From wikipedia:

pel·lu·cid — adjective /pəˈlo͞osid/

  1. Translucently clear
    • – mountains reflected in the pellucid waters
  2. Lucid in style or meaning; easily understood
    • – he writes, as always, in pellucid prose
  3. (of music or other sound) Clear and pure in tone
    • – a smooth legato and pellucid singing tone are his calling cards.

 I had to look up this word because I couldn’t understand it in the context of a lawyer describing his verbiage.  Yes, you heard me. A lawyer referred to his own drafting as pellucid.

Ok, transactional lawyers have to carve out any number of hypothetical and theoretical scenarios — from probable to impossible — that would absolve a client from an obligation or a liability.  So, the contracts or documents are exhausting to read (even by fellow attorneys) and invariably torture the native language and contort its rules of grammar beyond recognition.

In our defense, we have complicated clients with complicated deals.  Accordingly, we write complicated documents.

So don’t give me that PELLUCID shit.  Are you on drugs? Or just being gratuitously condescending?  I am no rocket scientist (my mother would have liked one in the family, but that is another back story for a different blog entry) and so if I don’t get it, it is not PELLUCID.

Maybe the lawyer thought that his verbose and somewhat confusing prose was mellifluous and therefore possibly satisfying the “pure in tone” definition, albeit in an intellectually scrambled manner.

As someone who drafts documents for a living, I try to use an economy of words.  Certainly we aspire to clarity of ideas in a minimum of words.

But let’s be honest:  most legal writing is as PELLUCID as . . . as . . . as . . .


[as in dense, murky, turbidity or opaqueness, courtesy of Oxford English Dictionary]