Why are Americans so Loud?

I’m an American, and I have been told I’m loud. By other Americans.

At any rate, it is generally agreed that as a whole, Americans tend to be loud talkers.

Why should this be? Did our pioneer forefathers have to yell over great distances to be heard? Do we have to interrupt each other to get a word in edgewise, and therefore we have to talk over one another? Is it sixty years of Rock and Roll pounding our eardrums to tatters? Is it an innate fear of wearing puffy shirts?

Or do non-Americans just talk too damn soft?

Those of us from the agriculture-dominated wide open spaces had to call to each other (and the hogs) over long distances.

Those of us from the historically predominantly-Catholic innercities had to yell over large numbers of siblings to be heard, or even fed.

Well, Australians are also loud and Chinese are also loud. But do you have any actual proof that Americans as w hole are louder than any other nation as a whole?

Seriously, try being stuck in a plane or bus full of young Italians. Hell. On. Earth.

I was going to say, I think I’ve heard the “Why are X so loud?” stereotype about every variation of nationality, ethic group and religious sect. It can’t be true of everyone, unless our baseline is a community of mute ninja’s or something. I suspect loudness is just really prone to confirmation bias. After all, we all tend to notice really loud individuals over really quite ones, for obvious reasons.

Well, but some nationalities/ethnicities are stereotyped as being more quiet and demure, like the Japanese, or the Norwegians. People rarely complain about Scandinavians being “loud.” So the point is, I think there is some truth to the idea that Americans are in general louder than some other cultures.

My WAG as to why is that I think we (Americans) are a bit more high-spirited and boisterous in general.

I’ve lived in Canada for a long time. Most people that I interact with here don’t realize that I’m originally from the states. On occasion someone will comment on how loud Americans are - tourists in Vancouver, for example. I always find this amusing, since I’m quietly standing there being also American. It’s confirmation bias in action in front of me.


Or a train car full of young Brits or Germans or French on their way to/from a football match. With open beer in hand.

Very, very loud.

Tourists are loud.
Americans are annoying for having a global hegemony.
Annoying people get more attention.
Hence, the Halo Effect dictates that Americans, of all tourists, are the loudest.

I don’t notice Americans are any louder than Canadians, or of any of the Brits I know, and none of them nearly as loud as Australians.

I blame noise pollution. Yanks like motorcycles & hot rods. We keep rather large & regularly mown lawns, & our lawnmowers are motorized & unmuffled. We give children noisy toys. In the south, we have the constant hum of air conditioners in the summer, which drowns out the tinnitus. We are a deafish people.

ETA: That said, some Yanks are really quiet. I’m hard of hearing (for reasons mentioned above), speak loudly, & don’t whisper because I can’t hear whispers. OTOH, I have a cousin who’s very very quiet. Kind of spooky.

In the 1990’s I had a brief affair with a lovely, intelligent, amazing, yet incredibly loud american woman. We’d talk about it and she obviously tried hard to speak more softly, but when she got excited about something the volume would shoot up. She started complaining about american culture herself, and told me about something called POGs and a dinosaur called Barney, both of whom would soon arrive from the US to ruin my life she prophecised. We were walking side by side when she saw a young lad with a POG about 200 yards away. She shouted in my ear ‘LOOK! HE HAS POGs’. I reminded her again she didn’t need to shout when we were side by side, and she protested she wasn’t shouting. Minutes later we walked by the lad and his dad, and the man said in a very quiet, dry and depressed voice “Yes, he has POGs”.
That was the first time she truly realised how loud she was.

I once worked at a Disney theme park, & I learned right off that all tourists, no matter where they come from, are utter swine. Period.

Loud is a by-product.

You must not have traveled much. Re national “loudness” Americans are barely in the middle of the international pack. There are tons of countries whose interpersonal volume levels make us look like a national of whisperers.

Oh man, after two years in China I’m looking forward to America as the serene land of peace and quiet. Trust me, Americans are not exceptionally loud in any way.

Vietnamese people I’ve known have seemed really loud to, but more so when talking in their native language then in English. I wonder if tonal languages encourage “loud talking”.

I’m an American, and I’ve been told to speak up. By other Americans.

I returned to the states after 12 years overseas and it’s the first thing I noticed in restaurants. All these years later, it still bothers me to hear people almost shouting every personal detail of their lives. Our friends from WDC are out visiting this week. They’re back in the states after being out of the country for 14 years. I asked them today what struck them the most about re-entry and - SURPRISE! - it’s the volume of conversation.

I don’t think it is Americans in general, just that we tend to have people that are EXTREMELY LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS AT ALL TIMES and unfortunately, too many of their friends are too timid to tell them it is a problem.

I used to have a friend like this. We stopped taking him out to restaurants because he was so fucking loud that people five tables away would be giving him the stink eye and he’d be completely oblivious to it. I think I was the only one who would directly, to his face, say something about it.

Right now in one of my game groups, we have a couple of similar people. One guy is so loud it hurts my ears and I refuse to sit next to him. Then he’ll get a call he has to take and be shouting into the phone while crammed into a small room (a bedroom) with seven other people. No one else can carry on a conversation while he’s on his damned phone, he’s that loud. He’s not my friend, so I haven’t gone off on him (yet), but I have made a few small comments about the volume that have gone over his head and because of that, said some things to his friends about the pure obnoxiousness of having someone who is utterly incapable of using an indoor voice when he’s shoulder to shoulder with you.

On my first overseas trip in 1986 I got the full Ugly American treatement on the bus from the Manchester Airport to the train station. Young and Stupid American Girl, going off about foreigners who come to “this country” (meaning the USA even though we were in Britain at the time) and whateverthefuckshewasonabout. It is people like her who give Americans a bad image overseas.