Keyes, Ralph. I Love It When You Talk Retro: Hoochie Coochie, Double Whammy, Drop a Dime, and the Forgotten Origins of American Speech. St Martin’s Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0312340056 320 pp. $
I really liked the premise of this one: an examination of slang terms and allusions that are quickly going out of date; for example: “you sound like a broken record” may not make any sense to youth who grew up listening to tapes or CDs. Author gives context for hundreds of terms.
The book might have been a little more readable organized into one or two line bullets of information; the narrative encased in formal paragraphs, with terms in bold, didn’t work for me at all. I love linguistics, but this wasn’t engaging.