Vocal Fry is a way of speaking in which the voice is very low-pitched and has a characteristic rough or creaking sound. This is caused by a tightening of the voice box and vocal cords. The vocal cords compress and become relatively slack and compact. This process produces the characteristic low popping or rattling sound when air passes through.
Vocal fry is also used in some music, usually in combination with air from the diaphragm, in order to create a growl or scream sounding aggressive and harsh—think Steven Tyler!
NPR’s This American Life host, Ira Glass talked to linguist Penny Eckert. She conducted a study asking people to rate how authoritative a radio reporter with vocal fry sounded. The response depended on the age of the rater. Those under 40 thought it sounded authoritative while those over 40 did not.
Take away? As always, consider your audience!Here's a link to another video with Duke University Fuqua School of Business professor Bill Mayew: