Would you like vocal fries with that?

Anonymous wrote:

Love the blog Sean.  You haven’t posted any advice lately though!  I just have an issue that I need to get some help with.  I’ve been seeing “Lisa” for a few months and she’s wonderful-but she has a flaw.  She talks like Paris Hilton and it drives me crazy.  You know what I’m talking about right??  That scratchy, emotionless, monotone type of voice.  Only once in a great while does she snap back to her normal voice.  The rest of the time, it’s annoying.  Is she doing it on purpose or do you think she’s born this way?  I can’t really take much more. How do I tell her to stop?

Anonymous

Anonymous,

That annoying voice?  It’s called “vocal fry” and I hate it too.  It’s somehow caught on in women of the US, ages 20-28, and (unbeknownst to them), it’s like nails on a chalkboard to most guys. A PERFECT example of this is Dahlia from the show “Suburgatory” who is a Paris Hilton knock-off on the show.

Other than Paris Hilton, I don’t know where it came from but 99.9% of women don’t talk like this naturally (though they may tell you in a monotone voice that they were born with it), they learned to talk that way at some point in the past and they’ve been talking like that for so long, it’s become a regular habit.

I’d explain that you like her “normal” voice when she snaps back to it.  Hopefully, with enough praise, she’ll drop the vocal fry like the bad habit it is.

Sean

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