Lifestyle

"Laurel" vs. "Yanny" is the Internet's New Viral War

We're unfriending everyone who says "Yanny."
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So this happened. Three whole days ago—or a whole generation, in viral-Internet time—a guy who goes by the handle RolandCamry noticed that this recorded pronunciation guide on Vocabulary.com sounded strange to his ears.

So he turned to his fellow Reddit users on the wonderfully descriptive sub called /blackmagicfuckery to ask for their opinions and opened Pandora's is-it-a-blue-or-black-dress box. 

RolandCamry says that he was on Vocabulary.com listening to the pronunciation guide for the word "laurel" when "my sister was like why do you keep playing yanny and i was like wtf."


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[CLICK ON THIS LINK TO LISTEN: Are you hearing "Laurel" or "Yanny"?]

The top-voted comment on the thread is from a user who says, "I hear Laurel and everyone is a liar."

However, others chimed in to say that they heard differently: "I hear Laurel now but Yanny at first," said one. "Yanny. Not even close to Laurel. Is this supposed to be some blue black dress bs?"

The thread itself didn't even reach the front page of Reddit, but it has spread like wildfire on Twitter, where some of the most influential Twitterati have weighed in:










Off Twitter, even the prestigious New York Times joined the fray with a detailed blow-by-blow account of the developing Internet war. A continent away, so did The Guardian. The Atlantic spoke to a linguist to get to the bottom of the auditory confusion. Its sister site, Quartz, published a philosophical essay (!) about the nature of reality, concluding that "It’s useful to have a Yanny/Laurel moment every once in awhile—to remember that there are multiple versions of reality, which exist outside the boundaries of the self." (Us? Since it's 2018, we're going meta—or phoning it in—with this piece with multiple links to other publications.)

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You may recall that the Big Internet War of the Blue/Black Dress was waged way back in the ancient era of 2015. It has since spawned another skirmish regarding the color of a pair of Vans Old Skool sneakers that may have been pink and white or gray and teal. "The Dress" has its own Wikipedia entry, even, with a long list of references to remind us of that tragically divisive time in our browser history.

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