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    #11

    Re: Impossible to communicate

    In BrE, we usenot talk the same language, but I too have not heard talk past each other.

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    #12

    Re: Impossible to communicate

    As a Brit, the expression "talking past each other" didn't bother me, but it might be due to it sounding like a literal translation of a similar (and common) German saying (aneinander vorbeireden).

    I don't think this is what the OP's looking for. This is (to me) the same as "getting one's wires crossed" - we understand each other and have no argument, but somehow we're not both on the same page, so to speak.

    An example of a situation that the OP needs to describe (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is where someone who leans to the left of the political spectrum is talking to someone from the right of said spectrum. They both understand each other, but neither of them is going to be swayed from their point of view by the other. Basically, they're both too stubborn to engage in a meaningful conversation about politics and should talk about something else.

    Similar situations arise between people who support different sports teams, or who practice different religions.

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    #13

    Re: Impossible to communicate

    I'm familiar with the expression "talking past each other" with the sense that the conversation involves people who are each stating their own point of view without listening to, or trying to understand, the other's.
    Perhaps the OP's people just can't find any common ground.

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    #14

    Re: Impossible to communicate

    You say tomato, I say tomahto. (This is a horrible example with text only. )

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    #15

    Re: Impossible to communicate

    Quote Originally Posted by JMurray View Post
    I'm familiar with the expression "talking past each other" with the sense that the conversation involves people who are each stating their own point of view without listening to, or trying to understand, the other's.
    Perhaps the OP's people just can't find any common ground.
    Yep, that's exactly what "talking past each other" means to me as well: two people who simply aren't making an effort to see each other's point of view.

    For example, a man and a woman who've been dating for several months might have the following "talking past each other" conversation:

    MAN: "I can't imagine having a future with a woman who can't even say she loves me."

    WOMAN: "Men always want to own women before they even bother to get to know them."

    MAN: "And women always expect to get more out of a relationship than they're willing to put into it."


    In this case, the two parties aren't even trying to find common ground -- they're simply making generalizations that restate their own opinions.

    "Getting one's wires crossed," on the other hand, implies (to my ear, anyway) unintentional confusion and/or errors. For instance, a frantic phone call might go this way:

    "John, why aren't you here yet? The concert starts at 7 o'clock, and it's 6:45 now."

    "What?? I thought you said you wanted me to pick you up at 7 o'clock. Wow, Stacy, I'm sorry -- I must have gotten my wires crossed."

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