When I was a boy, out working the fields alone on my grandparents’ farm, I heard voices wafting in from the distance. Two men were standing next to a tractor, its engine running, and so they were shouting at each other to be heard over the engine noise. Two to three hundred yards away, I could hear nearly every word they were saying.
“Ah Hah! Unlike addition and multiplication, communication over a noise source can be asymetrical, or one way.” YOU may be able to hear ME just fine, but it may be utterly impossible for me you hear you, or vice versa. I knew that there was no possible way I could ever shout loud enough for those two men near the tractor to hear me, though I could hear them pretty well.
I’ve used this as an example on several occasions, trying to explain this as the reason why the frustrated fool on the other end of the conversation cannot get through to me. My wife, for example, has never understood this, and she will get angry when I tell her I can’t understand her as I’m washing my hands at the sink. SHE thinks I’M the dumb one, see.
Same goes for radio communication, when someone hears you booming in on a 100 watt repeater, but can’t understand why he isn’t being heard from his 3 watt handy-talkie (then he shouts into the microphone, which makes it worse, because his over modulation [FM} spreads out his three watts over more bandwidth, out toward the edges of the receive passband).
Then there are those who, when wearing ear muffs or headphones and you’re not, and you’re standing right next to them, will shout at you.
And we won’t even get in to the subject of those “low talkers” – those who will talk under their breath apparently as a means of irritating you or for some bizzare reason they want to use it as a means of feeling superior to you, because you’re struggling to hear them while they can hear you perfectly well, and so what’s wrong with you, Chump?