Why Men Who Love Word Play Make Me Swoon

12/11/2010 01:19 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Julia Moulden Speaker, columnist and author, 'RIPE: Rich, Rewarding Work After 50'

How many ex-husbands does a gal need in order to enter into Elizabeth Taylor territory? Does two plus a peck of beaus tip me in her direction, or qualify me as a normal, middle-aged, urban woman?

Looking back, I realized that all the men in my life had one thing in common: badinage. Yes, they loved banter -- word play -- just as much as I do. Being quick with the quips is what makes this writer swoon.

Of course, I'm too busy putting the finishing touches on my forthcoming book, "RIPE: Rich, Rewarding Work After 50," to think about romance (though a good romantic comedy does help me wind down at the end of a busy day). Which is why, in the midst of all this hard work, I was delighted when two badinage-enhancers came onto my radar:

"Mordecai Richler: The Last of the Wild Jews": Richler's characters are often expert badinage players -- think Duddy Kravitz in the movie that made Richard Dreyfuss's career. This documentary follows Richler's ascent in the world of literature and places him among the cohort of Jewish writers and intellectuals known as the "wild Jews," famous for their cutting wit and affinity for troublemaking. Love it! Thanks to Francine Pelletier and Bravo for making it happen. "Mordecai Richler: The Last of the Wild Jews" airs on Bravo on Sunday, Dec. 19, just days before the release of "Barney's Version," the film adaptation of Richler's final novel.

Orijinz: Ever wondered why we say the things we do, the origin of words and phrases? Oh, I love Orijinz! One player reads the origin, and the others guess the matching word or phrase. Clever, fascinating, and laugh-out-loud funny. Warning: people get addicted to this game! One woman told founder Brad Chase that when her husband got a job overseas, he took one deck with him so that they could still play via skype. Even better, this is a New Radical company: proceeds go to Reading Is Fundamental and Teachers Without Borders. I'll share Orijinz with my family at Christmas, for sure. We're all big on badinage, especially after the eggnog kicks in -- wild WASPs, one and all!

So, gentlemen, remember. It's not about the size of your vocabulary but how you use it.

Are you a fan of badinage? Do you love word play and banter? What's your favourite romantic comedy? (One review I read of "Love & Other Drugs," starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, said that it might help bring back the rom-com -- I hope so!)


Julia Moulden is an author, speaker and columnist. Read her HuffPost archive, including more about the New Radicals and the first columns about her upcoming book, "RIPE."