapose, faded or old for patina, and sort or organize for reconcile. Juxtaposition used to speak of something vis-a-vis something else is just pretentious sounding. It works best in a situation where there is like a pinhead dwarf standing next to a Marfans giant, not to speak of two different types of sneakers. Patina used for jeans? That's stupid. Patina is mostly used for describing a layer of corrosion or oxidation that forms over years and years on surfaces of metal objects. And reconcile used to say put files in order? Dumb. It's a matter of using everyday words where they will suffice. While the above uses are technically not wrong, they sound pretentious are actually less precise than their simpler counterparts.
It has always seemed to me that while there are many general words, such as 'compare,' these words have a host of synonyms that carry unique nuance, which allows language to have specificity, and color, and emotion, and clarity. I agree that it is a perversion of language to swap out one of these more specific (and perhaps elegant) words to elevate stupidity, as in your 'reconciliation' example, but I also worry that the charge of pretense will be a blow to the appropriate use of better language. That charge seems very powerful in the U.S., where so many people do not like to be seen as better than 'just folks.' Neither elegance nor grace need be an assault on humanity. ~ H