ver·bal (vûrbl) KEY
Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin verblis, from Latin verbum, word ; see verb
Verbal has been used since the 16th century to refer to spoken, as opposed to written, communication, and the usage cannot be considered incorrect. But because verbal may also mean "by linguistic means," it may be ambiguous in some contexts. Thus the phrase modern technologies for verbal communication may refer only to devices such as radio, the telephone, and the loudspeaker, or it may refer to devices such as the telegraph, the teletype, and the fax machine. In such contexts it may be clearer to use the word oral to convey the narrower sense of communication by spoken means.