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Vocal fry

\VOH-kuhl freye\ n.

10:45am, July 3, 2014

KEEP YOUR VOICE DOWN  A voice buzzes with vocal fry at the lowest registers, when the vocal folds in the throat vibrate irregularly (right).

A sizzling or rattling sound to speech. Also known as the pulse register phonation or glottal fry, vocal fry is a quality of the lowest registers of the human voice.

The effect is produced when the vocal folds in the throat are pressed toward each other and relaxed, creating a popping, creaky sound. The noise can be a result of voice pathology, or simply an affectation. Once you learn to recognize vocal fry, you may start hearing it everywhere. Recent studies have highlighted vocal fry as particularly common among young women in North America.

In a study published May 28 in PLOS ONE, Rindy Anderson of Duke University and colleagues suggest that most people prefer a voice without vocal fry, rating it more attractive, better educated and more hirable, with women’s ratings penalized more for fry than those of men. But the sound has its uses. Vocal fry is found in the bass

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