Apparently, the Kardashians have a way of speaking called the "vocal fry". It’s the voice’s lowest register, which, according to the Daily Mail, involves "elongating certain syllables so that they vibrate at the back of the throat." It’s a way of speaking that’s becoming more and more common in recent years and being likened to uptalk and "valleyspeak". Other stars like Britney Spears and Katy Perry are known to use the style of speaking.
Are you having trouble imagining what this sounds like? Well, here’s a video someone put together starring Kourtney Kardashian’s vocal fry:
Some researchers believe that the reason why vocal fry has become so popular is because the low sound makes women sound more masculine, and in theory, would help them in the workplace. But based on a study by Diane DiResta at Duke University, the speaking style is having the opposite effect. It found that women who used vocal fry were perceived as less competent, less educated, less trustworthy and, therefore, less hirable.
But another study by a linguist named Penny Eckert from Stanford University found that the way vocal fry is perceived has more to do with age. She played clips of a reporter who spoke with vocal fry for 584 people and asked them to rate how authoritative she sounded. The results showed that people over 40 were annoyed with it, but participants under 40 weren’t and found the reporter authoritative.
Still, many believe that the judgements about vocal fry unfairly target women citing how well-respected men, such as famed linguist, philosopher, and scientist Noam Chomsky, speak with vocal fry and aren’t judged negatively for it at all.
If the Kardashians use of vocal fry is any indication, it’s clearly not a bad thing. The Kardashians are all extremely successful and competent business women, after all.