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Vocal Fry or annoying voices on podcasts
January 4, 2016
12:26 am
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Roseannes Chicken Shirt
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 256
Snarking Since:
January 25, 2014

I actually hate the voice of the woman who hosts You Must Remember This but I don't find it unlistenable. It just sounds like the tone someone uses to read a child a bedtime story and it drives me nuts!

January 4, 2016
12:38 am
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Fashion Blogger in Distressed Denim
Cat
Meows: 43
Snarking Since:
June 27, 2014

cookie cutter shark meowed
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.  

Agreed.  Shit is mad sexist.  Guys can be yelling and screaming in their podcasts, decibel level at a million, and don't have to worry about being told to "tone it down" by producers. 

January 4, 2016
1:02 am
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nadia the hatchet maid
Hamcat
Meows: 155
Snarking Since:
March 12, 2015

Katya meowed
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.

Diane Rehm is a bit of an extreme example, imho. I think she's completely brilliant and I'm a huge fan of her show, but I entirely understand why some people find her painful to listen to. I freaking LOVE Zoe Chace's voice. I can't explain it, just love it.

I do think this is a very gendered thing. There's an entire generation of podcast & radio broadcasters that have seemingly followed Ira Glass's cues in regards to developing their on-air sound, but male broadcasters don't appear to be taken to task for it nearly as much as their female colleagues.

January 4, 2016
6:54 am
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Lentil
Hamcat
Meows: 192
Snarking Since:
March 13, 2012

I’m pretty sure This American Life had a segment on vocal fry early in 2015. Ira Glass actually mentions that people are constantly writing to complain about various female contributors while no-one ever comments on his pretty prominent vocal fry. It was a really fascinating segment if anyone's interested!

I definitely think that it's a gendered criticism. Is it possible that's because it fits the stereotype of women speaking with an uptalking, ditzy, Valley Girl-type inflection? 

January 4, 2016
7:00 am
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Office Worker
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 825
Snarking Since:
October 30, 2011

Karina Longworth's voice (You Must Remember This) doesn't bug me as much as the way she speaks (overannunciating).  I still love the podcast.

One of the women on Guys We F**ked does really annoying impressions and I can't deal with it.

January 4, 2016
8:10 am
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may cause sparklebabies
Hamcat
Meows: 74
Snarking Since:
October 8, 2014

cookie cutter shark meowed
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.  

I think Alex Blumberg, he was on Planet Money and now has his own media company Gimlet and is the host of Start Up, has the worst vocal fry. Once I hear it, I can't stop hearing it.

One of the hosts from Reply All also has this weird up-tick in his talking and always ends his sentence in a question? A la, I'm Ron Burgundy?

But I love the shows they put on, so I don't try to think of it.

I also hear vocal fry in my own voice a lot, especially when I'm talking with male co-workers. My brain is trying to match their voice for whatever reason.

January 4, 2016
8:11 am
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UHHHHHH
Hamcat
Meows: 154
Snarking Since:
September 23, 2011

Trapped on the Skoo-Kull meowed

Two in particular irk the shit out of me:

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

I feel conflicted about being annoyed by certain voices, especially those with vocal fry, because I realize it is probably a gendered issue overall (e.g., Ira Glass has a pretty strong vocal fry, it doesn't bother me as much, I confess). But I don't know how to break myself of being driven insane by it. Sarah Vowell is literally the most annoying voice I've ever heard though, and moreso because she just sounds so g.d. bored by herself. I know she has interesting things to say. I have been intrigued by the content and tried — really, honestly made conscious effort — to endure and focus on what she is talking about, rather than how she is presenting it, but I just CANNOT. It is so monotonous and when it veers even slightly off from that, it's just uptalk. Gah. Why does it bother me so much?! Just thinking about it is making my adrenalin rise because it irritates me THAT MUCH.

I do not like this about myself. Open to tips on how to not be annoyed by certain vocal affectations! idontknow

January 4, 2016
8:28 am
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Pad Thai
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 296
Snarking Since:
February 7, 2012

I listen to a recap podcast about Empire called The Lyons Lair/Deep THOTS. One of the guys has what I think would be vocal fry. He kind of talks like a Kardashian…like he can't be bothered to put any more effort in to his voice so it just kind of trails…Lady Gaga used to do it too. I think they are funny so I still listen. He just irritates me so bad though!

January 4, 2016
8:31 am
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Conceal Dont Feel
Hamcat
Meows: 186
Snarking Since:
February 28, 2012

I get so bothered by the argument that pointing out vocal fry is sexists.  No.  Vocal fry is annoying on a man or woman and guess what?  You CAN fix it.  It's the same as if you had a heavy southern accent and people were distracted by it.  You would go to a vocal coach and work on it.  Don't like that people complain about your distracting vocal technique?  boo hoo.  Don't be a podcaster or work in entertainment where people care about shit like that.  You don't see theatre actors complaining that their director sent them to a vocal coach to help them work on their voice.  

and vocal fry sounds so f**king stupid.  Man or woman.  Go fix that shit.  

January 4, 2016
8:33 am
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tutu for coding camp yoga
Hamcat
Meows: 130
Snarking Since:
March 25, 2015

I hate the voice of Ira Glass. Can't stand it. Also he includes "like" in his sentences like three time, you like know what I mean? It's super annoying.

January 4, 2016
9:37 am
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alleycat34
Hamcat
Meows: 160
Snarking Since:
March 20, 2014

It's the same as if you had a heavy southern accent and people were distracted by it.  You would go to a vocal coach and work on it. 

 

No, I wouldn't, because your inability to get over my accent is your problem, not mine.  There are dozens of different accents among English speakers, so why are some "distracting" whereas others are just fine? 

I have a southern accent, live in the Midwest, and talk for a living.  If you knew my name, you could easily find people complaining about my accent on the internet.  Fortunately, the folks who sign my check realize that the vast majority of listeners have come to terms with the fact that everyone in the world doesn't sound just like them. 

January 4, 2016
10:14 am
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semi flush mount boob
Feline Porklord
Meows: 2292
Snarking Since:
February 21, 2014

alleycat34 meowed

It's the same as if you had a heavy southern accent and people were distracted by it.  You would go to a vocal coach and work on it. 

 

No, I wouldn't, because your inability to get over my accent is your problem, not mine.  There are dozens of different accents among English speakers, so why are some "distracting" whereas others are just fine? 

I have a southern accent, live in the Midwest, and talk for a living.  If you knew my name, you could easily find people complaining about my accent on the internet.  Fortunately, the folks who sign my check realize that the vast majority of listeners have come to terms with the fact that everyone in the world doesn't sound just like them. 

My huscat is from the South. My inlaws all have very thick Southern accents. Huscat worked to get rid of his accent. It only comes out when we're around the inlaws. Same could be said for my Midwestern accent. Mine becomes more pronounced around family as well.

tutu for coding camp yoga meowed
I hate the voice of Ira Glass. Can't stand it. Also he includes "like" in his sentences like three time, you like know what I mean? It's super annoying.

I noticed the "like" thing that he does. His vocal fry is his career. Veronica Mars made fun of it in the movie saying that she was going to do an impression of him with Piz next to him.

1815 Square Feet of Finished Space
January 4, 2016
11:17 am
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Struggle Nachos
Feline Porklord
Meows: 1593
Snarking Since:
August 15, 2011

I didn't really notice vocal fry until podcasts started being all meta and pointing it out. Sure I noticed that Zoe Chase had a unique voice, but it actually didn't bother me. Some of my favorite/most memorable TAL segments are ones that include Starlee Kine and Sarah Vowell. I can get past the accent and focus on the story. In fact, the accent/vocal fry makes it more memorable except for David Sedaris (I'm glad he doesn't contribute much anymore).

A friend works for NPR and occasionally will retweet comments about his voice. Someone told him she was a vocal coach and was concerned he wasn't taking in enough air. WTF?

luna (OG) | Anything for Selenas (FKA)


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