White House divided on Yanny Laurel debate


On Tuesday internet was torn in two teams - Team Yanny and Team Laurel after a mysterious audio clip was doing rounds on social media.

The clip was initially posted online by a high school student who needed to learn the definition of "laurel", Wired reported Wednesday. The clip was recorded from a vocabulary website playing through the speakers on a computer.

Input from celebrities has inflamed the frenzy: "It's Yanny", horror writer Stephen King said in a deadpan tweet.

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People who hear "Laurel" are likely also hearing "Yanny" but they can't distinguish it because it's part of the overall harmonics that makes up "Laurel".

Some hear one word very clearly and can't understand why anyone would hear the other. "I thought I was going insane", she said.

She played the clip for her other classmates and started a trend.

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Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah and presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway concur, Conway adding that she "could deflect and divert to Yanny if you need me to". What you hear also depends on your age.

More: Laurel or Yanny?

Jody Kreiman, Professor of Head and Neck Surgery and Linguistics at UCLA, said listeners would normally have "semantic context" to interpret what they are hearing. The White House is far from the the first corner of Washington to weigh in on a topic that many have found earresistible.

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