the voice of (too much) experience…

When did it become the standard for educated young  American women to speak in an annoying whine at all times?  If you’re not familiar with the Voice, it’s a mixture of “I’m so bored with life, because I’ve already done Soooo much” and the “I’m jaded because I’ve already seen it all” attitude that is accompanied by much eye-rolling and the requisite slouched posture. Folding the arms across the chest is optional. When speaking in the Voice all words at the end of sentences are spoken in lower tones and are drawn out into a breathy “eh” sound. Adverbs such as so and too are given exaggerated emphasis in this dialect of American English.

Practitioners of this speech pattern almost always have a college degree. Most of them have at least a Master’s or are currently in graduate school. The word like is applied liberally as is the word so. I’m not quite certain if the women who have adopted the Voice feel superior to most of the rest of us, or if they just sound as if they do. Either they have had too many experiences at a young age or they are completely bored with life. Possibly they are merely blasé’ or simply couldn’t be bothered to decide either way. Maybe they do not complain more than everybody else, but it sure sounds like it.

I’ve heard women with the Voice before, but not in such large numbers. My daughter, who is an educated young professional herself, says it is rampant among her colleagues. Thankfully, she is not one prone to the practice. In her experience, Academia is rife with use of the Voice, and is most likely where most of these young women picked up the habit. I hope it’s a trend that doesn’t last. As one who recognized that few things push my buttons faster than whining, I might lose it if it becomes the norm.

It’s like So going to drive me cra-zay. To-tally ehhhhhhh…


2 comments on “the voice of (too much) experience…

  1. This was such a good observation. I don’t like the way many of the women on TV raise their voices at the end of a sentence as if to say, “was that all right?” Today on CBSnews.com there was an article about a voice quality called vocal fry. They had some examples saying it was a spin off from Valley Girl talk. I think that is what you’re talking about. It is an irritating voice sound and it’s hard to figure why they want to sound that way!

    Georgie J.

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