Young Women Speak, Older Ears Hear Vocal Fry

by Francesca Fontana and Denise Blostein | Wall Street Journal

 
 

What do Kim Kardashian, Ira Glass and Britney Spears have in common? They all speak using “vocal fry,” a low, creaky sound at the end of phrases or words.

Known by linguists as “creaky phonation,” vocal fry is used equally by men and women, but women are more likely to receive comments and criticism about the speech pattern.

This video takes a look at why people speak this way and whether young women should worry about how they speak to fit in at work.

Illustration: Heather Seidel/The Wall Street Journal