A long time ago while visiting Germany, I discovered a paperback copy of Paul Fussell's book Class: A Guide Through the American Class System and stayed up all night reading it, cackling with delight the whole time. Some of his terms entered my lexicon and never left -- for example, "prole gap," to describe the distance between an ill-fitting suit jacket's collar and the back of the wearer's neck. While the book is tongue-in-check enough to be dismissed as entertainment, Fussell puts his finger on quite a few real phenomena, including the way middle class aspiration to status can result in absurd behavior ... and speech.
One of the things I noticed in the early days of the Internet was how, when engaged in virtual squabbles, a certain kind of person tends to lapse into quasi-Victorian rhetoric. "You, Sir, are no Gentleman!" The assumption being that this is how the better sort of people talk. This rhetorical style outs the aspirations of the people who engage in it. I think of it as "faux fancy" talk. People do it thinking they'll be perceived as more educated, more suave, more intelligent than they are. Sadly, the effect is rather different.
The same thing applies to some aspiring writers. They know "good" writing is supposed to be beautiful in some way, and they aspire to be good writers. So they fancy up the prose. No word is too polysyllabic or archaic for use, and the actual meaning of words fades to insignificance. The main thing is that they sound fancy. You could write, "Her face flushed," but why do that when you can wax eloquent like so: "A cherry red flush burst forth upon her formerly lily-white cheeks"?
Like faux fancy talk, faux fancy writing stands out because it's a poor imitation of the thing to which it aspires. Often, it is an attempt to write according to a set of perceived "rules" which the writer does not understand.
"Don't use passive verbs," some well-meaning instructor will recite. And the student, not understanding that there are instances in which passive verbs are not only acceptable but preferred, not realizing that the rule has more to do with overuse, will contort her sentences to avoid ever having to write was. (Ironically, the same teacher who wants to cross out all the being verbs might know enough to tell the same student never to embellish a dialogue tag. Your characters should never just be, the resulting scheme suggests, but they should never do more than say.)
The cure for faux fancy writing is first-hand knowledge of good writing. When the student realizes through reading that the great novelists the teacher venerates don't follow the teacher's rules for greatness, she can decide which example to follow. Unfortunately, aspiring writers are not always diligent readers. It shows when you try to read what they write.