Many thanks for those of you who responded to my post about reading and literary terminology. The breadth and complexity of those comments made my regular mode of responding in the comment section itself seem inadequate (and makes me anxious to install some kind of more sophisticated commenting system. A project for after BEA).
Anyway, let me highlight a few points and respond.
1. It seems that, for the most part, those not actively studying literature or teaching it have lost the majority of whatever literary vocabulary they once had. I'm not at all surprised by this and I'm sure for most of us there is some area(s) of our education that is rusty beyond use. (At one point, I was a philosophy major, but my mastery of thinkers and particular schools of thought are now long gone).
2. Also perhaps unsurprising, those that think about/use literary terminology as they read and write think it's important to do so.
3. This third observation is the most interesting to me as it gets to the center of why I asked this question: many commenters expressed a concern that the infiltration of literary vocabulary into reading and reviewing would come at the expense of enjoyment. Jackie's story about SCUBA diving best represents this position--that copious, detailed knowledge about a subject interferes with a more organic experience of that subject.
One of the reasons I started this blog was to write about literature in a way that the academy does not allow--somehow more personal, passionate, informal, and perhaps even funny. I have consciously refrained from using much academic jargon here, both because I can do that elsewhere and because I've felt that the instant I deploy "metonymy" or "negative capability" the tenor of my writing and thinking changes dramatically. The pleasure/rigor binary, though, doesn't seem necessary or desirable to me at this point.
Tolmsted and Greg both posited that some compromise might be possible, to use the tools of scholarship but do so in a different spirit. This seems to me an exciting possibility that squarely matches both my expertise and desire--to use the skills I have but to do so in a more readable, entertaining way: to not mistake or link inextricably the tools and the tone (Tolmsted, I think this might answer your question about why I am asking these questions).
Perhaps this will fail, but if so at least it will be a failure of imagination.