Room, the editor of many reference books on the English language (e.g., The Cassell Dictionary of First Names), offers a welcome addition to usage guides. While not as detailed as such better-known works as The New Fowler's Modern English Usage (LJ 3/15/97) and Usage and Abusage: A Guide to Good English (LJ 4/1/95), Room's guide to potentially confusing words will be a worthwhile addition to most English usage and reference collections. The brief entries give definitions of each of the terms. Each word is then used in at least one sample sentence, clarifying the differences between like terms. The definitions and examples are in simple language and are easy to understand. Unlike Fowler's and similar guides that aim to be the definitive source on grammatical questions and word-usage histories, Room's guide is intended for the reader who needs to know the difference between palate and palette and doesn't need historical citations. Thus, other guides provide more descriptive information on word and usage histories, while this offers straightforward answers to basic grammar questions. Recommended for academic and public libraries, especially those needing a more accessible guide to difficult words and usage. Michele McGraw, Hennepin Cty. P.L., Edina, MN Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.