Proper words in proper places, remarked Dean Swift, make the true definition of style. According to this definition, John Sparrow fully qualifies as a stylist. His skillful compound of wit, pungency, and accurate observation, his irreverence, his ear for language and hatred of cant are unsurpassed. This book brings together pieces broadcast by the BBC, a series of lectures at the University of Chicago, and, even, a university sermon. It proves that John Sparrow is one of those rare people whose spoken words lose none of their power when translated to the printed page.