How to Talk

For today's thoughts, I was watching Star Trek Voyager's episode "Mortal Coil." It's a fascinating look into a character who, having been brought back from the dead, must grapple with whether to believe in the afterlife (or not). I won't touch on any of its themes of identity or morality or hope in this post. Instead, I'm here today to write concerning a small turn of phrase during the party scene. 

In the episode, a character struggling with social conduct is told, after approaching some people at the party and listening in, to join the group in conversation; 

"to chime in."

During the past writing bet (which I won!)

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I was advised to publicize the work I did on my Twitter account, @LindseyPipesUp. My whopping 46 followers as such got an earful (eyeful?)(awful) and, having been seeing a lot of the "pipes up" phrasing, I was drawn to the expression "chime in" today. 

People talk. A lot. Some more than others, and those in my family more than most. We humans have a lot of words for talking, because it's kind of a solipsistic thing, and because it makes us happy to talk about things we like (and ourselves) and also about other people we like who talk about things we like (and themselves). Today I'd like to list out all of the expressions I can think of (and maybe a few I'll look up) for people talking, and try to suss out a few unobvious nuances. 

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  1. to pipe up
  2. to chime in
  3. to talk
  4. to chat / chatter / chit chat
  5. to converse
  6. to bring up / to come up 
  7. to squawk
  8. to mention
  9. to put forth
  10. to insert
  11. to speak up
  12. to gush
  13. to gab
  14. to gossip
  15. to give up
  16. to reveal
  17. to blab
  18. to prate / prattle
  19. to intone
  20. to offer
  21. to say
  22. to tell
  23. to iterate
  24. to sing -- as like a canary, giving up potentially damning information
  25. to spit -- at the edge of a sound and not a word (notice I didn't include warble, trill, chortlehiccup, harrumph and others which are more tonal cues than true "talking"); however, to spit in the context of conversation is to say something in an aspirated fashion (with a hiss). To spit is more talk than noise because, by nature, words spat at someone have to be understood as words, not just as noise, for the full brunt of the term's meaning to hit.  
  26. to address -- as when directed your full, formal attention at the other person in your choice of words (and presentation)
  27. to explain
  28. to jaw away
  29. to elocute
  30. to banter
  31. to bicker
  32. to comment
  33. to communicate
  34. to lecture
  35. to orate
  36. to negotiate
  37. to profess
  38. to exaggerate
  39. to lie (I almost didn't include this, but lying is talking untruthfully -- language is a requirement)
  40. to sound out
  41. to articulate
  42. to speak

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I think I'll end here. Always good to be left searching for a new question. 

If another word for talking comes to mind that I didn't mention, please comment below! Happy to add credit for new additions up to 50.