Is It Vocal Fry or Are You Just a Rusty Swing?

Vocal fry is a condition affecting millions of people whose creaky tones are deemed too icky for functioning human ears. However, sometimes the problem isn’t vocal fry; the problem is that you’re actually a rusty swing. Use these helpful hints to determine if your vocal cords are reverberating irregularly or if you’re a decaying swing on a long-abandoned playground.


Make noise with your mouth.

Hold out vowel sounds like “aaa” and “ooo” for ten seconds and see what you notice. Is anyone cringing at your hideous millennial voice? Then your vocal flaps are probably just mimicking the speech patterns of other men and women your age. But if you notice that not only do you not have a mouth, but there’s also no one around you but a dilapidated school that’s been shut down due to budget cuts, you are most likely a rusty swing on an abandoned playground.


Get someone to sit on you and kick their legs back and forth.

Find a child or small adult to sit on you and politely ask them to pump their legs back and forth. Then sing the National Anthem in their ear. If they beg you to stop, you’ve got that glottal fry. If they instead clutch the metal chains attached to you and hum along, that creakiness you hear is because you are a decomposing swing; a relic of happier times.



Do the Deep Breath/WD-40 test.

Try taking a deeper breath then raising the pitch of your voice. Did that that door hinge you call a voice change at all? Then air is probably just constricted while passing through your throat. But if you still can’t tell, try spraying yourself with WD-40. Does the squeakiness disappear? You are a swing ravaged by the elements, left to rot by the children who were supposed to love you most.


Ask your boss for a raise.

During your next performance review, confidently mention that your impressive contributions merit a pay bump. Does your boss seem to be having trouble taking you seriously? Then signs point to a ghastly vocal fry that all ladies your age insist on using (men do it too but men are fine)!! Didn’t get the proof you want? Ask your boss to scrape you with sandpaper. If red-colored iron oxide falls to the floor, good news! That rubbery saw sound you hear is just you being a swing that no one needs anymore, and your boss is a drifter who calls the tube slide home!


Knowing is half the battle, people with socially acceptable voices say. So save yourself the embarrassment and get those floppy vocal chords in check! Unless you are a rusty swing, in which case, go ahead and pray for one last windstorm before the bulldozer comes.