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I don’t un­der­stand the mean­ing of shout over as it has been used in the fol­low­ing pas­sage from Pa­tri­cia High­smith’s novel, The Ta­lented Mr. Ri­p­ley:

A well-dressed Ital­ian greeted Dickie warmly and sat down at the ta­ble with them. Tom lis­tened to their con­ver­sa­tion in Ital­ian, un­der­stand­ing a word here and there.

“Want to go to Rome?” Dickie asked him sud­denly.

“Sure,” Tom said. “Now?”

The Ital­ian had a long, gray car with a loud ra­dio that he and Dickie seemed happy to shout over. They reached Rome in about two hours and the Ital­ian dropped them in the mid­dle of a street and said a quick good­bye.

Could some­one please ex­plain to me what to shout over means as it’s be­ing used here?

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jun 29 at 19:24

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

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    Is the problem you’re having perhaps related to correctly understanding the underlying syntax that has rearranged the ordering so that the object of the verb shout over appears earlier in the sentence than its verb, or is it that you are unfamiliar with talking “over” some background sound? In any event, the heavy copyedit I’ve had to apply to make your question read well in English indicates that you would be more likely to find the sorts of basic help you need at our sister site for English Language Learners than here at our site for professional linguists and accomplished English-language enthusiasts. – tchrist Jun 29 at 19:18
  • I'm sorry that "the authorities" here chose to delete my comment which provided significant insight into this usage. – Hot Licks Jun 29 at 19:43
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It literally means to shout in order to be heard over. The radio is loud, but they're are perfectly happy to shout over the radio (presumably because the rest of the car is worth it).

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