New York: Wilfred Funk, Inc., (1946). Single volume, measuring 9 x 6 inches: [xii], 472. Original full green cloth, spine lettered in gilt, original unclipped typographic dust jacket printed in green, black, and white. Original bookseller ticket and price label to rear pastedown. Lightest edgewear and rubbing, crease to spine panel of jacket.
First edition of this motivational guide to “vocabulary power and culture” by Wilfred Funk, inheritor of the Funk & Wagnalls reference book empire, and founder of the long-running Reader’s Digest feature, “It Pays to Increase Your Word Power.” Funk argues that a rich, well-deployed vocabulary is a key factor in social and financial success: “Why not become one of the millionaires of the language?” Chapters include “Foreign Words Are Your Grace Notes,” “Words for the Intelligentsia,” and “These Words Have Magic Power.” Funk punctuates his lessons with quizzes to measure the reader’s progress, and concludes with “The Master English Vocabulary Test.” A near-fine copy of a surprisingly literary self-help title, in the scarce dust jacket.