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Science Chimes In On The ‘Laurel vs. Yanny’ Internet Debate

Unless you have been hiding under a rock or are banned from social media, then you know that the Internet has been divided this past week, thanks to an audio file that repeats the same word.
However, depending on who you are, you may interpret the repetitive word as ‘Yanny’ or ‘Laurel’; a phenomenon that has many across North America scratching their heads.

Last Tuesday, one couldn’t hop on social media without being bombarded by the audio file and Team Laurel versus Team Yanny supporters were very vocal about they believe they heard when it comes to the file. While the audio clip first hit Twitter, it wasn’t too long before it spread on Facebook and other social media platforms as well.

Much like the ‘Dress’ photo debate that made its rounds in 2015, where some saw white and gold one, while others believed they were looking at a black and blue dress; the file of Laurel versus Yanny is leaving many perplexed.

Well, science is chiming in on the entire debate and Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing, university of Arizona, Brad Story offers his insights, which seem to be as simply as the recording itself, and the fact that it is not high quality, which essentially leaves some ambiguity.

He adds there is also the differing ways individuals are listening to the recording, either via mobile devices, smartphones, headphones, etc., which affects what they are hearing.

Story also analyzed the audio clip, in addition to recording himself saying ‘Laurel’ and ‘Yanny’ to compare. He found that at a low recording quality, it’s doesn’t shock him that individuals would be confused over what they hear, whether that be Laurel or Yanny. He added that if you change the pitch of what was originally recorded, people could hear both names.

CNN reported that the original recording most likely was ‘Laurel’; therefore, if you land on team L, perhaps you can feel good about knowing you heard the correct name. #Team Laurel

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