The Great Debate of ‘Laurel vs Yanny’ Has Been Solved
The answer to whether or not this computer-generated voice is saying "Laurel" or "Yanny" will most certainly upset half of the population. Enter if you dare...
The latest and most infuriating Internet sensation is upon us. Remember when no one could agree on the color of a dress? I will take my response of "black and blue" over "white and gold" to the grave with me. Now people are obsessing over what the heck this computer-generated voice is saying when he says insert-the-word-you-heard-here.
It's "laurel" vs "yanny."
Now, reading those two words separately, it's clear that neither of them sounds alike. Yet we have tons of people saying they hear one or the other clearly. The responses on Twitter show that people are willing to go to battle over this one, so long as they can remain behind their keyboard and not actually engage in physical battle.
The New York Times decided to settle this and they tracked down the kid on Reddit who posted the audio, which he recorded from Vocabulary.com. He says that the word being pronounced was indeed...
L A U R E L
So why is there a disconnect? According to Dr. Bharath Chandrasekaran, associate professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Texas, our brains like to make predictions. Our brains are designed to do a lot with even the littlest pieces of audio. If there is any ambiguity in this audio, our brain finds a lane and sticks to it. In this case, it's "laurel" for some and "yanny" for others.
Oh, and just so you're aware... Dr. Chandrasekaran was team "laurel" from the start.