The New York Times “is a citadel of retrotalk,” according to the author of I Love It When You Talk Retro: Hoochie Coochie, Double Whammy, Drop a Dime and the Forgotten Origins of American Speech, Ralph Keyes. And Maureen Dowd is the “Queen of Retrotalk.” So? Well, warns Keyes:

Falling back on retro-references…can give press coverage the flavor of a private conversation among those born before 1960. The implicit message to younger readers seems to be: Hey, if you don’t know what we’re talking about, maybe you should butt out. Haven’t you got some twittering to do?

“Younger readers” today…Slightest perceived slight gets their bloomers (slacks? dungarees?) in a bunch.


Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.