GONE VIRAL: Audio Clip Spurs Social Media Debate Over 'Yanny' Or 'Laurel'
May 17 2018
In response to the Yanny-Laurel phenomenon/thing, the Patriots on Wednesday tweeted their own audio clip, asking fans whether they hear "Brady" or "G.O.A.T".
If you have the ability to tweak your sound output to emphasize both the higher and then the lower range, you will probably hear both as well-or at least, understand why people are divided on this. The post has received more than a dozen shares and more than 40 comments. It then took off after it was picked up on Reddit and then retweeted across Twitter. It's like The Dress debate of 2016-is it black and blue or gold and white? But depending on who you ask, some hear Laurel and others hear Yanny.
Any spoken word is made up of a variety of sounds at different pitches, or frequencies.
For the record, the mayor of Laurel, Md., a small city in northern Prince George's County, hears "Laurel", and so does the city administrator, according to Audrey Barnes, a spokeswoman for the City of Laurel (She also heard "Laurel", she noted). The more tinny, or high-pitched, the device and speakers tend to project, the more likely Yanny comes out. It's a stronger sound, with more bass.
For the past 24 hours it has been doing the rounds and confusing everyone.
First, there's a simple explanation as to why some people hear "Yanny" and some people hear "Laurel".
"Decided to open up Yanny Brewing Co., in Laurel, Maryland", said one user.
Brad Story, a professor of speech, language and hearing sciences at the University of Arizona, sent PolitiFact a file with visualizations that explain why he believes the original recording was likely saying "Laurel".
The debate has drawn in celebrities, with author Stephen King and singer Ryan Adams joining the "Yanny" camp, while model Chrissy Teigan and presenter Ellen DeGeneres vote "Laurel". A triumph of grizzled experience over callow youth? So part of the reason people hear one word or the other may lie in how their brain processes and interprets sound, she said.