Vocal Fry

Listen to this: https://soundcloud.com/olga-khazan/sets/vocal-fry

Can you hear the difference between the “normal” male/female voice and the male/female vocal fry? The phenomenon of the vocal or glottal fry has been called the latest trend in speaking styles. It’s usually associated with female speakers (probably because the Kardashians are a prime example), but men do it, too. A recent study has revealed, however, that speaking with a “creaky voice” may endanger women’s job prospects, because the fry can be annoying:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/05/employers-look-down-on-women-with-vocal-fry/371811/

Another study, however, has apparently shown that this style of speaking is predominantly associated with urban and upwardly mobile young women. Hmmm. Have a look at this video and decide for yourselves:

If you’re interested, also check out this article which includes a video clip of Noam Chomsky as an example of a male speaker with vocal fry:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/61552/what-vocal-fry

And if you’re still wondering why the vocal fry is considered a gendered phenomenon after watching this video clip, then we really don’t know…

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