In the draft for VERTIGO, I referred to a character as having "spunk." When editorial comments came back, my editor had struck the word out with the note, "You can't can't call this character 'spunky.' She has gravitas - she does not have spunk."
I conceded the point and headed off to thesaurus.com to search for a more applicable word that still captured the spirit with which it was intended. Almost immediately my eyes lit upon it:
I loved it. Such a beautiful word, with rhythm and style; it had a spunk all its own, especially when spoken aloud.
So I changed "spunk" to "perspicacity." The next round of edits came back with it struck out and the note, "You can't call her that, either. In fact, you can't use the word perspicacity. Ever."
Now, one of the many advantages of being an independent author is that I'm the final arbiter on all decisions. An editor can suggest, but the choice is always my own. So I considered using it anyway, but ultimately refrained, as it is an unusual word. But I'm still looking for a place where it will be the perfect word at the perfect time, and when I find it, perspicacity is staying in. * Of course, this story is actually about my SECOND-favorite word. My favorite word isn't appropriate for use in polite society.