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Many of the books I've read, being written in modern times, make use of language which is neither highly complex nor very simple, having sentences of fairly short length, making it easy for the reader to understand and enjoy it.

Many of the books I've read, being written in earlier times, use much more complex language, having sentences of very great length, making it a little more challenging for the reader, but still entertaining by reason of their structure and cadence.

So, in order to move, persuade, and entertain readers, which is the best level of diction to use in modern times?

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What is optimal eloquence? It can't be defined. Therefore, your question can't be answered.

Also, most writing consists of a variety of sentence lengths and structures. The length and structure of each sentence are chosen by the author to achieve a particular effect. Sometimes, for example, you may wish to surprise the reader and so use a very short, even one-word, sentence.

Diction, that is, word choice or vocabulary, depends on the audience, the context and exact purpose. Some types of persuasive writing use emotive language whereas others don't. Jargon may be appropriate, even necessary, for a technical audience but inappropriate for the ordinary punter.

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