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Sometimes all you could hear were the flat, hard, packing sounds over the yelling. (A line from Fight Club)

What does "over" mean here?

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The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives definition 3 for the adverb "over" as: "above".

I didn't readily find a definition of "over" that specifically pertained to sounds or hearing, but we often (at least in English -- is this different in other languages?) identify sound levels with physical heights:

"The noise level was so high, I couldn't hear myself think."

"We had to shout so that we could be heard above the roaring of the waterfall."

"The low murmur of the monks' chanting was always there, beneath the sounds of our everyday activities."

"To calculate the minimum detectable signal we first need to establish the noise floor in the receiver."

"Turn up the music!"

So your example just means that the flat, hard, packing sounds could be heard because they were louder than the yelling. Their sounds were at a level above that of the yelling.

  • In my language, we also use physical heights to identify different levels of sounds. Thanks. – Talha Özden Aug 3 '19 at 21:56

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