Vocal Fry Is Annoying, So Stop It

Science Magazine just released news of a crazy study that explains something that’s been bugging us for awhile—apparently, young adult American women have been developing a speech pattern known as vocal fry, which is a creaky vocal register that the study found women were most likely to attach to the end of sentences. This is what vocal fry sounds like, and the second you hear it, you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about.

The study also found vocal fry doesn’t really exist among male American college students, but does among male British college students. It’s unclear where the vocal fry trend came from, though we’re tempted to offer a pomo Gallatin-style theory on idea-viruses and unconscious manipulators of speech as signifiers for our universal need to belong. (Or it could just be that elocution classes have fallen out of fashion? Whatever, we’re not linguists.)

If you do vocal fry, this post is probably feeling as if someone told you to concentrate on the feeling of your tongue on the roof of your mouth. (You’re doing that too now, aren’t you?) Vocal fry is apparently unconscious but honestly pretty annoying—women have such pretty voices! Don’t waste it at the lowest register where you sound like a tortoise with laryngitis.

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  1. Kate L says

    Ugh I can’t even with this. Instead of trying to explain why this piece of pop science is 10000% bullshit, I will let Language Log do it for me: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3626

    TL;DR for the Language Log post: Vocal fry is actually creaky voice, and it’s somewhat inevitable in sentence-final positions of natural speech. It’s more common among American women than American men, but there’s no proof that it’s a new phenomenon.

    Can we stop trying to pathologize the speech of women and get on with our day? Because really, this whole “OMG ladiez r so annyoingggg” thing is really getting old.

  2. Terell Washington says

    Young college women are very annoying. They all think they’re so intellectual, but most are simply arrogant snobs. They sound stupid and uneducated, especially when they say, “like” about every third word.