Today's eighteen-year-olds may not know who Mrs. Robinson is, the size of a breadbox, or why going postal refers to a major uproar. Such "retroterms" are words or phrases whose origin lies in our past. I Love It When You Talk Retro discusses these verbal fossils that linger in our national conversation long after the topic they refer to has galloped into the sunset. That could be a person (Charles Ponzi), product (Edsel), radio show (Gang Busters), or ad slogan (“Cha-ching!”). How many realize that cooties was World War I slang for lice, or that doofus came from the comic strip Popeye?
Ralph Keyes takes us on an illuminating and engaging tour through what he calls retrotalk. This journey along the highways of history and byways of culture is an invaluable handbook for anyone who’s ever wondered about an obscure word or phrase, “I wonder where that came from?” Ralph Keyes’s book answers that question. Repeatedly.