Donald Adams chats on verbiage as he offers his ""reactions...to the iracle of speech"". He considers beginnings (""It is hard to rid ourselves of the idea that the desire to name things lies at the root of language""); the beauty of words standing alone (he decimates Dr. Funk's choices). He ponders idioms and curious expressions (""take it easy"" and ""dead as a doornail"") and votes for the banishment of certain cliches. Slang, four letter words (the Big Six are to be used but with discretion) treated for the first time in a book on words, punctuation, the ""embattled words"" of the Bible (the Revised Standard Version reads more clearly than the ""majestical""--Maugham's word--King James) are bandied about. Of interest largely to the word worrier.