/ audio

Vocal Fry on This American Life

Episode 545 (If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS) is a good one. All about people acting nuts on the internet.

When they cover listener reactions to “vocal fry” in act 2 of the show, I was baffled to hear how surprised the show’s hosts were to find out that listeners perceive them as delivering a lot of vocal fry. (Maybe they were being sarcastic and I didn’t pick up on it?) To me, vocal fry is one of the defining audio characteristics of This American Life, particularly true for Ira Glass’s voice.

For the record, I don’t consider vocal fry to be a necessarily off-putting sound like it seems some people do. It’s part of the identity of This American Life. I was just amazed to hear that the hosts were somehow unaware that they do it.