Vocal fry is the intereeeeeestaaaaaaang phenomenon that's grown increasingly common among young women ever since Ke$ha woke up in the morning feeling like P-Diddy. The effect is produced by slowly fluttering the vocal cords, resulting in a popping or creaking sound at the bottom of the vocal register. A 2011 study found that two-thirds of a small sample of college women were doing it.
Here's Zooey Deschanel frying quirkily:
And here's a waveform of how it looks, with the "creakiness" circled:
American youths seem to think vocal fry is no problem. A 2010 study found that 175 undergrads had a generally favorable impression of one creak-speaking woman. But while the speech style might be popular among college students, it could also be hurting their job prospects, according to a new study published this week in the online journal PLOS.
Researchers at the University of Miami and Duke University asked seven male and seven female young people to say the phrase “Thank you for considering me for this opportunity” in both a normal tone and in vocal fry. Then, 800 men and women of a variety of ages were invited through an online survey to listen to the samples and select which speaker (normal or fry) they found to be more educated, competent, trustworthy, attractive, and appealing as a job candidate.