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Warning: Reading this could ruin your life!

I first noticed the bastardisation of English diction on Mark Scott’s ABC Radio National a few years ago. Never imagining anything could be more annoying than Aunty’s extreme Left bias—a condition they deny, but worse there is, much worse. Akin, perhaps, to the Black Plague which spread by the hour, consigning the innocent to squalid gutters, and so to should follow all practitioners of the infuriating fad called vocal fry. And to think that taxpayers’ have funded this dreadful croaking noise that occurs on the last word of a sentence and most ABC presenters have deliberately absorbed this hideous affectation.

Most believe this nonsense started in the US by glamorous airheads like the Kardashians and other idolisers of foolish fashion. Anything to be different these days, no matter how damned ridiculous it may be. Glottal fry has been mutating in the porridge-brained trendoids for a few years now. Most people don’t notice it right away and if they do it is passed off as an unfortunate speech impediment worthy of sympathy, as would be a foot growing from your ear. But such nonsense should not be passed off with indifference; it’s a bloody annoying abomination of the voice. It makes me, a normally passive sort of bloke eager to commit evil upon the cretin in practice.

This twisting of vocal cords is the new social epidemic—a modern-day syphilis perhaps. Young women especially believe that causing the last one or two words in every sentence to become a muddled “croak” of unintelligible grating is cool and above all, sexy!


Does a poor tree frog, jammed under the toilet seat of an outback dunny croaking for its very life raise your libido? I certainly hope not!

Vocal fry occurs when the voice enters a register much lower than it is capable of doing naturally. A creaking or growling sound is thus achieved and you become part of the most aggravating group on earth.


Speech pathologists label such foolishness a debilitating speaking disorder that requires remedial action by professionals. Remember as a kid when you pulled an ugly face at someone and were caught, the adult would promise your face would stay that way forever? Same thing for the voice, Ask Rod Stewart, or Louis Armstrong, they ignored the warning!

Researchers at the University of Miami and Duke University in the USA 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 then 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.


The human voice is supposed to be used for communicating with the species, not as a cruel weapon to drive the listener mad—worse than Labor’s Tanya Plibersek shrieking in the halls of parliament. Vocal fry has the ability to invoke a sort of road rage, a wanton compulsion to attack the ‘croaker’. Courts are certain to dismiss criminal charges of grievous bodily harm in a single minute and instead jail the vandal of the English language. Let the judge hear that croak and you’re sweet.

Glottal fry closely mimics the sound of fatty bacon popping angrily in an overheated frypan. And, the women or men who speak with raspy rattles, or the gargle tones of a gravelly voice should know that it is not sexy because it sounds like the death rattles from someone receiving the last rites and that’s not sexy.

To my now highly tweaked ear I hear vocal fry everywhere. I can’t watch or listen to much of television, especially the ABC, same thing for the BBC. I often think about sticking a pencil in my ear to cause permanent damage. But would total deafness give the escape I crave? Probably not because I would sense they were glottal frying anyway.

To hear what I mean, tune your radio to ABC Radio National. Be sure to have a hammer at your side to satisfy your frustration. In the meantime, run the video and listen to the sound grabs in this article and tell me what you think. But be warned. You may regret what has mostly passed without notice now becomes infuriating.




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