I've written previously about finding exactly the right word. Ali suggested poetry as a means to really understanding and gaining expertise at that. I've heard other writers defend their use of extremely obscure words as wanting to use "the exact right word" to convey an idea.
When does "using exactly the right word" become "showing off"? In responding to a comment on a previous post, I used stentorian instead of saying loud, booming, etc. It's a word that came to mind as the right one, but subsequent comments point to it being unfamiliar (although those comments may have been teasing). So, should I have said "loud and commanding voice"?
Would coming across one or two words you weren't familiar with throw you out of a story? I'm not talking about fantasy or science fiction where there are usually new words made up by the author. But even there I guess it could get annoying. How do you, as a writer, find that balance?