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If I'm talking about someone's voice is raspyness or raspy-ness correct?

The raspyness of Cobain’s voice adds another layer of complexity to the song.

The raspy-ness of Cobain’s voice adds another layer of complexity to the song.

Spelling checker doesn't like raspyness, but raspy-ness doesn't look quite right.

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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The proper term you're looking for is raspiness. Definitely not raspy-ness, neither raspyness, nor raspi-ness. The Wiktionary lists it, even with quotations backing it up:

The speaking voice was clear and strong with no raspiness, but there was a noticeable rasp in the loud singing voice.

~ 1978, Mavis Douglas, Vocal problems of the young singer

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If it is a word it would be spelt raspiness but I'm not sure it is a word. Wiktionary has an entry for it at least.

If it were not actually a dictionary word then raspy-ness as a made up word would be acceptable in casual text.

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In this particular instance,

"the rasp of Cobain's voice [...]"

could be an acceptable alternative, where rasp means the harsh sound in question; however, the meaning is subtly changed from referring to the rasping quality of his voice to the rasping sound of his voice.

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