Skip to comments.'Vocal Fry' Creeping Into U.S. Speech
Posted on 12/11/2011 1:13:33 PM PST by Dallas59
A curious vocal pattern has crept into the speech of young adult women who speak American English: low, creaky vibrations, also called vocal fry. Pop singers, such as Britney Spears, slip vocal fry into their music as a way to reach low notes and add style. Now, a new study of young women in New York state shows that the same guttural vibrationonce considered a speech disorderhas become a language fad.
Vocal fry, or glottalization, is a low, staccato vibration during speech, produced by a slow fluttering of the vocal chords (listen here). Since the 1960s, vocal fry has been recognized as the lowest of the three vocal registers, which also include falsetto and modalthe usual speaking register. Speakers creak differently according to their gender, although whether it is more common in males or females varies among languages. In American English, anecdotal reports suggest that the behavior is much more common in women. (In British English, the pattern is the opposite.) Historically, continual use of vocal fry was classified as part of a voice disorder that was believed to lead to vocal chord damage. However, in recent years, researchers have noted occasional use of the creak in speakers with normal voice quality.
You can hear it at the end of each sentence.
That link features the voice of the dreadful “Powered by TellMe” robot agent at the toll-free customer service phone numbers of some major companies. It’s very grating and annoying.
I end up screaming “AGENT!” at it to dismiss it and get a real live person to speak to me.
One of my daughters does this, she sounds like a 3PPD smoker
I must be a result of the brain fried on drugs.
Our culture is devolving very fast, this is but one small symptom.
Plus maybe ridicule would help.
It’s easy to do, I find. Just go “low and slow”. Youtube has a bunch of clips about how to practice it and amplify it into a “power fry”. Lordy.
I was wondering what that was. I hear it all the time, especially among young women, and it is very annoying.
One of the most annoying things to me is a voice that constantly sounds like they need to clear their throat.
Example; Rachel Ray
You're kidding, right? That made as much sense as the calculus class I flunked in high school........
Yikes, makes me sooo glad I’m a hermit. I’ll give it a listen later. Someone was telling me on FR - Windflier! - that young men seem to be asssuming an even worse (?) vocal mannerism - an artificially high effeminate tone to their speech. I’ve never heard it (Thankfully) but maybe he’ll chime in.
Windflier, was it you who told me about this?
So the girls sound like big frogs and the boys sound like fags. What next (I DON’T want to know).
Yes, I think it was Windflier who posted that. (Howdy.)
It's gotten so rare to hear a nice baritone (or base) male voice that when I do it's like hearing music.
I have also noticed that a lot of commercials on TV (especially for SUBURU) will have a person singing in a fuzzy non professional singer kind of voice with a string instrument of some kind as the only accompaniment. I think the ads are targeted towards women who talk in the “fry voice”.
Bass not base. Argh.