A “keep it simple” thesaurus

What we're reading blog post tag imageWe recently provided some tips on this blog on making your content more readable. So, we were pleased to learn that Clear Language and Design (CLAD), a Toronto organization that provides clear language training and assessment services, recently published a free resource on their website: the CLAD Thesaurus.

In their thesaurus, CLAD compiles approximately 600 common but fairly complex words and phrases and suggests clearer alternatives. The CLAD thesaurus, not surprisingly, includes many words that come up in everyday legal work.

Some examples:

  • abolish = do away with, end, scrap
  • advocate = call for, fight for, speak out for, stand up for, support
  • defraud = cheat, swindle
  • termination = end

As we’ve shared here before, we know that it can be very easy to slip into jargon when preparing public legal education and information (PLE) materials. So, we think this can be a useful resource. It’s one of a set of “tips and tools” shared by CLAD in a recent refresh of their website.

For more information on clear language writing, see also CLEO’s Better Legal Information Handbook.


  1. Author: Ingrid Sapona

    on February 19, 2015 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Yes — a very useful too for all of us — thanks for sharing it Sally and CLEO!

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