I'm talking about academic writing. There's a fetish for overlong sentences stuffed with elaborate, multisyllabic verbiage, designed as a performance of academic skills, rather than as a vehicle for them. Take, for instance, Judith Butler's Gender Trouble, a ground-breaking work which (ironically) breaks down the gender binaries by exposing gender as a constant and stressful performance.
In the introduction to the 1999 edition, she actually has to defend herself against accusations of incomprehensibility by explaining that her ideas are so radical that standard grammar and English are inadequate for her purposes. Which is nonsense. Judith thinks that she's the profoundest thinker on the planet, and that being impenetrable demonstrates that.
I'm not saying that complex ideas don't demand complex and subtle expression - but plenty of academics revel in a learned style which privileges over-complication. It's even worse when students try to do it - they can't, because it takes years of being institutionalised. It's very helpful though: when a student uses a word like 'soteriological', my plagiarism klaxons go off very loudly indeed.
Some academics have had some fun with this: there's the Gunning Fog Index of complexity, and Oppenheimer wrote a fine journal article on Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems With Using Long Words Needlessly. Oppenheimer got his reward and offered some wise advice:
For this he was awarded the 2006 Ig Nobel Prize in literature. At the Ig Nobel ceremony Oppenheimer gave what may be a perfect acceptance speech. Here it is in its entirety: "My research shows that conciseness is interpreted as intelligence. So, thank you".
Academically, I have the opposite problem: finding time to write anything substantial. Luckily, I'm not alone: this is an amazing (and witty) paper on the topic. Click that link or click to enlarge the complete version below: it's brilliant.