Quiet, Please by
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Prompted By Pet Peeves

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Talking over movie or TV dialog is my biggest pet peeve, because my hearing aids treat all voices equally. So when I hear more than one voice at a time, each is canceled out and becomes gibberish. I then get completely lost. Most frustrating is when someone asks, “What did they say?” and I can’t hear the next few minutes of dialog. If they have to ask what was said, it’s time to listen closely or get hearing aids. I don’t understand why people use TV or movies as background for chit-chat. Save the conversation for drinks and dinner afterward.

Most frustrating is when someone asks, "What did they say?" and I can't hear the next few minutes of dialog.



Profile photo of Marian Marian
I have recently retired from a marketing and technical writing and editing career and am thoroughly enjoying writing for myself and others.

Characterizations: been there


  1. I second Betsy’s YES! That’s what the PAUSE button is for. Or if neither of you (us!) could understand it, REWIND. And it’s also why subtitles help, even for English-speaking films. There, I’ve admitted it.

  2. Suzy says:

    This has been a pet peeve of mine since childhood, having nothing to do with hearing problems, just being so engrossed in the movie or TV show that I don’t want anyone to speak and break the spell. It helps that we have “pause” now, but I still don’t like it.

  3. Laurie Levy says:

    Totally agree! We use closed captioning for TV, but when the program or movie is not in English, even with my hearing aids I struggle. And then there’s zoom, which can also be awful with more than a few people. Because my husband has super-sonic hearing and I don’t, I fear I’m the interrupter in our family.

  4. Tis annoying indeed Marian even for folks with no hearing problems.

    But may the Covid gods be vanquished soon and the stage and screen gods get the shows back out there and I’ll be so grateful I’ll even tolerate noisy neighbors in the theatre!

  5. Khati Hendry says:

    I agree with Barbara–the pause and the rewind buttons are invaluable, but can’t be used outside your home. Of course, who has been to anything outside a home in the last year??

  6. John Shutkin says:

    Really good point, Marian. One of the silver linings of the pandemic is that we have not gone out to the movies in over a year. We have a love/hate relationship with the semi-art movie house in Lexington. Small, good movies, friendly crowd. But also opinionated Bostonians — usually older — who feel the need to discuss the movie while it is playing. Grrrr….

    Now, while we are streaming movies like crazy, it is only my wife and me. And besides the pause button, we know exactly who is guilty of speaking if we can’t hear the dialog. That said, we now have a new peeve: children who choose to call with unimportant matters at exactly the times they know are our prime streaming hours (which they always seem to “forget”).

  7. Who is that woman shushing me (the feature image)? And doesn’t she need to take better care of her nails?
    I am very much in synch with your story here–however, a certain partner of mine would say I am a violator of this while watching Netflix! (Knowing we can always go back, I guess i take liberties.)

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