Bad habits – vocal fry and thank you – we need relief
By Jim Schuh
Some teens along with 20- and 30-something ladies have picked up an extremely annoying habit of growling the last several words in their phrases and sentences. Experts call it “vocal fry,” and it seems to be spreading.
Merriam-Webster describes it this way: “a vocal effect produced by very slow vibration of the vocal cords and characterized by a creaking sound and low pitch. As with other kinds of laryngealization, vocal fry is produced by constricting the larynx. The effect is used typically at the ends of phrases and sentences.”
You hear it most frequently during TV talk show guests. It’s a learned behavior and unnatural. But somehow, the ladies must think it’s cool. The rest of us hate it.
What the gals don’t realize is that the habit makes them sound silly and uneducated. Annie Tomlin wrote about vocal fry in Cosmopolitan magazine: “It’s widespread among young women, but it doesn’t project clarity or confidence in the workplace.” Some describe vocal fry as a “turn-off.”
Take a look at Abby Normal’s very funny commentary about vocal fry on YouTube. Here’s the address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsE5mysfZsY.
Men don’t seem to have developed these habits – I can’t recall ever hearing a man talk with vocal fry.
But a few male news anchors do something strange – they slow down their speech on the last few words of a story as they drop their voice. Nobody talks that way to others in normal conversation.
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