Tue. Aug 16th, 2022

Another year, another controversial internet debate, but unlike the black-blue or white-gold dress, this debate concerns not an item but an audio recording.

Posted by Cloe Feldman, more commonly known as cloecourture, she asked her over 1 million followers whether they heard “yanny” or “laurel” from a simple audio recording. From the final poll, 53% of voters said they heard “yanny”, while 47% claimed they heard “laurel”.

From my experience, I’ve heard “yanny” multiple times and “laurel” only once. But when I asked multiple students around school, I received mixed answers.

Some students, like sophomore Stephanie Melvin heard something different depending on how close she held her phone to her ear. “Well, at first I heard “yanny”, and then I heard “laurel” for two days straight,” said Melvin. “Then I heard “yanny” when it was further away from my ear and then “laurel” when it was closer to my ear,” said Melvin.

Other students like sophomore Justin Hickland heard both. “It’s both, you can hear both. The first time I heard “yanny” and then when I like really thought about it I heard “laurel”, and I think it just has to do with the frequencies of people that are…older and have ear damage,” said Hickland.

According to CNN.com, Dr. Patricia Keating, a linguistics professor and director of phonetics lab at UCLA, said that the differences might be related to hearing loss or age of the listener. But some sites claim that it depends on the frequencies. According to nytimes.com, “laurel” is most heard in lower frequencies while “yanny” is heard in higher frequencies.

But whether you heard “yanny”, “laurel”, or both, the listeners who heard “laurel” would be correct. The clip originates from the vocabulary.com page for “laurel”, which means a wreath worn on the head, usually a symbol of victory.

Although the answer of “yanny” vs. “laurel” is known, arguments will continue until the internet finds another debate topic.

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