What if someone you love disappears after your last words to him were, " I hate you"? Martha Backman, 19 learns from an e-mail that her father is engaged, and about to move in with his girlfriend. She flies into a rage, tells him she hates him and storms out of the house. It's the morning of September 11th, 2001.
Later that day, Bob is listed among the dead. Martha, remembering what she said, can't accept that he's gone. She recruits his fiancee Jen to scour the hot-lines and hospitals and missing persons centers and police stations.
Bob has escaped the falling Towers, but wanders the city disoriented and in shock, just out of Jen and Martha's reach.
In Slam Dunks and No-Brainers, Leslie Savan traces the paths that words and expressions travel from obscurity to ubiquity. She describes how people create slang and colorful phrases and how the media, advertising, politics, and business mine the language for these phrases in order to better sell products, ideas, and personalities. Savan shows how these expressions have become such an indispensable form of communication that they're replacing our need to articulate any real thought.