Uncomfortable Words

A CIVIL TONGUE

by EDWIN NEWMAN

207 pages. Bobbs-Merrill. $8.95.

Who can save the English language from the galloping blight of jargon, pomposity, staleness, imprecision, ugliness and plain nonsense? Not authorities or institutions, writes Edwin Newman. The only hope is "individuals or small guerrilla groups" who practice "rebelliousness, buccaneering and humor."

NBC Correspondent Newman justifiably sees himself as one of those individuals. Yet his tactics lean mainly toward humor. In the battle against corrupt English, he clearly believes he serves best not as a guerrilla...

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