ADDED: Someone in the comments blames Tara Reid. Let's listen:
Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Please! She may be cute, but you Taroids? You sound awful.
MORE: A reader emails that it's called "creaky voice":
Creaky voice (also called laryngealisation, pulse phonation or, in singing, vocal fry or glottal fry), is a special kind of phonation in which the arytenoid cartilages in the larynx are drawn together; as a result, the vocal folds are compressed rather tightly, becoming relatively slack and compact, and forming a large, irregularly vibrating mass. The frequency of the vibration is very low (20–50 pulses per second, about two octaves below normal voice) and the airflow through the glottis is very slow. A slight degree of laryngealisation, occurring e.g. in some Korean consonants is called "stiff voice".
There is some argument among music instructors as to whether or not this is an actual register as it can be used to add a raspy sound to other registers. By putting a lesser amount of air on the cords than is needed for a clear tone of the pitch you are going for, the tone breaks up and becomes a rasp. Many Nu Metal singers use this technique to create a screaming sound. One example is Chester Bennington of Linkin Park. Yeah Yeah Yeahs' singer Karen O also utilizes the technique in songs like "Rich" and "Art Star"....
Creaky voice manifests itself in the idiolects of some American English speakers, particularly at the beginnings of sentences that the speaker wishes to "soft-pedal". This phenomenon is more prominent among female American English speakers than among male speakers.
Okay, then. More video:
MORE: Slate's Emily Bazelon is a perfect example of the voice I'm talking about.