What is banter?
The playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks.
Credit: Oxford Dictionary
I love gentle banter; it is a most wonderful, fun form of conversation. It is very English, but most cultures indulge in it. Not everyone “gets it” and some people easily take offense. Not everyone is good at it or enjoys it. I can only think of a few close friends I can banter with.
Banter is just fine if it is mutually understood and it not used as an excuse to harass or bully people.
If you are not familiar with banter, watch the two videos below. British politicians in Prime Minister’s Question Time have turned it into an art form, and it can be hilariously funny at times. It can also be used as a more subtle form of flirting.Banter in the British House Of Commons A lovely example of banter as a form of flirting comes from the movie The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.
Banter is an art form – a conversational game. It requires a degree of skill and sensitivity. The fact that you are bantering needs to be understood by both parties. Played sensitively, it can help build and strengthen relationships. Played poorly it can be destructive. Play it with care.
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