Speaking in a creaky, rough and guttural sound a la singers Britney Spears and Ke$ha appear to be the new craze among young women, a study suggests.
The report, published in the Journal of Voice, examines the increased use of a speech pattern they deem 'vocal fry'.
Vocal fry sounds - which a speech scientist at Long Island university compares to 'rattled, popping air' - are usually used at the end of a sentence when users dip into lower, creaky notes.
It is compared to the way Britney Spears croaks out the line 'Oh baby, baby' in her number one hit 'Baby One More Time' and the first notes of Ke$ha's hit 'Blah Blah Blah'.
The authors of the study have noted that though 'vocal fry' is considered a speech disorder and is often seen in patients with vocal cord damage, it is a quirk that is becoming more popular with young women who wish to speak more like their idols.
They concluded that, because the 'vocal fry' was only being used when making non-vowel sounds, the use is more habitual than social or anything else, due to hearing so many young stars speak this way.
One of the authors of the study Nassima Abdelli-Beruh said: 'My colleagues and I have noticed this speech pattern in our young female college students.
'It is possible that these college students have either practiced or observed this vocal register and modeled it to match popular figures.'
She said it also seems to be a generational marker: 'Anecdotally, vocal fry is judged to be annoying by those who are not as young as the college students we tested.
'My son, who is a teenager, listens to 92.3 NOW in NYC. I noticed the way the voice said 'NOW' on the radio (is) clearly glottal fry.'
There is a danger in speaking like this however as the speech habit can cause contact granulomas, benign but painful lesions on the vocal cords, according to MSNBC, and so could put them at a risk of future vocal cord damage.
MSNBC Source S2
Are your vocals fried? Listen to this audio sample and judge for yourself!