I never thought I’d be saying this, but NPR and I are getting a divorce. And it’s all because of vocal fry. For those of you Dear Readers who are not familiar with this monstrously annoying affectation in the speech pattern of American youth, this short viddie will explain (guess who just figured out how to embed You Tube!):
For years vocal fry has been seeping into the news and entertainment shows that are broadcast by National Public Radio (AKA: NPR). I loathe it, of course, and in hindsight I can see that NPR and I were already on a camel/straw footing, but the straw that broke this camel’s back was when Ira Glass, American public radio personality and NPR-ish producer of This American Life, set out to defend vocal fry from grouches like me in the most deliberately insulting way. On his program o/a January 23, 2015, he put it this way:
Listeners have always complained about young women reporting on our show. They used to complain about reporters using the word like and about upspeak, which is when you put a question mark at the end of a sentence and talk like this? But we don’t get many emails like that anymore. People who don’t like listening to young women on the radio have moved on to vocal fry.
And then he said that if vocal fry drives people like me crazy, it’s because:
1. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like listening to young women on the radio anyway (see: above) because I’m too stuck in the past times (that is, indoctrinated by the patriarchy).
2. I’m too OLD to get with it and know that that’s just the way that young folk “naturally” speak these-a-days.
His advice to haters of vocal fry? Get over it.
Well, ha ha, Ira Glass, guess wha —wait just a sec, tho. This actually does make me laugh:
(Are embedded viddies annoying or not? Opinions, please.)
So anyway, Ira Glass, ha ha. The same people who can’t stand vocal fry are the same people who have enough disposable income (because they are OLD) to give to NPR so, as I cancel my monthly-sustainer membership (because I’m OLD), see how you like it when you have to rely on vocal-fried hipster not-OLD people to pitch in to pay for your radio program, OKaaaaaaaaaaay?
Because we are through.
(I’m not really listening to NPR all that much anyway these days, what with me turing the radio OFF as soon as one of their new hires goes into vocal fry mode.)
But it’s not just vocal fry that gets me riled up. Last week a dental hygienist also really pissed me off.
Well, thank DoG that I live in the era of Yelp, an interwebs site that publishes crowd-sourced reviews about local businesses. Yelp is my dream come true.
I would show their trademark, but people these days are very litigious about using copyrighted stuff and I don’t have time to get Yelp‘s written permission to use their logo in my blog post, but the logo is very colorful.
P.S. If anyone wants to use any of my rightfully copyrighted pix, be my guest. I’m not like some grubby, third-rate, low-rent, entrapment sue-happy copyright-holders lurking out there in the inter webs.
Note: One of the things I did on my year off from blogging was get sued for copyright infringement. I’ll have to tell you that story some time.
Anyway, thank DoG there is Yelp …
…because Yelp gives disgruntled customers a place to diss. So last week, after my tiff with the dental hygienist, I hastened over to Yelp to get myself registered and then I put in writing my disgruntlement with a certain dental practice.
You can read it here.
So now that I have a platform, disgruntlers everywhere should watch their step when conducting business with one Vivian Swift. It’s the fact that I don’t crave the approval of strangers that makes me so dangerous.
(Courtesy of www.Keep Calm O Matic.co.uk , a great website that lets you create your very own Keep Calm poster. The funny thing is, I did not make this one (above) — it was already in the ether. I wish I could be best friends with whoever thought up this poster.)
As much as I can’t stand vocal fry, I am also annoyed that the way people (even OLD ones) these-a-days try to sound smart is by using the word “prior” when they mean “previous” (THERE’S A DIFFERENCE!!!!).
Destination weddings; and the smell, texture, and taste of cucumbers — can’t stand either of them.
I’m so over Rock Operas, Rock Operas based on the Book of Revelations, and the Book of Revelations.
Love locks on the Pont des Arts, dreadlocks on white people, and co-workers who tell you they are too smart to be working here — they should all be outlawed. Or punched in the face.
I can’t stand people like me, who do not know how to “nest” their replies to Comments on their WordPress blog; but I figured it out yesterday and all my replies to your lovely Boogie Girl comments are properly nested and now I don’t hate myself any more.
But don’t get me started on the way the morning news will break your heart six times before breakfast, or the fact that Giselle Bundchen makes 47 million dollars a year for parading in her undies while a park ranger in Virunga makes 47 dollars a year for saving the mountain gorilla from extinction. (Hey! I just figured out where all my NPR money will go now!)
I also despise Auto Correct.
Retail shop assistants who tell me If you have any questions, just ask me drive me nuts. Do they think I’d be confused about where to go if I had a question about the item on the middle shelf? Do they think I’d wander across the street to ask the deli guy? Do they think I’d end up standing in the middle of the shop having a nervous breakdown because I had questions, O, so many questions, and had no idea where to go to find answers??? I mean, really: Who the hell else am I going to ask? Dear Abby?
Also on my Shit List is the way people to whom I’ve just told that I have eight cats will then tell me every last reason why they hate cats; ditto being a Bruce Springsteen fan, watching Judge Judy every day, and joining the Peace Corps to go to West Africa. ( I’ve been holding onto that last one for quite a while. The guy I told it to came right back with: I’ve never traveled outside the United States but if I did, I wouldn’t go to Africa. I still hate that guy with all my heart.)
I think I’ve proved my point.
I am not the nicest person in the world.
But I’m OK with that.