Family 411 - Beware "vocal fry"


It’s a trend that could speak volumes on how the younger generation is perceived by potential employers.

It's called "vocal fry."

It happens when people make a creaky sound in their voice at the end of a sentence.

Reporter Tara Morgan shows us why perception is dependent on your audience, in this edition of the “Family 411.”

Jessica Gould practices her recital number with ease.

It also doesn't take much for her to slip into what she calls a bad habit.

"You should check out this new song, it's really cool and I like it a lot,” said Gould.

“Vocal fry” is when you use the lowest register of your voice.

“That leads to this creaky or popcorn-y sound," said Elycia Taylor, a Business Communication Instructor.

“Vocal fry” is a topic of conversation brought up in Taylor's class.

She's a business communication instructor.

"All of us use ‘vocal fry,’” said Taylor. “A lot of times we'll use it as we end a sentence to show that we're ending a sentence.”

Taylor says some people consciously use “vocal fry,” with the trend standing out among women and the younger generation.

"We have this thing called ‘conversational mimicry’ when we're sitting down with someone, especially if they are similar to us or someone we'd like to emulate,” said Taylor.

There are vastly different perspectives on how people who use “vocal fry” are perceived.

Taylor says, while it might not be noticeable to the younger generation, an older audience might think you're lazy and not interested.

"It could be detrimental to you getting the job, getting the promotion, or being taken seriously,” said Taylor.

Jessica takes voice lessons to help with her singing in theater productions.

"My teacher said that it could hurt your voice over time, and that's something I definitely don't want happening,” said Gould.

Jessica thinks she picked it up from her friends.

"I would say a lot of people probably find it better if you didn't do that,” said Gould. “And I just did it!”

It’s a habit Gould says she'll try to leave behind.

Taylor recommends knowing your audience before walking into a job interview and to tread carefully with using vocal fry.

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