In his excellent introduction to this language book, Keyes defines retrotalk as a “slippery slope of puzzling allusions to past phenomena,” allusions that employ terms he refers to as “verbal artifacts,” or phrases that hang around in our national conversation long after the topic they refer to has vanished from memory. Hard as it may be for those of a certain age to acknowledge, young people no longer understand references to 45 rpms, breadboxes, and Ma Bell. In addition, one’s comparisons also often fall along generational lines, as talking-head David Brooks discovered when he compared Hillary Clinton’s first debate performance to Emily Post and her second to Howard Beale. The names of the mistress of etiquette and the raving anchorman from the movie Network do not resonate with anyone younger than 50. The bulk of Keyes’ book is devoted to a pedestrian listing of such words and phrases and their origins, grouped in chapters related to the venues, such as boxing, politicians, movies, and comics, that gave rise to the terms. Still, the list makes addictive reading for word nerds and informative browsing for everyone else.