Have you ever noticed how there are trends and fashions in voices?
The rising inflection at the end of sentences is a particularly annoying one. But another trend is harder to describe, and that’s the tendency of young women to use tones that veer into those of cartoon characters. These voices are higher in pitch than voices tended to be when I was growing up, somewhat more nasal, and the vowels can be quite complex.
For example, I was just on the phone and was asked for my number. After I gave it, the young woman on the other end said, “Thank you.” She was obviously a native speaker and had no foreign accent at all, but it sounded more like “Theenk Yeeuw.” But that doesn’t capture it entirely, either, because it’s the metallic and penetrating quality, as well as the high pitch and the exaggerated cuteness factor, that especially characterize the voice du jour.
The voice is especially noticeable in waitresses. Are they trained to speak that way?
Here’s a woman who’s bucking the trend, and is teaching people how to deepen and calm their voices:
I have a somewhat deep and relaxed voice naturally. But it’s not very dynamic. In fact, I’ve been told by a few people (who profess to love me!) that my voice relaxes them so much that they use my conversations as a sleep-inducer.
That is supposed to be a compliment.