Train Talking is a phenomenon that can be witnessed on virtually any public transportation conveyance. It is the practice of people who wish to appear as though they are merely talking to another person, however they want (and intend) to be heard by the people around them.

For example, a woman who is proud of her son's achievement in school might speak to a friend on the subway in a voice that is louder than necessary as she describes the better-than-average score little Timmy received on his latest math test. The objective of this woman is to impress people who she doesn't know and who don't know her and could care less about Timmy's latest math score.

This example is likely the most common occurrence of Train Talking. It is generally used by people who wish to brag anonymously. However, it may also be used knowingly to reprimand an unknown individual for a transgression they may or may not be aware of committing. For example:

You're riding the local public transportation on a rainy day, sitting with a friend near the door of the vehicle. At the next stop someone gets on and shakes off their umbrella right in front of you, spotting the book you're reading and your pants with rainwater. So you turn to your friend and say in a voice loud enough to be over heard: "Remember that time someone shook their umbrella on me and I went crazy and beat them until their ears bled?", to which your quick witted friend replies "Oh ya. Don't do that again, man.". The umbrella-toting offender will realise the error of his/her ways and quickly move to another spot in the vehicle.

Train Talking can also be used to experiment on an unsuspecting populace. Stating a falsehood where unsuspecting victims may overhear it can result in amusing and informative results. We've all seen characters in a movie ask one another in a crowded elevator "So, did that rash clear up or are you still contagious?".

Train Talking is not limited to public transportation. It can be used in any situation where people speak louder than necessary with the intention of being heard by other people, however, wishing to appear as though they did not wish to be overheard, or care that they were overheard.


The term "Train Talking" was coined by the writer and other passengers while travelling on the public transit systems in and around the Toronto region.

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