words, words, words (6)

scrabble-243192_640So many words, so little time. Today’s words (okay, one is a phrase) are “othered,” “vocal fry,” and “uptalk.”

“Othered.” The first (and only, without searching for it) time I saw this term was in the thought-provoking When We Attack Serena Williams’ Body, It’s Really About Her Blackness. Urban Dictionary defines it as “1) to be left out from a group; 2) another form of bullying/harassment.” The Google definition is to, “view or treat (a person or group of people) as intrinsically different from and alien to oneself.” Unfortunately, as a sign of the times, I foresee the use of “othered” on the rise.

Credit goes to Move over Shakespeare, teen girls are the real language disruptors for these next two entries.

“Vocal fry.” How did I not know this phrase? For a technical description, see What is Vocal Fry? A quick and easy way to remember the meaning is that it’s the way a Kardashian speaks. This video says it all. Enjoy.

“Uptalk.” This linguistic style arose sometime between valleyspeak (like, that started in the 70s, like, um, you know) and today’s vocal fry. With “uptalk,” the speaker’s voice lilts upward at the end of a sentence, making every utterance sound like a question. It can be really annoying? When you converse with someone who uptalks?


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