Linguistics: Do Women Make the Rules?

For my Grammar for Professional Communicators class with Dr. Bohannon, we were tasked with writing and recording a vlog on any topic in communications or linguistics. Our vlog had to meet seven rhetorical elements (also here): 

  • Author: my credentials and purpose 
  • Accuracy: establish ethos of my topic 
  • Audience: ensure that my syntax and diction is written for the audience who’ll be listening to my vlog
  • Subjectivity: confirm any biases I may have towards my topic (e.g., I’m a woman)
  • Timeliness: bring something new to the conversation that hasn’t been done before
  • Scope: visual/textual structure
  • Format: good audio/video quality, YouTube ready

I chose to analyze the linguistic phenomenon of vocal fry—when the vocal folds rapidly vibrate between a more open and more closed position as the air passes through. In vocal fry, the vocal folds are shortened and slack so they close together completely and pop back open, with a little jitter, as the air comes through. That popping, jittery effect gives it a characteristic sizzling or frying sound—that has seemingly plagued women since the rise of “Valley Girl” speak (source). Take a listen to my vlog and learn why I think women are linguistic innovators. The transcript of my vlog can also be found below.



Transcript for linguistics vlog