Granted, my tolerance for substandard and iffy English is lower than most people’s, so bear with me.
Here is an example of a fancy-schmancy word that adds nothing to your message; this one you can throw away:
1. Gift—“My grandmother gifted me with her small gold locket.” Why use “gifted” when we already have a perfectly good word that is understood in every instance?
The following words don’t need to be discarded, but remember to use alternatives every now and then.
2. Purchase—Realize a clear, everyday alternative exists. As a fan of the “Antiques Roadshow,” I never, ever have heard anyone say they “bought” an object.
3. Prior to—Where, oh where, has “before” gone? Again, “prior to” appears 97.2% of the time (my estimate). It gets annoyingly repetitive.
4. Proceed—No one “goes” anywhere these days, but a whole lot of “proceeding” is taking place. Is “go” too simple? If you think so, tell me why. Do you think others might decide you are simple minded? Will they think you are Einstein’s heir if you always “proceed”?
5. Exit—I think it is perfectly fine to “leave” a building or a car or anything else you get out of.