Feminist author Naomi Wolf has written an open letter explaining to young women that in the poker game of life, they have a tell. And if they want to be taken seriously at the table, they’d better ditch the vocal giveaway. The tell is called ‘Vocal Fry‘, and it’s not exactly like those other well-known tells, ‘uptalk’ and ‘valley speak.’ But it has a similar social effect — undermining the speaker.
Vocal Fry is sort of a croaking sound — or low, creaky vibrations. Kim Kardashian and Zooey Deschanel are prime users of Vocal Fry. (Kardashian, interestingly, has ridden the Vocal Fry tendency to hundreds of millions of dollars in earnings, seemingly proving Wolf wrong.) Wolf describes it as a “disruptive speech pattern” that diminishes the authority of the speaker. Here are some examples.