people, emotions, feelings

The Exasperating Trilogy of Modern Speech: Upspeak, Vocal Fry, and the ‘Like’ Epidemic

Modern communication – a brilliant, marvelous tapestry weaved with an array of eloquent sounds, linguistic acrobatics, and… upspeak, vocal fry, and the incessant use of “like”. The grand opera of language has been hijacked by these three renegade stars, ensuring every sentence sounds like a question, a dying engine, or a Facebook algorithm’s dream.

Upspeak: The Question that Never Ends

Upspeak is fascinating in its ability to leave listeners in a perpetual state of suspense. Imagine listening to a thrilling murder mystery where every sentence ends on a cliffhanger. Now, apply that to every conversation in your life. Every declarative statement, every assertion is turned into an open-ended question. The suspense, initially thrilling, soon becomes like a song stuck on loop – it’s fun at first, then it starts to grate on your nerves.

Moreover, upspeak can undermine the speaker’s authority and credibility. In professional settings, constant questioning inflections can signal uncertainty or a lack of confidence. It’s as if the speaker is continually seeking validation, which can be quite irksome when you’re looking for decisive, assertive communication.


This linguistic accident has become pretty popular among the younger demographic. Gone are the days of confident, assertive statements. Instead, we’re now serenaded by a constant stream of interrogatives. Whether you’re ordering coffee or presenting a groundbreaking scientific discovery, with upspeak, everything sounds like you’re asking for directions to the nearest surf shop.

Vocal Fry: The Groan that Grows on You

Vocal fry is the audio equivalent of nails on a chalkboard for some. That low, creaky vibration that has become extremely popular is grating to the ear, especially when it’s used excessively. It makes conversations sound tedious and monotonous, sucking the energy out of interactions.

Furthermore, the overuse of vocal fry can come across as affectation, an attempt to emulate celebrities or fit into a certain image. This pretense is quite irritating, especially when it masks genuine emotion and intonation. It also impacts the clarity of speech, making it challenging to follow a conversation.


I find this also extremely well and funny acted.

Vocal fry is fabulous for those who want to add a touch of mystery to their persona. Why sound enthusiastic or lively when you can emulate a bored crocodile, right? Nothing screams ‘I’m interested in this conversation’ quite like making every word sound like an effort.

The Everlasting “Like”

Finally, we come to the pièce de résistance of modern linguistic quirks: the excessive use of “like.” No longer satisfied with its humble origins as a preposition or a verb, “like” has metamorphosed into a filler word, a verbal crutch that has lodged itself firmly in the lexicon of the masses.

And why not? Why say, “I went to the store,” when you can say, “I was like, going to the store”? Why describe things as they are when you can add a few extra “likes” to ensure your listener has the time to zone out, make a sandwich, and plan their weekend getaway in the time it takes for you to finish your sentence?


They do this in every episode. “Like” … “like” … “like” … “like” … “like” … “like” …

Perhaps the most charming aspect of this trend is how “like” robs sentences of their impact. “I’m scared” is a clear, powerful statement. “I’m, like, scared?” Well, that just leaves room for doubt. Are you scared, or are you “like” scared? Is this a genuine emotion or are we in simile territory?


Upspeak, vocal fry, and the overuse of “like” are less of charming idiosyncrasies and more of constant tests to our auditory endurance. They are the linguistic equivalent of running nails across a chalkboard, an endless loop of linguistic calamities that prickle our nerves and boggle our minds.

Upspeak, with its insistent questioning, shreds the fabric of assertive communication, leaving in its wake a trail of needless uncertainty. Vocal fry, on the other hand, grates against the harmony of conversation, replacing the musicality of varied intonations with a monotonous drone that could bore even the most patient listeners.

And then we have “like,” the reigning monarch of verbal fillers. Its relentless presence in every sentence, every phrase, is a testament to our collective inability to utter a single coherent thought without resorting to linguistic crutches. It’s a constant, gnawing distraction that turns even the simplest of narratives into a labyrinth of superfluous words.

These linguistic trends, in their unyielding persistence, have managed to take the art of conversation, a dance of words and meanings, and turn it into an obstacle course of irritation and frustration. They’ve proven that language, in all its dynamic glory, is not immune to trends that test the limits of our patience and our fondness for effective communication.

So, here’s a plea to the speakers of the world: Let’s reclaim the beauty of language, the clarity of thought, and the assertiveness of well-formed sentences. Let’s bid adieu to the eternal question mark of upspeak, the sizzling ennui of vocal fry, and the relentless filler that is “like.” After all, isn’t it high time our conversations mirrored the richness and precision of our thoughts, instead of sounding like a broken record of linguistic annoyances?

robot playing piano

The Future of Jobs in the Music Industry

As we enter the age of automation and artificial intelligence, many industries are undergoing significant changes, and the music industry is no exception. From the way music is produced and distributed to how it is consumed, the music industry is evolving rapidly. But what does the future hold for jobs in the music industry? Will machines take over and leave musicians out of work? Let’s take a closer look.

The music industry has always been notoriously difficult to break into. Even with the advent of digital technology and social media, it’s still a highly competitive industry that requires talent, perseverance, and a little bit lot of luck. That said, the digital age has created a whole host of new opportunities for musicians, songwriters, and producers. With platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud and whatnot, artists can now reach a global audience from the comfort of their bedroom, without the need for a record label or a massive marketing budget.

But what about the more traditional jobs in the music industry? The jobs that require certain expertise? Well, it’s true that some of these jobs may become automated in the future. For example, there are already AI programs that can compose music and even write lyrics. However, machines can’t replace the human touch when it comes to music. Music is an art form, and there will always be a demand for talented musicians who can connect with audiences on an emotional level.

In fact, the rise of technology in the music industry has created new job opportunities that didn’t exist before. For example, there is now a growing demand for experts in music data analysis. With the rise of streaming services, record labels and artists are constantly looking for ways to better understand their audiences and how to reach them. Music data analysts can help by providing insights into trends and preferences, allowing artists to make more informed decisions about their music.

Another area of growth is in virtual and augmented reality. As technology continues to evolve, there will be more opportunities for musicians and producers to create immersive experiences for their audiences. This could involve creating virtual concerts, interactive music videos, and even new forms of musical instruments that can be played in a virtual environment.

Random Fact

Did you know that the first-ever recorded song was created in 1860? It was a 10-second clip of “Au Clair de la Lune,” recorded on a phonautograph by a Frenchman named Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville. The recording was never intended to be played back, as there was no technology available at the time to do so. It wasn’t until 2008 that scientists were able to recreate the sound from the phonautograph recording using a computer.

The future of jobs in the music industry is both exciting and uncertain. While some traditional jobs may become automated, there will always be a demand for talented musicians who can create emotional connections with their audiences. And as technology continues to evolve, there will be new opportunities for those with expertise in areas like music data analysis and virtual reality. If you’re passionate about music and willing to adapt to new technologies, the future looks bright. Just remember, even with all the technological advancements, music will always be a human art form at its core.

high angle photo of robot

My Take on AI like ChatGPT (and the Real Threats)

I fear slowing down the development and implementation of AI more than the everyday use of it.

AI is not inherently good or evil, it’s basically a tool that can be used for a variety of purposes, and it is up to humans to decide how to use it. Many of the concerns about AI are based on science fiction and exaggerations rather than real-world applications and limitations of current AI technology. The development of AI is still in its early stages, and while it has shown significant progress recently, it is still far from reaching a point where it can pose a threat to humanity.

AI like ChatGPT is useful and somewhat impressive (or not) but far from dangerous. It knows less than humanity actually does. It has no capacity for opinion, emotion or decision-making. And it is precisely these 3 things that get us into trouble as humans.

Artificial intelligence is only as “intelligent” as we feed such a system with data. So, it always depends on how intelligent the feeder is and how extensive and balanced the data is. I highly doubt very stupid people would have access to this feeding process or even understand how to feed.

That brings me to our real problem: ignorant or stupid people.

Now if you think I’m about to bash people with a lack of mental abilities, read on first.

The actions of unintelligent or ignorant people have a greater negative impact on society than those of intentionally malicious individuals, like say Donald Trump (who is both stupid and ignorant, the most dangerous combination). While both ignorance and intentional malice can and do certainly have negative consequences, it is also true that people who are uninformed or lack critical thinking skills inadvertently make poor decisions that harm others.

Some people can be a bit dim about certain things, and we often make fun of them in a light-hearted way. However, stupidity can be a serious problem. Stupid people can be even more dangerous than evil people because they are harder to identify and fight against. Unlike evil, which we can recognize and protest against, stupidity is much more difficult to combat because we are more tolerant of it and the stupid person is often not open to reason.

Stupidity often goes hand-in-hand with power, which can make it even more dangerous. When someone becomes part of the establishment or holds a position of authority, they often surrender their critical thinking and reflection, becoming more like an automaton. That’s a dangerous weapon because it can be easily guided, steered, and manipulated by evil people. Therefore, while we can laugh at moments of ignorance in our close company, we should be scared and angry when stupidity takes reign.

But there’s also a lot of danger in pure ignorance.

Ignorance is often simply a refusal to use one’s opportunities to do good or right for reasons of convenience, fear, or disinterest. It is the choice to not seek out or engage with information. Ignorance is mainly a decision, and it’s a bad one.

Stupidity, on the other hand, is a lack of intelligence or cognitive ability. It can be permanent or the result of a cognitive disability or developmental disorder. Stupidity is not a choice, and those who are affected by it may not be able to overcome it through education or learning.

In any case, I think the solution is access to education, diversity and experience. People who see a lot and experience a lot become smarter, that’s a fact. I myself also went through the world with prejudices and false misconceptions until I experienced it up close as it really is. That allowed me to learn and correct myself.

It is of secondary importance which cognitive abilities a person has. A mentally handicapped person tends to make better decisions than a person of high intellectual ability who is uneducated.

As such, I’ve always had more problems with intellectually capable people who refuse education, diversity, and experience — such as some religious people, without naming names — than with those who try their best.

The ignorant ones definitely worry me more. AI doesn’t worry me at all. Hopefully, when people are finally relieved of stupid work by artificial intelligence, they will learn to have time for what really matters.

Update 20 February 2023

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