A [screen]writer’s website and blog by J.K. Radomski
The Houston Chronicle ran a short interview with Ralph Keyes last week. He’s the author of the book I Love It When You Talk Retro: Hoochie Coochie, Double Whammy, Drop a Dime and the Forgotten Origins of American Speech, which looks at the origins of some well-known clichés and turns of phrase.
Keyes says many popular catchphrases come from old TV ads, movies and comic books, such as “ka-ching” from an ’80s Rally’s hamburger ad that starred Seth Green, and “98-pound weakling” from comic book ads that sold Charles Atlas exercise programs.
He believes people hold onto favorite phrases and expressions as a form of generational pride and generational arrogance. Keyes says Chris Matthews and Maureen Dowd use “retro talk” to exclude the younger people in their audience and wink at those in their generation.
The author also says that many old terms come from boxing because it came with a tradition of good sports writing, while other sports, such as football, do not share the same literary tradition.
And what lies ahead? Keyes says “going rogue” will most likely be big, as are the terms “reboot”, “reset” and hitting the “reset button”.