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I was told that "speaking of" should refer to a previously mentioned subject and should trigger a change of the subject. For example:

  • Are you going to chip in on a joint gift for Frank? He has a birthday tomorrow.
  • Do I have to?
  • You don't have to if you don't feel like doing so.
  • Well, I feel like smoking now... but speaking of chipping in, I will chip in 10 dollars. (WRONG)

I was told that "speaking of chipping in" is not used correctly here because it continues the discussion of the previous subject. It would be OK if it started a new subject slightly related to the matter of chipping in. For example:

  • Well, I feel like smoking now... but speaking of chipping in, who even made it up? Isn't it just another useless concept?

Now I wonder what if I used "talking of chipping in"? Would it be OK to continue with the subject mentioned earlier in that case?

  • Are you going to chip in on a joint gift for Frank? He has a birthday tomorrow.
  • Do I have to?
  • You don't have to if you don't feel like doing so.
  • Well, I feel like smoking now... but TALKING of chipping in, I will chip in 10 dollars. (CORRECT? or WRONG?)
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    I don't think so. I think it has the same restrictions as 'speaking of'. I would prefer something like 'as for' or 'regarding' [formal] or 'about' [somewhat informal]. – legatrix Dec 7 '20 at 8:41
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Both 'speaking of...' and 'talking of...' introduce a new subject related to the previous one.

Suppose two of you have been talking about a work colleague, which reminds you of another colleague who has been ill. You might say "Speaking of [your workplace], have you heard how Joe Bloggs is?"

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  • What expression would you recommend using if the speaker wants to dwell on the same subject and elaborate on it? – user1425 Dec 7 '20 at 8:51
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    If the other person has changed the subject but you want to say more about the previous one, you might say "Going back to X..." or "To revert to X..." – Kate Bunting Dec 7 '20 at 9:00
  • I see. What if the interlocuter hasn't changed the subject as in my context. But the speaker themself veered off the subject a bit and then want to revert to it. Would "Going back to X..." or "To revert to X..." work? "Going back to chipping in, I will chip 10 dollars in"? Correct? – user1425 Dec 7 '20 at 9:09
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    Yes, the same applies (but 'I will chip in 10 dollars' as you originally wrote). – Kate Bunting Dec 7 '20 at 9:18

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