You guys are killing me. Takes me back to my English lit study days.
As with so many things, there's a medium involved. I'm a (semi) professional writer and a professional English teacher, so I do know a couple of things and I have to watch myself to keep the convoluted sentence structures down, though I've pretty much gotten away from the overly flowery language.
Louis's examples are interesting. No one besides my Faulkner-loving English professor believes that this is any good:
Before the proceedings could be commenced by the participants who had assembled for the colloquium, it was of paramount importance that the agenda be read by the speaker.
His "plain English" version was, I believe, perfectly acceptable (though the meaning changes slightly):
Before the meeting could get started, the speaker had to read the agenda.
But some people want to argue about the use of words like "agenda" and even "speaker" in favor of moron-class words like "dude" and "stuff," pulling all of the meaning out of it in favor of sticking to their 100-word vocabulary.
And there's always txt-talk, which I think is turning vast swaths of society into blithering illiterates:
b4 d mtg cUd gt strtd, dude had 2 read d papr.
I'm all in favor of clear, everyday language, whether it be English, Flemish, or Tagalog, but I won't sink to the level of the cretinous language that passes for English that so many people speak. A pox on their houses.