Sunday, 20 May 2018

America’s newest internet debate: Is it ‘Laurel’ or ‘Yanny’?

America’s newest internet debate: Is it ‘Laurel’ or ‘Yanny’?
16 May

WASHINGTON — You’re probably asking yourself: “What topic will annoy me 36–48 hours from now?”

The answer: A debate that is gaining traction on the internet: “Is it ‘Yanny’ or ‘Laurel’”?

First, listen to this.

What did you hear? What did your co-workers hear? What did your significant other hear? Is it the same? Is it not the same because it is, in fact, different? Does it even matter?

Yes, it apparently matters, because the audio illusion is a very real thing.

The WTOP newsroom was instantly split into spirited factions Tuesday afternoon. And even the Nationals have already staked out their position in the debate. This reporter heard “Yanni” on a speaker (although it really sounded more like “yarrie” with rolled R’s) then heard a very crisp, clear “Laurel” with headphones on.

It’s like that whole hullabaloo a few years back about that dress that was blue, not white.

Science’s know-it-all community has some idea about what the dealio is, of course. It basically involves the brain and the ears and … oh good grief. Haven’t we wasted enough time on this already?

WTOP has reached out to Laurel, Maryland, Mayor Craig Moe for comment (seriously). It would have called new age music superstar Yanni if it knew his phone number.

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