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Staff Picks: Books

I Love It When You Talk Retro

Retrotalk and retroterms. These words are used by Ralph Keyes to describe the subject of his 2009 book I Love It When You Talk Retro. The main point of this volume is to give histories of words and phrases, the full meaning of which cannot be grasped unless one understands their origins. Keyes gives example after example, such as Ma Bell as the nickname for the phone company. We still say we answer the phone’s ring, we dial a number, and then hang up when we are finished with the call, even though with modern phones we have actually done none of these things. There’s a section on phrases that have appeared because of their connection to the office environment, such as rubber stamp, red tape, and pink slip. Animals are also a source for language such as a lame duck, a sitting duck, and a dead duck, as well as the goose that laid the golden egg, pecking order, and putting on the dog. For a time of amusement and enlightenment, this one’s a winner.

Book

I Love It When You Talk Retro
9780312340056

I Love It When You Talk Retro

(Nonfiction) Permanent link

Retrotalk and retroterms. These words are used by Ralph Keyes to describe the subject of his 2009 book I Love It When You Talk Retro. The main point of this volume is to give histories of words and phrases, the full meaning of which cannot be grasped unless one understands their origins. Keyes gives example after example, such as Ma Bell as the nickname for the phone company. We still say we answer the phone’s ring, we dial a number, and then hang up when we are finished with the call, even though with modern phones we have actually done none of these things. There’s a section on phrases that have appeared because of their connection to the office environment, such as rubber stamp, red tape, and pink slip. Animals are also a source for language such as a lame duck, a sitting duck, and a dead duck, as well as the goose that laid the golden egg, pecking order, and putting on the dog. For a time of amusement and enlightenment, this one’s a winner.

Book

I Love It When You Talk Retro
9780312340056

Posted by David DeVries at 06/17/2009 07:51:53 PM | 


This is SO FUN! I love the review and can't wait to read the book! Sounds like light-hearted fodder....a good read when we don't want to be serious. A great beach read, actually! Thank you David!
Posted by: Mary ( Email ) at 6/17/2009 9:41 PM


I agree with Mary! Sounds like so much fun! Well, as of today, I'll have to wait 23 days--both copies are checked out! You've created quite a flurry of activity with your blog!
Posted by: JenniferC ( Email ) at 6/18/2009 4:13 PM


I'm in line too, thanks to this recommendation. Thanks David!
Posted by: Karen Santamaria ( Email ) at 6/19/2009 2:53 PM


Being an author myself, I think linguistics is one of the most fascinating things to study. I like that Ralph Keyes took a more comical approach to the study. Looks like a really interesting book. I'm gonna have to check it out. Thanks for the review!
Posted by: Ben ( Email | Visit ) at 7/15/2009 11:47 AM


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