Oh, life as a teenage girl: it's awkward, hormonal and...cutting-edge?
It's true – has been for centuries, actually. Young women have been leaders in vocabulary innovation since the 1500s, argues Gretchen McCulloch for Quartz. It's bizarre to think about, especially when words like 'selfie,' and 'bootylicious' seem hardly cutting-edge at face value. Still, both can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary now, meaning McCulloch may be on to something. Read More
In Terry Gross's NPR interview with writer and editor Jessica Grose, professor of linguistics Penny Eckert, and speech pathologist Susan Sankin, the subject on the table was the policing of young women’s voices. “People are busy policing women’s language and nobody is policing older or younger men’s language,” Eckert says. Two of the speech tics discussed are uptalking (ending a sentence like it’s a question) and vocal fry (drawing out, or rasping, the ends of sentences). The clear double standard here? Men often employ these same tics. Read More
BY Amy LaCount
on Jun 14, 2013
You know his voice.
As the lights dim leisurely, as you reach for your second handful of perfectly salted popcorn, as you are beseeched, repeatedly, to please silence your phones – you hear his familiar intonations greet your ears hello.
And yet, why is the narrator always a he?
The trailer for Lake Bell’s In A World... is finally out (we’ve been excited about this for a while; refer back to 10 Must-See Lady-Friendly Summer Flicks)! The movie, which the multitalented Bell wrote and directed, explores why film preview voice-overs are perpetually male. Read More
BY Amy Zimmerman
on Feb 21, 2013
Creaky Voice and the use of like to, like, introduce a quotation are two female-pioneered vocal trends that have gained universal recognition. Now we can add word elongation to the list. In an Atlantic article this week, Jen Doll wrestles with the peculiarities and origins of this rampant habit. Michael Erard, a linguist who was interviewed for the piece, explains, “When people talk, they use intonation in a number of varied and subtle ways…there’s a lot of emotional nuance that can be conveyed that you can’t do in writing. Read More
BY Katrina Pallop
on Jan 14, 2013
The linguistic phenomenon of “creaky voice” has been well documented and, one would have thought, sufficiently argued about. If you’ve spent any time on a college campus in the past decade, or have even found yourself in the presence of young women in that time, you’re probably very familiar with what is called “vocal fry”. It’s that speech pattern, most evident in young women, that involves letting the ends of phrases ride low in the vocal register. Read More