Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Come Fry With Me

In my ongoing effort to provide up-to-the-minute cultural information for today's with-it generation, all of whom I outrank in seniority by several scores, I now bring to your attention what some are calling the "vocal fry." I call it the "spoken sizzle," and it's that way some people have of letting the end of their sentence trail off in a guttural sound like this.

I think it was the late 90s when the uptalk phenomenon swept the country, much like the current fascination for following the lunatic pronouncements of Newton Leroy Gingrich (who said, "A mere 40 years ago, beach volleyball was just beginning. No bureaucrat would have invented it, and that's what freedom is all about” in 1996) and all those crazy rumors about Fonzie being killed in a car wreck.  People started talking like THIS.  The end of every sentence ended on an UP NOTE.  And simple declarative sentences sounded like QUESTIONS?  I'm sure you REMEMBER!

And then there was that trend, mercifully relegated to the past now, of people who dealt with children talking in a sing-song even when they weren't talking to children.  I can understand that, in order to cajole little Eggington to stop sticking the tines of his fork into the electric socket, it was effective to say, "Now, EGGY, you know that UPSETS Mommy when you BLOW OUT all the CIRCUITS in the house with your FORK so please knock it the hell OFF already."  But then that person would stop at the deli on her way home and say, "I need a QUARTER pound of HORMEL spiced ham sliced THIN please and a LARGE tub o' SLAW."  That sort of SPEECH cadence can be absolutely RIVETING, can it not?

But.  The sizzle, the fry.  A lot of singers trail off with it (remember Britney Spears, the way she growled "Oh Babbbbbbbbbby Babbbbbbbbbbby"?), and of course it's a staple when you hear the likes of Paris Hilton soliloquizing. It's almost as if Paris and her friends, when you hear them chattering in a cluster, run out of energy as each sentence trails off.  That's why their conversations sound like this:

"I like wanted to get that dress in like five different colors because I don't know what color boutonniere Chad will be WEARinggggggggggggggggggggg"

"Like Oh my Godddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd"

So please be on the lookout for this trend in your home, and do you all can to nip it in the buddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd.  See you tomorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrow.

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