|Vocal tics are involuntary and compulsive phonic expressions, such as noises, hiccups, words or repetitive phrases and they can be classified as either simple or complex. Simple vocal tics, also known as phonic tics, include simple sounds such as grunting, barking, coughing, hissing, sniffing, snorting, throat clearing or a habitual sniff. Complex vocal tics such as palilalia or coprolalia involve more complex expressions such as repeating words, phrases and sentences. Vocal tics vary in content and severity between individuals.
Some people with vocal tics will repeat their own or other people’s words or sentences (echolalia) or using obscene words, having swearing outbursts, or generally uncontrolled vulgar language (coprolalia). In some cases, vocal tics can interfere with normal conversation and may disrupt the constant flow of normal speech, while in other cases vocal tics are mild and less noticeable.