January 16, 2019

"Yanny" vs. "Laurel"- new debate divides Internet

17 May 2018, 11:39 | Megan Pierce

ITVYanny Laurel The Chase star Paul Sinha waded in on the debate

Yanny Laurel The Chase star Paul Sinha

That was the question Wednesday as a short audio clip sparked a social media debate about whether the word being heard is "yanny" or "laurel".

In 2015, a similar debate surfaced online over the colour of a blue and black/white and gold dress. McCoy hears "laurel" being said in the clip while his left tackle hears "yanny".

The latest Internet debate is an audio clip that has everyone scratching their heads in disbelief.

Borgia: Yanny may be more hard to hear because it is a high frequency, soft raspy whisper. "Most people think of hearing as occurring in the ear, but hearing and listening actually occur in the brain", Douglas Beck, an audiologist working with Oticon Inc. hearing aids and the magazine Hearing Review, told National Geographic. Clearly, Laurel emanated. When I played it for my nine-year-old son, however, he heard something much closer to Yanny- I didn't suggest either sound, but simply played it for him and asked what he heard.

The audio-frequency patterns of both words, when spoken by the researcher, are fairly similar. That is, you can hear while you're asleep, and so in that regard, hearing is passive.

Yanny Laurel The Chase's Paul Sinha's tweet
TWITTER • PAUL SINHAYanny Laurel The Chase's Paul Sinha tweeted about the controversy

You can listen to how it sounds originally here, and if you're a yanny-truther out there, I offer up my sincerest apologies.

Indeed, in an informal survey of 20 employees at the Inquirer, Daily News, and, the average age of those who heard yanny was 29, while the average age for hearing laurel was 37.

'After listening it for some more time, I could sometimes hear a high pitched yanny or a low pitched laurel. Honestly why the heck would it be saying yanny anyway.

Which do you hear? Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said he'd like "to declare something that is just so obvious: It is laurel and not yanny".

Although it sounded like a good idea, some people tried to the Snapchat trick shortly after it was posted and confessed that it did not make a difference in what they were hearing.

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