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  • March 2012
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Vocal Fry – Super Annoyinnnnnng or a Way to Make Friends?

You may have noticed this trendy way of speaking that’s making the rounds among young women today, called vocal fry.  It’s this super raspy creaky croak often exhibited at the end of a sentence.  Don’t know what I’m referring to?  Watch this public service announcement:

The New York Times covered the trend in the article, “They’re, Like, Way Ahead of the Linguistic Currrrve“.  The article states that a study found that young women who insert this vocal pattern into their speech are doing so to fit in with the in crowd, and use it when feeling disinterested or when they want to sound more authoritative.

Interestingly, the article also covers a study that looked at the use of the word like, as in, “Oh my GOD! Can you believe he, like, said that?  Ugh!”  The study examined over 12,000 phone conversations, picking out the use of the word “like” as a filler, and found that – oddly enough – men used the expression more than women.  Turns out that, as far as vocal trends go, women exhibit what’s new and hot in speech a half generation before men do.  Which means, in about a half generation we’ll hear men saying, “C’mon guys, are we gonna go eaaaaat, orrrr whaaaaat?????”

So, in the interest of not getting “poop thrown at your face,” the punishment meted out by the creator of the above service announcemnet, perhaps the young women of the world should look for another way to fit in?  For some inspiration on healthy female friendships in Teen Lit, check out one of these reads from your local library!

  Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel by Candace Bushnell

Brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around Big Apple, going from being a country “sparrow”     to the person she always wanted to be.

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Fed up with boys and the way they have treated her and her friends, high school junior Penny Lane–named after the Beatles song–forms a club whose members vow to stop dating.

30 Days to Finding and Keeping Sassy Sidekicks and BFFs: A Friendship Field Guide by Clea Hantman

The title of this one says it all!

The Darlings are Forever by Melissa Kantor

Best friends Jane, Victoria, and Natalya, who call themselves the Darlings, find their relationship tested when they start their freshman year at three very different high schools.

Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani

When fourteen-year-old Viola is sent from her beloved Brooklyn to boarding school in Indiana for ninth grade, she overcomes her initial reservations as she makes friends with her roommates, goes on a real date, and uses the unsettling ghost she keeps seeing as the subject of a short film–her first.

Until Next Time! ~LeeAnn

2 Responses

  1. I feel like men do this too! In fact, I think most all of my friends are guilty of a little bit of vocal fry, but, then again, maybe it’s just a modern speech pattern like any other.

  2. The way people speak is so interesting to me and until reading your article I had no idea vocal fry was a “thing.” But now that I do I’m sure its going to be driving me crazy all over town.

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