I know there are a lot of serious problems facing the world today. I'm not going to discuss any of them.
Instead, I want to talk about something that is merely seriously annoying: the ubiquitous female speaking style that has infiltrated every corner of American culture. Call it what you will -- "Vocal Fry", "Uptalking", "Creaky Voice", "Val-Speak", "Sexy Baby Voice" -- it is the bane of my existence.
And I know I'm not alone. When I first blogged about this phenomenon back in 2012, my readers (all three of them), agreed that this vocal affectation -- which I refer to simply as "The Voice" -- is beyond infuriating.
In my original rant, I mentioned that a growing number of tv commercials feature female voiceovers (or on-camera talent) who seemingly studied at the Kardashian School of Really Annoying Speech. Now here we are, six years later, and this speaking style is no longer the exception; it's the rule. I can't turn on my tv without hearing The Voice. It's more than just grating. To me, it's like Kim Kardashian's well manicured nails scraping on a blackboard somewhere in Hell. Here are just a few recent examples that make me reach for the Mute Button...
- POSHMARK The young woman in this commercial claims she has made a lot of money selling her clothes on Poshmark. Great. Maybe she can use some of that cash to hire a voice therapist.
2. CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
This local San Francisco spot promotes "Giants of Land and Sea" -- a new multi-lingual exhibit. The voiceover, um, talent, delivers the script in a common regional dialect known as "California Croaky." I can just imagine the original casting specs: "We're looking for someone who sounds like a Kindergartner with a head cold". Nailed it!
Panera commercials are irritating on so many levels; the whole self-righteous air of Millennial Purity ("Panera. Food as it should be.") is hard to stomach. But the Serious Medical Student's "Baby Talk" voice truly makes me want to smash my tv...OR SOMETHING!
I've saved the best for last. Each of these spots features a young, eligible, single woman who is absolutely lovely...until she opens her mouth. And it's not just Match. I've noticed some of the women in the eHarmony spots sound exactly the same. I guess there are no women left out there who don't speak this way. Guys, do you really want to be with a woman who who speaks like this? I mean, I know these girls are cute and hot and everything, but at some point, you have to talk. And fellas, there's no Mute Button.
For the life of me, I will never understand why young women insist on speaking this way. I thought it was a trend that would go the way of chunky highlights and Juicy Couture tracksuits. But no, The Voice seems like it's here to stay. It's an epidemic. Worse yet, now there is a backlash against anyone who dares to speak out against The Voice. If you do, you'll be labeled a misogynist faster than a Kardashian can change outfits (do I blame the Kardashians for this heinous trend? Not entirely. But let's just say they haven't helped).
So go ahead, call me a Hater. I can't be silenced. Not until That Damn Voice goes away. I'm waiting...