Books: Word Game

NAMING-DAY IN EDEN (159 pp.)—Noah Jonathan Jacobs—Macmillan ($3.95).

It is Author Jacobs' engaging notion that language began in the Garden of Eden, when God allowed Adam to name the animals. With that practice session out of the way, Adam was ready to confront Eve. "Madam, I'm Adam," he said, gracefully launching a palindrome.* His ribmate was equal to the occasion. "Eve!" she replied, topping his palindrome with a shorter one of her own.

Is it surprising to be told that Adam and Eve spoke English? Not necessarily. As Author Jacobs points out, German, Hungarian, Swedish, Celtic, Danish and Basque scholars have all proved...

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