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  1. Tinkerbell's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
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      • Turkey
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      • Turkey

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 454
    #1

    spare me the banter

    “The last time we saw each other, you pulled a knife on me. So if you could spare me the banter, that’d be great.” ??

  2. riquecohen's Avatar
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      • American English
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    #2

    Re: spare me the banter

    Skip the small talk.
    Refrain from talking about unimportant matters.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: spare me the banter

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    Skip the small talk.
    Refrain from talking about unimportant matters.
    That's what I thought at first, and it may well be right: the speaker's saying 'I know you're potentially hostile, so skip the small talk.' The way to check on this meaning would be to see what the knife-merchant has just said. If it's polite, and seemingly friendly, this interpretation is right.

    On the other hand, the writer may have a more limited view of the meaning of banter. This usage comes from the sports field, where a player tries to unsettle an opponent by being abusive. The original meaning of banter is shown in the player's defensive self-justification: 'It was just banter - can't he take a joke?'

    But increasingly, sports commentators have endowed 'banter' with a hostile meaning. (A similar narrowing of meaning has happened to the phrase 'tired and emotional', often used to mean 'drunk'.)

    So (returning to Demonglass) if the knife-merchant has just said something unpleasant, the speaker may be thinking of the more negative sense of 'banter'.

    b

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