Someone named Ralph Keyes says I should stop engaging in retrotalk. (The most recent example would be the Dr. Hook reference in the previous post.)
Journalists who lace their copy with retro terms or names risk alienating those who are too young to get the allusions. (Editor & Publisher, 4/13)
I have no idea who Ralph Keyes is, but he appears to be a prolific writer who has made “retrotalk” his own little fiefdom. How nice for him.
Look Ralph, here’s the deal. I write what I know. My head is filled with a lot of stuff from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Some of it is quite useful for perspective (I’m good to go from Ike on), and a lot of it is fun junk (I remember who recorded “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero,” which I now need to get out of my head).
I don’t worry, even a little bit, about alienating those who are too young to get the allusions. Because if they’re reading what I write, I expect them to be curious enough to find the information behind the allusions.
It’s not as if they have to get on their bicycles and pedal to the library to use the encyclopedia. (Is that retrotalk?) They’re reading this (and damn near everything else they read) on their computers. All they have to do is click, click and there are the answers.
I don’t think that’s too much of an impostition. And if it is, they can go read…Ralph Keyes.