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Vocal Fry or annoying voices on podcasts
January 3, 2016
7:53 pm
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Its me, Stan!
Hamcat
Meows: 99
Snarking Since:
July 4, 2014

Stuff you should know had an episode on vocal fry (mostly in women) and they were very much against the idea that listeners should complain about women's voices – I disagree!

I can not listen to annoying voices. Zoe Chase from Planet Money and This American Life has ruined those two shows for me. I can not stand her forced inflection. Why aren't producers correcting this and telling them to tone it down. If you check itunes and facebook comments there are so many complaining about her and yet she's as bad as ever.

There's also a mysterious topics podcast with some cool subjects (Denver Airport) but I can not listen to those two men. They sound so befuddled and read of cue cards at like a 2nd grade level. 

Anyway, I usually enjoy Chuck and Josh's opinions on SYSK but they really missed it with this one (so says I)! 

shutup

January 3, 2016
8:27 pm
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It Happened to Me
Hamcat
Meows: 89
Snarking Since:
August 26, 2012

It's probably why I can't bring myself to listen to Starlee Kine's podcast, despite people saying good things about it. 

January 3, 2016
8:46 pm
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isbutteracarb
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 597
Snarking Since:
June 27, 2013

Was it Stuff you should know or stuff mom never told you? I remember stuff mom doing a similar podcast, and that makes sense, seeing how they are both female.

Call Your Girlfriend has also done episodes around vocal fry. I have to agree with what they said- you only hear complaints about female voices. Vocal fry is a female voice issue, and is just another thing that can be used to tell women they are not as good as men. Of course, that is just vocal fry. Complaints about voices as a whole might be another issue, but I really don't think it's something a person can help that much.

Eta: it doesn't matter which podcast it came from, I was just questioning my own memory.

January 3, 2016
9:18 pm
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I dont even like her
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 379
Snarking Since:
May 1, 2013

I like vocal fry. It sounds chill to me. 

Steve Almond's vocal fry (and voice in general) on Dear Sugar is probably the sexiest to me. His voice is super hot.

January 3, 2016
9:34 pm
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Winter Girlfriend
Hamcat
Meows: 108
Snarking Since:
March 22, 2012

I used to love Stuff You Missed in History Class, but when Holly Frye took over I had to stop. Her voice just grates on my nerves so bad. I don't know if it's the nasal sound of it or what.  It made me really sad though when I had to delete it.

~Formerly BrattyBrat~
January 3, 2016
9:40 pm
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Canadian Bacon
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 820
Snarking Since:
February 2, 2013

There are some podcasters that I just can't listen to, no matter how intelligent or entertaining they may be, because their voices are painful! 

I am a devoted listener to most of Slate's podcasts, but I literally (and I do mean literally) have to turn it off the minute Emily Bazelon starts to talk. I've read her book and I think she's a decent writer, but her voice drives me crazy! 

 

I don't mind the vocal fry thing. idontknow

January 3, 2016
10:04 pm
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salty
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 779
Snarking Since:
November 1, 2011

I can not listen to annoying voices. Zoe Chase from Planet Money and This American Life has ruined those two shows for me. I can not stand her forced inflection. Why aren't producers correcting this and telling them to tone it down. If you check itunes and facebook comments there are so many complaining about her and yet she's as bad as ever.

Can't quote you It's me, Stan! (apostrophe), but just wanted to say that I clicked on this thread exclusively to comment about Zoey Chace. I don't think her problem is vocal fry necessarily; it is just the weird ass inflections/accent(s) she insists on using. It's definitely a thing people complain about though, so we are not alone! 

January 3, 2016
10:23 pm
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Finn Before Schram
Feline Porklord
Meows: 2031
Snarking Since:
July 11, 2012

Two in particular irk the shit out of me:

1. Tha-wah Fweaking Vowell and her Fweaking Baby Voith. And her wike, uptawk? Gwoth.

2. And I started to wonder, was Sarah Koenig capable of writing a sentence that didn't end in an interrogative mark? What would that sentence look like; what would it sound like? And could I be blamed for ultimately deciding that she's incapable of deploying the declarative voice?

January 3, 2016
10:49 pm
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Cask of Amontillado
Feline Porklord
Meows: 1593
Snarking Since:
October 3, 2014

salty meowed

I can not listen to annoying voices. Zoe Chase from Planet Money and This American Life has ruined those two shows for me. I can not stand her forced inflection. Why aren't producers correcting this and telling them to tone it down. If you check itunes and facebook comments there are so many complaining about her and yet she's as bad as ever.

Can't quote you It's me, Stan! (apostrophe), but just wanted to say that I clicked on this thread exclusively to comment about Zoey Chace. I don't think her problem is vocal fry necessarily; it is just the weird ass inflections/accent(s) she insists on using. It's definitely a thing people complain about though, so we are not alone! 

I saw this thread and IMMEDIATELY thought of Zoe Chace.  She is so f**king obnoxious she is absolutely unlistenable.  I enjoy saving up episodes of Planet Money to listen to on road trips, and I just immediately skip the entire episode as soon as I hear Zoe's voice start to talk about Vladumeer Pootun shapping for nyatural gyas in the hotel labby.  It's a shame when it sounds like it's going to be an interesting topic, like the recent TAL segment about Hardees, but there is no topic worth enduring her voice.  I would even skip over her podcasting about the circumstances of my own death.

The very first time I heard her voice I immediately googled which Wisconsin hellhole she was from that was making her talk like that, and discovered she's from Manhattan!  So is that shit an affectation?!  Whyyyy would anyone put that horrendous accent on deliberately?

January 3, 2016
11:11 pm
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CiarraiV
Feline Porklord
Meows: 1082
Snarking Since:
September 18, 2014

Canadian Bacon meowed
There are some podcasters that I just can't listen to, no matter how intelligent or entertaining they may be, because their voices are painful! 

I am a devoted listener to most of Slate's podcasts, but I literally (and I do mean literally) have to turn it off the minute Emily Bazelon starts to talk. I've read her book and I think she's a decent writer, but her voice drives me crazy! 

 I don't mind the vocal fry thing. idontknow

I too like Slate's podcasts, but Katy Waldman's vocal fry drives me insane. I shudder every time she speaks.

January 3, 2016
11:49 pm
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Katya
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 863
Snarking Since:
October 5, 2011

I don't really understand being annoyed by somebody's voice in and of itself – like I genuinely do not get it. If I like what the person has to say, then I'll like their voice. (However, I can think of three radio show people who I cannot stand at all because of their content, and I do consequently find their voices pretty grating too.) I like Zoe Chace's voice, she's interesting to listen to and I like what she has to say. Same with Diane Rehm, I use whether or not people say they "can't stand" listening to Diane Rehm show as kind of a litmus test. I find it extremely off-putting that so many people are bothered by, especially, more unusual sounding women's voices and I think making fun of somebody's voice or speech defect is rather tasteless. But, to each his or her own.

Maybe I'm biased because I have a squeaky voice myself, not quite approaching Starlee Kine but I sound about nine years old on the phone, and probably am not suited for NPR. It is what it is . . . Of course some people have really GREAT voices for radio and you would just want to listen to them even read the phone book. But, not everyone sounds the same which is fine. To me it's kind of like, I guess, being a good actor but not conventionally gorgeous – it doesn't mean he or she shouldn't get awesome parts because of not being conventionally attractiveidontknow

ETA I don't really think vocal fry is a pathological speech pattern, I think negative feelings and opinions about it, and obsessive attention to it, have been created as a cultural phenomenon.

January 4, 2016
12:24 am
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Pop of Nude
Feline Porklord
Meows: 1142
Snarking Since:
February 4, 2013

The one broadcaster I have to turn off because of vocal fry is Amy Goodman from Democracy Now. Not exactly a podcast, but still, it's like fingernails on a chalkboard to me! I can't understand how someone can get so far in the profession and not hear that in themselves, have someone else point it out, or deal with it. It seems like something you could train out of yourself with practice. 

January 4, 2016
12:25 am
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cookie cutter shark
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 288
Snarking Since:
September 11, 2012

I guess this kind of thing bugs me because its pretty much always directed towards women.  It's a complete gendered thing, I dont think I've ever heard anyone complain about the way a man's voice sounds on a podcast.  



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