This Moata's voice

Last updated 11:32 04/05/2012

Last night from the kitchen, the Silver Fox called "what did you say?". I hadn't said anything. I hadn't so much as coughed. The TV wasn't on and I hadn't even shifted in my seat. The only sound in the immediate area had been that of the plastic supermarket bags that were crinkling madly in that special way that they do as the SF was putting away some shopping.

Naturally my response was "I said crinkle, crinkle, crinkle because I am a plastic bag ventriloquist and I was throwing my voice".

Are we to take from this exchange that my voice sounds like cheap, rustling plastic?

And again this morning, when I did up my backpack in preparation for leaving the house, the Silver Fox said "hmmm?" in response. So now I also sound like a zipper being done up.

Now there could be a couple of things going on here. One assumption we could make is that the Silver Fox interprets any sound that he's not directly responsible for as coming from me and errs on the side of "intelligible communication" because almost all of the sounds that I make are attempts at language*.

Or this could suggest that the Silver Fox needs to get his hearing checked.

Or it could be that my voice is an aural chameleon, often imbued with the sounds and character of the mundane and domestic. I couldn't rightly tell you as I hear my voice from inside my own head and to me it just sounds like thinking.

But having recently had my voice mistaken for a zip and a plastic bag I have compiled a list of things I hope it really doesn't resemble:

  *the clanging chimes of doom
  *a harmonica
  *cats fighting
  *the theme song to Two and a Half Men
  *that booming noise in Inception
  *a squeaky stroller
  *that noise the pipes make when we turn the garden hose on
  *the vocal stylings of Wing
  *anyone off The GC

Over the years I've got better about hearing my own voice when recorded. I used to cringe horribly but now I only cringe a little bit. For the most part I think my "telephone voice" is passably presentable but I can't be sure that my normal, unselfconscious voice is very pleasing. I have very "Kiwi" vowels on the whole as well as a few vocal hangovers from my time in the UK such as a habit of dropping the "g" off the end of certain words and substituting a glottal stop for a "t" in words like "getting". I'm not exactly ashamed of these features of my spoken output, it's more that they don't necessarily convey an air of intellectualism and sophistication. Not that much else about me does either but you have to aspire to something, don't you?

In terms of other people's voices I have always favoured the husky or gravelling sounding ones. I love Demi Moore's voice and Tom Hardy's sounds fantastically roughed up. The only time I ever approach sounding like that is when I have a cold or have had several whiskies**. Which is another good reason to have a dram (should need another reason).

What sort of voices appeal to you? How would you rate your own given that almost everybody hates how they sound when recorded? Is it normal to sound like a plastic bag? Your answers required below.

*There being notable exceptions especially after drinking carbonated beverages

**Does this spelling make it seem like I've been eating cat biscuits? Because that's not what I meant.

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37 comments
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workingmum   #1   11:48 am May 04 2012

Sometimes my Hubby (of 23 years) says "pardon" or "what" when I am thinking about saying something.he even does this from the next room! I swear he is getting close to being telepathic!

JB   #2   11:55 am May 04 2012

Frog-in-the-throat: Tea Leoni (thinking Bad Boys movie) and Delta Goodrem, 'nuff said. Ever notice that great singing voices often have husky voices (I can only think of two at the moment, but that opinion has been with me for a long time - I'll stick with it).

Janet   #3   11:56 am May 04 2012

Yes its normal to hate the sound of your own voice in recordings - I sound really pretentious to me :( I think the problem with the Silver Fox's hearing has more to do with male auto-responses than actual hearing or your voice...

JCC   #4   12:00 pm May 04 2012

I assume my voice is reasonably 'childish' sounding since i still get the "is mum or dad home?" question from time to time on the phone. But then, i'm a small person, it wouldn't be right for me to have a deep husky voice!

Perhaps you do make some sound without realising and the SF is picking up on these -like when zipping up your bag, maybe you sighed (gloomily at the thought of another day of work?) or tutted (exasperated at forgetting to put your lunch in before closing?) or hrumphed (when remembering the crinkle/voice debacle)? Or he imagines you talking, or maybe your throwback from being single hasn't really gone away, you just don't realise you're talking to yourself out loud??

Jellybean   #5   12:07 pm May 04 2012

There's a female radio DJ here in Dunners and I love her voice. It's smooth and mellow.

I'm also very fond of british accents and irish. Especially if it's a man (drool).

PB   #6   12:15 pm May 04 2012

When I worked at a call centre I had a phone voice, I got quite good at making people feel stupid and also insulting them while sounding polite and professional. It's all in the word choice and tone, you could almost hear their poor confused brains going "wait, is she calling me stupid." Yes my dear caller, I am, because you are.

My trainer said he didn't even recognise my voice when he was listening to my calls because it sounded so different to my normal voice.

Burt   #7   12:17 pm May 04 2012

dont like my recorded voice!!! James Earl Jones has one of the best voices......

on the harmonica this view this http://www.stuff.co.nz/oddstuff/6859464/Elephant-plays-tunes-on-harmonica

Niri Tacen   #8   12:21 pm May 04 2012

Alone or in the shower, I sing like an angel, effortlessly mimicking the voice of the song's original singer.

In earshot of any living thing, I sound like this lady: http://youtu.be/dVbBBUzEGzY (Warning: Not safe for your ears)

It's as if the hearing ability of nearby people affects my voice in some way...

I also sometimes think my beloved has spoken, only to discover she hasn't uttered a sound. I think that sometimes I replay our conversations in my head, and get confused between what's replay and what's real. Or possibly it's some form of self preservation, trying to ensure I don't miss anything she says and thus not get into trouble. ("Did you hear what I asked?" - "I'm sorry, I was singing to myself, and my ears had shut down in self-defence.")

MC   #9   12:32 pm May 04 2012

I love Jack Nicholson's voice in The Departed. I think it's more where he places emphasis in the sentences he says. I know he's old and crumbly but it's kinda hot.

TK   #10   12:39 pm May 04 2012

Hate, hate, HATE the sound of my own voice when I have the misfortune to hear a recording of it. Which thankfully is seldom. Probably why I work sitting in front of a computer rather than having to talk in front of people.

My favorite voice ever, is Sean Connery, when he was the voice of Draco, in Dragonheart. Wise, strong. Can't really say sexy, 'cos he was a Dragon.... and that would be just wrong!


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