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If you’re interested in vocal patterns, communication trends, and gender issues, I encourage you to listen to this episode of Fresh Air with Terry Gross. The podcast explores the changes in speech patterns in women, particularly focused on young women. It defines “vocal fry” and “upspeak,” giving examples of each. I was very familiar with upspeak, but before listening to this podcast, I wasn’t quite sure about “vocal fry.” It also explores the fact that some men have adopted these habits.

Terry Gross speaks with:

Jessica Gross, a journalist who’s faced criticism due to her voice and speaking style

Penny Eckert, a linguistics professor at Stanford

Susan Sankin, a speech pathologist in New York City

 

From Upspeak To Vocal Fry: Are We 'Policing' Young Women's Voices? : NPR

 

Take a listen. What do you think of these changes in vocal patterns? Have you noticed them in women and/or men? What do you think that using upspeak or vocal fry communicates about the speaker?