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‘Vocal Fry’ May Be A New Trend, But It Could Hurt Your Career

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(credit: CBS) Natalie Nyhus
Natalie Nyhus joined the WCCO-TV team in January of 2011. She repor...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The way a person talks says a lot about them. Do you speak with authority? Are you soft spoken? An increasingly common “style” of talk is raspy and creaky. It’s called the vocal fry.

Much like valley girl talk used to be trendy, the vocal fry is heard from celebs like Zooey Deschanel and the Kardashians.

“Vocal fry is speaking below the natural pitch range with no breath support so that we get this,” said Speech Coach Cheryl Moore Brinkley. “And it sounds crackley.”

It’s a phenomenon that’s grown common among young women and men. A recent study says two-thirds of college-aged people are frying, and it’s hurting their odds of getting jobs.

“There’s a lot of discussion about it, but we’ve been dealing with it for years,” Moore Brinkley said. “It’s just so unpleasant and limited. We want a voice that is powerful, that’s expressive. Leadership voice is not a fry voice. Leadership voice reaches out and inspires people. Not pulls back from people.”

The psychology behind doing the fry is fascinating.

“I don’t want to sound stupid. I don’t want to sound girly girl, even though I hate that term,” Moore Brinkley said. “So I’m going to pull it back and show that I’m cool. I’m not going to give anything away. It became a way to sound smart going into a career.”

If you want to combat the vocal fry, Moore Brinkley said to hum. You heal your vocal folds and it teaches you how to project. If you have a more serious problem, you should see a speech therapist.

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