***** 5 stars
Gilah Pomeranz (Yellow Springs, OH)
Ralph Keyes has a way of defying classification with his books that are a conglomeration of education, inspiration, and entertainment. In I Love It When You Talk Retro, Keyes is at his best, providing a fresh perspective on old jargon. Whether you’re a language lover, a movie buff, a political junkie, a sports fan, or a pop-culture nut (or, like me, an eclectic mix), you’ll enjoy picking out the words and phrases–easy to do with the handy index–that you use frequently (with or without knowing their origins) which younger folks may find perplexing.
What I liked best was leafing through and realizing that I use phrases like “glove compartment” and “cut to the chase” without thinking that, taken literally, they don’t really make sense to me–until Keyes explains the origins.
In sharing the book with others, we’ve also enjoyed coming up with retro talk we use that didn’t make the book, such as E-Ticket (referring to Disneyland’s early designation of their most thrilling rides) and Hollanderizing (which I always thought meant sanitizing, but turns out it refers to a fur-dyeing process).
Moreover, we found retro talk can be local. I refer to our village market as “Luttrell’s” (the family who owned it when I was growing up), while my kids call it “Weaver’s” (as they knew it in their childhood and teen years). Actually, for the last ten years or so, it’s officially “Tom’s.” But I think “Tom’s” won’t really be official until it’s retro…
Thanks to Ralph Keyes for doing it again: educating, inspiring, and entertaining!