talk at cross purposes

(redirected from talking at cross purposes)

talk at cross purposes

To talk with others in a way that promotes or maintains conflict or opposition. You will never find success if you continue to talk at cross purposes with your teammates.
See also: cross, purpose, talk

be/talk at cross ˈpurposes

(of two people or groups) misunderstand what the other is referring to or trying to do: Mary and I spoke about Anne for a minute or two before I realized we were talking at cross purposes: I meant Anne Smith and Mary meant Anne Harris.
See also: cross, purpose, talk
References in periodicals archive ?
FRIDAY Celebrity Big Brother: Live Final Channel 5, 9pm It's been a strange few weeks in the Celebrity Big Brother House - arguably the oddest moment was the misunderstanding that led US reality star Tiffany Pollard to think that fellow housemate David Gest had died, rather than Angie Bowie's rock legend ex-husband - but after all those tasks and talking at cross purposes, the series is now at an end.
later bump into each other, they both have kids on the brain - and when they end up talking at cross purposes, Shabnam says too much.
As finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of 20 developed and emerging countries gathered ahead of a meeting in Sydney, many are already talking at cross purposes.
TALKING AT CROSS PURPOSES (The New York Times, New York)
With just over a year to go until the deadline set by the World Trade Organisation, the European Commission and the ACP (African, Caribbean, Pacific) countries are still talking at cross purposes during the negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).
With characters adhering to the strict rules of Mamet-speak (David Mamet co-founded the Atlantic), "Blue Route" features lots of overlapping sentence fragments and talking at cross purposes (not to mention easy jokes about suburbia), all of which is meant to signify characters who can't say what's in their hearts and minds.
They were talking at cross purposes and he put two and two together and came up with five.
Enter Penelope Troop (the actress wife), soon followed by Lance Corporal Clive Winton, who turns out to be a former actor friend of Penelope, the Bishop of Lax, the superb Reverend Humphrey and everyone talking at cross purposes and soon the audience was in tears (of laughter).