Is the “Yanny vs. Laurel” audio clip debate a sign of hearing loss or a government conspiracy? Why are some people hearing “Yanny” and some hearing “Laurel”? The question of what people hear and why they hear different words has become an obsession on social media. Not since the blue/black dress (or was it a white/gold dress?) has a debate raged by confusing our senses. First, they fooled with our eyes and now they’re fooling our ears.
It started with an audio clip that originated on Vocabulary.com, a resource website that, among other things, gives people definitions for words and provides audio clip so users can hear the proper pronunciation of words. On May 11, a student user of the site looked up the word “laurel” as it was a vocabulary word in her high school world literature homework. Katie Hetzel said she played the audio clip for the word “laurel” and what she heard was “yanny.”