June 7, 2014

"Vocal fry probably doesn't harm your career prospects..."

"... but not being yourself just might."


Kelly said...

Hillary! was recently on the view and I noticed some vocal fry (didn't know it had a name) creeping into the way she answered some of the questions.

Anonymous said...

NYT has endorsed HRC for POTUS 2016.

Oh, yes, it is beginning to look like Christmas.



fizzymagic said...

I've noticed that for some reason NPR frequently airs reports or other segments by women who engage in uptalk and vocal fry. It makes them sound unprofessional and airheaded.

The Godfather said...

I had never heard the term before. Basically, Althouse.com is my only connection with what is going on in the popular culture. And BTW (that means "by the way"), I really can't hear anything special in the voices that are supposed to exemplify vocal fry. Substantively, they are void, but vocally they are what they are.

Anonymous said...

NPR has to appeal to the youngsters their ideals have partially helped to create, namely hipsters and the vocal fry club.

It's a tough market out there and it's a signifier, like a hyphenated last name for a woman, but it's broader.

Hilary knows her base.

rcommal said...

Or, at least, not being the self that others have decided is the more authentic.


Will Vocal Fry Hurt Career Prospects?

I dunno. Mebbe, mebbe not. That said, given that everyone (including up to grandmas and grandpas) and his and/or her brother/sister have adopted the whole "I know, right?" thang, I'm inclined to think that in the long run, the whole vocal fry meme won't amount to a hill of beans.

It's just another theme. Ugly or not, it's unlikely to mean a thing.

Doo wop doo wop doop wop & etc.

rcommal said...

Important to know when learning about, for example, vocal fry, is that one also must learn to know about "phonation," for one among many examples.

Pardon my pedantry, but there you go (as you must).

rcommal said...

Fortunately, there is a solution. Just as one might buy two types of apples to compare their flavors, we can look for speakers who just happen to produce more vocal fry in their speech and compare them to those who do not produce it. If one were to play the speech of these two groups to listeners (and potential employers), listeners might have different attitudes about one of the groups. This is, in fact, what Yuasa (2010) did in her study of creaky phonation. Yet, importantly, the authors of the study here did no such thing. Rather, they recorded speakers producing normal utterances and then trained them to produce an utterance with greater vocal fry. As a consequence, the speech contained in all of the vocal fry stimuli is actually speech where speakers are attempting to imitate a voice with vocal fry.


Anonymous said...

Naked Bob Dylan Robot says:

There is vocal fry, and then there is Bob Dylan vocal fry.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

'Vocal fry' must be added to the lists of what must not be considered in commerce - buying (e.g. hiring labor) and selling (e.g. renting a property.

..List of Immutable Conditions
age (or lack thereof)
skin color
native hair or eye color color
mental capacity
innate sexual preference

..List of Mutable Conditions
religious adherence (except Christian)
cultural adherence
language/communication skills
sexual activities engaged in by choice

Gotta be 'fair' about these things, ya'know. (There's that four letter 'F' word again.)

The Crack Emcee said...

"Vocal fry probably doesn't harm your career prospects..."

But being black will.

Great country you got here,...

Curious George said...

"The Crack Emcee said...
"Vocal fry probably doesn't harm your career prospects..."

But being black will.

Great country you got here,..."

Your problem isn't being black. Your problem is being you. Has been. Is now. Will be.

Jay Vogt said...

When done well, it's sexy as hell. Elizabeth Ashely was the master . . . . or rather mistress.

Bob Ellison said...

Listen to the voice of Michel Martin of NPR's Tell Me More. That's the strong, bright, clear voice a woman should strive for.

The Professor has a good voice, too, and I think that's partly because she doesn't try to disguise it her natural speaking tendencies. Most men do that; they try to talk in the bottom of their range and make inappropriate dramatic pauses.

Similarly, some women do "vocal fry" (what a dumb term!) and magnify the frequency range in order to achieve some desired, but probably unattained, result.

Alex said...

Some evidence exists of vocal fry becoming more common in the speech of young female speakers of American English in the early 21st century,[4][5][6][7] but the extent and significance of this are disputed.[8][9] Researcher Ikuko Yuasa suggests that this tendency is a product of young women endeavoring to infuse their speech with gravitas by means of reaching for the male register and found that "college-age Americans [...] perceive female creaky voice as hesitant, nonaggressive, and informal but also educated, urban-oriented, and upwardly mobile".[4]


Alex said...

An NBC segment on vocal fry in young college women:


Disgusting habit, I'd rather stab my ears.

Carol said...

The worst vocal fry I ever heard was Henry Kissinger's. He always spoke that way. I think he was trying to make his voice sound deeper and more authoritative. It was ridiculous.

But I think one reason public speakers get away with it is because there is always a microphone so no perceived need to project.

It's funny that women are picking up the trait. It used to be that they'd push their voices artificially high to sound feminine. The normal human voice has a wide range and it's amazing how much you can control it.

eddie willers said...

The worst vocal fry I ever heard was Henry Kissinger's.

And that fake German, like, ya know?

ken in tx said...

I noticed about five years ago that NPR frequently interviewed supposedly professional women who sounded like middle school valley girls. It made me think they were dolts.

John henry said...

Crack said:

"Vocal fry probably doesn't harm your career prospects..."

But being black will.

what about President Obie? Being black has nto harmed his career, has it?

He got everything he has, through his entire life, because he is black, not in spite of it.

(I call him President Obie in memory of Officer Obie of Alice's Restaurant fame)

John Henry

viator said...

Vocal fry didn't hurt Bill Clinton's career.