Slam Dunks and No-Brainers and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$12.60
Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.00
  • Save: $1.40 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Slam Dunks and No-Brainers: Pop Language in Your Life, the Media, and Like . . . Whatever Paperback – October 10, 2006


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.60
$4.00 $0.01


Frequently Bought Together

Slam Dunks and No-Brainers: Pop Language in Your Life, the Media, and Like . . . Whatever + How to Not Write Bad: The Most Common Writing Problems and the Best Ways to Avoid Them
Price for both: $23.63

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; First Edition edition (October 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375702423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375702426
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,474,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Savan, a former Village Voice columnist and Pulitzer finalist for her analysis of advertising, is a cultural pessimist in the tradition of Paul Fussell and Neil Postman. Her target here is the "verbal kudzu" of "pop" language: catchphrases and buzz words spread by the media that are, she says, replacing thought with preprogrammed verbal responses. The longer she goes on, though, the more her definition of "pop" expands to include any modern locution she doesn't like, until even words like "agenda" come under attack. As Savan guiltily admits, her own prose is laden with such language, and though she tries to use it ironically, she quickly sails over the boundary separating skillful deployment of a well-chosen cliché or two from annoying repetition of hundreds. Her argument is further weakened by its lack of focus. More often than not, her only proof of a phrase's deleterious effect on society is a list of public utterances. Serious cultural issues occasionally emerge, like the spread of black slang to white society. But overall, this rambling, self-conscious diatribe against what Savan views as the media-marketing complex veers more toward grumbling than strong social critique.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Language mavens rejoice! This new book by three-time Pulitzer finalist Savan is spunky, well reasoned, perceptive, and massively entertaining. It's a nearly encyclopedic catalog of what the author calls pop language: "the catchwords, phrases, inflections, and quickie concepts that Americans seem unable to communicate without." Terms that rely on inflection (Hel-lo?! for example) are well represented, and Savan carefully explains how inflection can change meaning ("whatever" versus "what-ever"). Pop language has increased mightily over the years, the author explains, thanks in large part to the increasing ubiquity of advertising and the resulting clamor for more eye-catching, brain-catching pop phrases (like "Whassup!"). At once an examination of modern pop language--and, by extension, pop culture--and a rumination on our often-mindless acceptance of dumbed-down forms of expression, the book is sure to make readers a little more conscious of what comes out of their mouths. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
12
4 star
0
3 star
1
2 star
1
1 star
2
See all 16 customer reviews
Read it before you watch any more TV or pick up a new magazine.
Jack Zeigler
I did find some interesting nuggets, but had to skim through a lot of tedious material to get there.
Brian J. Oneill
So, dude, I have to say that, like, buying this book is such a no-brainer.
Allen St John

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By book lover on October 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
For years I was a fan of Savan's ad column in the Village Voice. She had a startling way of zeroing in on culture through the prism of advertisements: she was shrewd, funny, wonderfully insightful. She could draw my attention to cultural foibles I'd never recognized before, but that then became unmistakable. Now here she is in this book, all those things again, and more. I love that this time, she's appraising culture through pop language. What better way to go???? While I was reading this, I kept finding myself thinking, Yes! Exactly! Savan has vision, voice and heart. This is a really good book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Marc Cooper on October 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Yessss!" I say pumping my fist jaggedly into the air. Leslie Savan is one of our smartest critics and her new book crackles with the predictable dosage of both biting wit and sharp insight. It's a merciless tear-down of, um like, the way we talk nowadays. And if you think the way we talk doesn't directly influence the WAY we think, or don't think, then you're just plain wrong. During the 1990's, Savan's columns in the Village Voice were a must-read. Never saw anything like them before nor since. And while you're waiting to see a new series from her, take a read of Slam Dunks and hope to hell you're not reading about yourself! Either way, you're gonna love ot.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jack Zeigler on October 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Slam Dunks and No-Brainers helps clean your brain of the garbage that's been collecting through decades of misuse and abuse. Read it before you watch any more TV or pick up a new magazine. A terrific read -- highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Okay all you ignorami out there, listen up. So you've had a bad hair day and the axis of evil is on your case. You've been there and done that big time. You've kicked Major Buttski, and whatever, and it only hurts when you laugh (your foot, that is). You've seen men and women behaving badly and you've been behind the eight ball. Despair not. Get a life not a library card because the real deal lingo is going down in your part of town--well, in this book.

Descriptive grammarians unite! Push those old fuddy-duddies out the door. This voluptuous volume of edible prose is da bomb! It is finger lickin good to linguists and lexicographers and cultural anthropologists on the make. And all you old stuffy school marms and proscriptive grammarian types, "Don't even THINK about telling me I don't THINK so." (Actually a title of one of the chapters in this oh so delectable wordsmith's book of manna from heaven.)

All right, enough.

When as an undergraduate I first heard Bob Dylan--well, when I first parsed his lyrics--it occurred to me that this man sings in cliches! (I'm resisting a "duh" here.) This is NOT poetry was what my English major mind thought. And then when I was one and twenty (I was so much older then) it occurred to me that Dylan was using not words themselves to make up his poetic lines, but groups or phrases of words, of cliches, the words we all use and hear day in and day out, and THAT was the basis of his lyrical poetry.

Wow, talk about your enlightenments! Anyway, what culture critic and word spinner deluxe Leslie Savan has done in this book is something akin to that. She has taken the phrases of pop language (as she calls it) and turned an examination of those phrases into a lexicographer's search for the derivation of terms.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Katz on October 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Slam Dunks and No-Brainers is smart, funny and, in a world where so many of us just want to hear our "talking points" echoed back to us, original. This book isn't like other books about language. It's not a glossary, and it's not trying to tell you how to talk or how not to talk. Instead it looks at how at how certain popular phrases--"bring it on!" "who's your daddy?" "interactive," "community," even "guys" and "hey"--operate as a subtle form of advertising. DIck Cheney does it, Bush does it, the media do it, little kids do. We all do it, Savan says cheerfully--so let's look at it, open our brains, and think about what it means. But if you like ideas presented in black-or-white, then you might miss what this book's about.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. Jon Klein on November 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Savan's new book is unexpectedly hilarious, while it explores the cultural origins of many current catch-phrases and popular expressions. I say "unexpected" because of expectations created by the sour response of NY Times reviewer P.J. O'Rourke, who seemed more upset by Savan's swipes at the Bush Administration than by her keen analysis of contemporary language. Frankly, given Rumsfeld's response to the Iraqi insurgency ("stuff happens"), the political appropriation of popular slang seems like fair game for criticism. And anyone who enjoys the wordplay on shows from "The Simpsons" to "Seinfeld" won't be able to put this book down. Give it to your favorite Republicans for Christmas - and dare them not to laugh!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By NormaJean Thompson on January 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Not only did I delight audibly in Ms Savan's original thinking and many colorful stories, so did my 13-yr-old son! He actually picked up and read this book which he found on my desk by accident. He thought it was "very interesting." Who but a 13-year-old would understand better the pollution and dumbing down of today's popular language? Leslie Savan is one-of-a-kind and I'm happy to have discovered her again after her years writing at the Voice. She is at her absolute best in this clever, highly entertaining, and thought-provoking book. You go girl!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search