Overhearing the Overheard

By 15th September 2015 Overheard No Comments

It’s always interesting to come across people who think like we do, who are curious in the way that we are. For example, other people who too are curious about those little things they overhear, those comments that involuntarily enter one’s aural space whilst walking along the street, waiting for a bus, drinking in a bar, sitting by the pool on holiday, riding an elevator and so on. Perhaps via collaborators/friends/colleagues/neighbours etc, but always from coming into contact with other humans who are conversing, whether in the flesh, into a phone, or even to themselves.

We’ve come across quite a few blogs, websites, Twitter and Facebook accounts that collate verbatim of such a fleeting and random nature, and there must be many many more, from all over the place, but here’s a selection :

This fantastic blog  La Gente Anda Diciendo (“people saying as they’re walking…)  from Argentina is updated frequently, and is truly inspired!

46-year old woman in Buenos Aires (Argentina), talking to similar-aged woman

46-year old woman in Buenos Aires (Argentina), talking to similar-aged woman

“If there’s something that really breaks my balls, it’s when people I don’t even now start talking to me in the morning”

18 year old boy talking to similar-aged boy in Rosario (Argentina)

18 year old boy talking to similar-aged boy in Rosario (Argentina)

“I’d like to die for an hour so I can see how other people would be react”

Overheard in New York offers up snippets heard on the streets of New York, and are mostly, well, let’s say content for adult ears only (and even then could slightly offend), but not all, and well worth a visit.

http://www.overheardinnewyork.com

http://www.overheardinnewyork.com

From Japan, website Japan Crush asked ‘netizens’ to tweet in conversations that they’d overheard on Japanese trains.

Bright sparks in Japan!! from japancrush.com

Meanwhile Entendu a Paris blog and Twitter account offer up just that – interesting and/or amusing contributions ‘heard’ in Paris.

woman speaking to her bloke in a Starbucks cafe in Les Halles [shopping centre in central Paris], from entenduaparis.info

woman speaking to her bloke in a Starbucks cafe in Les Halles [shopping centre in central Paris], from entenduaparis.info

Woman : “Oh look, i’m on your Facebook page”

Man: “But why are you bothering to go onto Facebook, i’m here, you know my life”

We were especially tickled to come across this Twitter account that tweets with comments overheard in Waitrose [the UK‘s most middle-class supermarket]. We just wish they would keep coming!

from @HeardInWaitrose

from @HeardInWaitrose

Also from the UK, this time specifically London, Time Out magazine feature the best ‘word on the street’ quotes they get in each week on their website.

#wordonthestreet from london

#wordonthestreet from london

Belauscht.de have for many years been sharing comments overheard on the streets, in public transport, offices and shops across Germany on their blog, but also in published books and CDs  culminating recently in the launch of their “best of… 10 years of…” edition, amusingly entitled “excuse me, where can i find the passionate tomatoes?” !!

"excuse me, where can i find passionate tomatoes here?"

“excuse me, where can i find passionate tomatoes here?”

From the fair city of Dublin, in Ireland, we came across Overheard in Dublin, the Twitter account of the [less frequently updated] blog – a self-described “collection of conversations, quotes and anecdotes overheard in and around Dublin”.

For anyone who can speak Swedish, there’s always this one from Sweden : http://www.tjuvlyssnat.se !

And that’s far from all – just search #overheard on any channel to find a proliferation of other twitterers, bloggers and suchlike passing on their own (or borrowed) overheard snippets of conversation!

For the record, no, we don’t consider this whole world of [what could also be called] ‘eavesdropping’ to be anywhere sneaky or sinister! Let’s face it, these days we have choices, and choosing to speak aloud is usually just that, a choice. We can nearly always  opt to send written messages or snapchats etc if we don’t want to be overheard. Moreover, this wonderfully random process of trespassing into other people’s heads and conversations is likely to become a less frequent occurrence, and certainly ever less accidental.

And yet, isn’t it those very face-to-face encounters, those unwritten, undocumented chats, those mutterings, those undetectable, un-hashtagged private conversations, where people will reveal their true thoughts? Without fear of being watched or tracked? Seems we should keep eyes and ears open, and that’s that.

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