Opinion | Sexuality

You Talk Like a Girl

How vocal fry affects women in the church.
You Talk Like a Girl
Image: Andrea Rose / Flickr

Even if you've never heard of "vocal fry" or "upspeak," you probably hear people speak in these patterns every day.

Vocal fry is when someone's voice gets lower and turns gravely, usually drawn out at the end of a sentence. It's the sound of the next generation: in a study published in the Journal of Voice, more than two-thirds of female college students spoke with vocal fry. The low, guttural affectation has been dismissed—mostly by old guys —as annoying and unprofessional, blamed on eye-roll-inducing celebs like Zooey Deschanel, Britney Spears, Ke$ha, and the Kardashians. Fast Company warns that vocal fry could "kill your job search" and ruin phone interviews.

This is just the latest speaking trend for American women. There's also upspeak, which is when? People talk? Like every phrase is a question? That's on top of our overuse of "like," Valley-Girl talk, and the higher register of the female voice.

Women ...

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