Author Topic: Vocal Fry  (Read 2592 times)

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Offline NEKSkeptic

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Vocal Fry
« on: March 30, 2017, 10:56:59 AM »
I really enjoy having Cara Santa Maria on the show, but has anyone noticed her vocal fry?  It's not horrible, but it's enough to be distracting. 

Is this just a thing that all younger people are doing now?

Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Vocal Fry
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 11:04:10 AM »
It's just a thing that older people allow themselves to be distracted by.
Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

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Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: Vocal Fry
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 11:09:35 AM »
Actually, it's more than that.  There have been some interesting studies on the topic.  These include studies on the underlying reasons for adopting this type of speech as well as the consequences on the speaker's job prospects.  At least one study has found that it has a negative impact on job prospects.

Whether or not it is natural or adopted, I have no idea.  But as far as adoption is concerned, younger women are the most likely adopters.

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Vocal Fry
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 11:17:19 AM »
Never noticed, I'm an older man and I only notice extreme examples.  Cara is not even a remotely bad offender.  There was a whole thread about vocal fry and up talking(more annoying in my opinion).  IIRC, neither is a particularly new thing nor much isolated to young women. 

Offline Harry Black

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Re: Vocal Fry
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2017, 11:27:49 AM »
The fact that it holds people back from job prospects is yet another indictment of how shitty and biased current recruitment formats are.
Kind of smacks of the old "Well I dont care about appearances personally but other do so I will judge you on your appearance on that basis."

Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: Vocal Fry
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2017, 11:32:31 AM »
IIRC, neither is a particularly new thing nor much isolated to young women.
The research has shown that, while maybe not new, it is more prevalent.  And while it is not isolated to women, women are statistically much more likely to use this type of speech.  This is one reason why there is concern about the implications of speaking in this manner.  The negative implications hurt women more than men.

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Vocal Fry
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2017, 12:01:34 PM »
IIRC, neither is a particularly new thing nor much isolated to young women.
The research has shown that, while maybe not new, it is more prevalent.  And while it is not isolated to women, women are statistically much more likely to use this type of speech.  This is one reason why there is concern about the implications of speaking in this manner.  The negative implications hurt women more than men.
Now that you mention it, I think my memory is faulty on this score.  As I now remember it being mostly a way to artificially lower the register of your voice which only women really have an incentive to do.  As lower voices are taken more seriously. 

Offline Mr. Beagle

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Re: Vocal Fry
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2017, 12:17:16 PM »
My older son, who is almost exactly the same age as Cara, has this fry, while his younger brother does not. Is there a culturally-timed event or trend here, similar to "Valley Girl" phrasing?
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Vocal Fry
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2017, 12:35:48 PM »
I have noticed nothing abnormal about Cara's voice. And the fact that she is a successful professional communicator (specifically science communicator) suggests that people generally have no problem with her voice.
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Offline NEKSkeptic

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Re: Vocal Fry
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2017, 12:53:03 PM »
My older son, who is almost exactly the same age as Cara, has this fry, while his younger brother does not. Is there a culturally-timed event or trend here, similar to "Valley Girl" phrasing?
There is a theory that this originated with the mimicking of certain female celebrities.  I can't say that I have seen a definitive study on this, however.

Offline teethering

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Re: Vocal Fry
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2017, 01:11:45 PM »
I have to admit vocal fry and high rising terminals really bother me.  Thankfully I don't listen to the show.

Offline random poet

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Re: Vocal Fry
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2017, 01:27:24 PM »
It is a generational thing (in that old people tend to be more annoyed by it, and young people tend to use it more), but it's not only young women. Men of that age do it as well, but people notice it less because men's voices are already lower, so the fry is less jarring. (And it does not suprise me that women are judged more negatively for it, even impacting their job opportunities.)

I must be an old because it is kind of annoying to me. Just take a voice class, just one time, and learn to speak in public properly.
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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Vocal Fry
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2017, 01:39:41 PM »
My older son, who is almost exactly the same age as Cara, has this fry, while his younger brother does not. Is there a culturally-timed event or trend here, similar to "Valley Girl" phrasing?
There is a theory that this originated with the mimicking of certain female celebrities.  I can't say that I have seen a definitive study on this, however.
So... here is my theory. I worked in radio for 5 years and didn't really hear it much at the time, but I think that should be tempered by the fact that at that point in time you still basically only worked on-air if you were either a male or you had a deep-ish voice as a woman. One of the women I worked with (and still keep in touch with, actually) did the voice of the appliance in this clip:



Another woman I worked with (the reporter here; note her voice juxtaposed with the higher-pitched and vocal fry-present interviewee):

http://mynorthwest.com/22601/survivor-suicide-treatment-really-works/

I wanted to bring in real-world examples so you can see what I mean: as recently as 2005ish, this was the standard for how women on the radio and/or doing announcing were supposed to sound. The thing that has changed in radio and TV more than anything else is that it used to be that if you didn't have a voice like Donna Renae's or Ursula Reutin's you simply didn't get gigs. It's just different for guys in that very few of us have voices so high-pitched that we can't talk a little bit deeper without it going below our regular chest register and creating that thing that people call vocal fry. Now things are changing and people with higher-pitched voices are beginning to get more work, which I think is fantastic by the way but is only kind of tangential to this point. Unfortunately there is still this attitude that serious = talking a low voice that pervades... well, everywhere. Think about when you have to tell your SO or a family member something important: you're going to drop to a lower pitch automatically, probably without thinking about it, unless you *specifically* want to maintain the illusion that whatever you're talking about is light and breezy.

All in all I think that radio and voice work in general needs more diversity in pitch than they've had in the past. There will still continue to be jobs out there for those of us WITH AMAZING DEEP SOOTHING VOICES THAT GIVE PEOPLE THE ASMR* but not everyone in real life sounds like this and not every voice you hear on the radio should either. On top of that I think that once you get used to the way a person sounds, which I think you can pick up pretty quickly in most cases, you quickly learn what is a Serious Low Voice for *them*, regardless of how low it is compared to others. I think that the whole "vocal fry" thing, then, is an artifact of this transitory period we're going through, where 20 years from now vocal fry won't be a thing and we'll probably all kind of laugh at how everyone in radio and who did TV announcing or whatever had corny, deep voices (consider the way we think about the early pop music era with "crooners" like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra). On top of that, yeah, it's kind of covert woman-shaming in that not all women have vocal fry but nearly everyone who has it is a woman. And on top of *that*, what I've read is that, demographically speaking, vocal fry is only a thing you care about if you're over 35 or so.

*Disclaimer: I'm a baritone, not a bass. My voice does have a natural resonance to it that the lllllllllllllllladies lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllove but let's not go crazy here; I ain't exactly Barry White or Don LaFontaine.
Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Offline Harry Black

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Re: Vocal Fry
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2017, 01:54:25 PM »
Certain accents make my skin crawl, but I understand that this is my own snobbishness and bias and while I used to whine about it, Ive come to think of it as my problem, not the speakers and just to try to focus on the content of what is being conveyed.
Things like vocal fry are no more than a particular accent to me, just for a group that seems to identify more around values and shared media experience than a regional connection.

Offline Boßel

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Re: Vocal Fry
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2017, 01:58:06 PM »
Upspeaking drives me crazier than vocal fry?

 

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