A fight that’s consumed the Internet and ruined productivity in offices everywhere for the past few days is over.
It’s officially “Laurel,” not “Yanny.”
The stake driven through the debate came from the guy who started it.
The New York Times tracked down 18-year-old Lawrenceville, Ga. high school student Roland Szabo, who had explained on his Reddit feed that he recorded the pronunciation for Laurel provided by the website Vocabulary.com, directly off of his computer speakers, which accounts for the iffy quality — and also some of the ambiguity.
Regardless of the fact that his classmates also didn’t agree what they were hearing, the word was still Laurel. In your face, team Yanny.
So why was it so confusing? An expert told ABC News’ Brad Mielke on the “Start Here” podcast that it comes down to how we process sounds.
“We do a lot with what little auditory information goes into our brain, so we’re constantly making predictions,” said Dr. Bharath Chandrasekaran, associate professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Texas at Austin.
He added, “And in this case, there’s a lot of ambiguity in the cues partly because it’s a noisy clip with no context and no visual cues to help you out. Without context, conversational speech can sound really, really weird.”
Incidentally, Dr. Chandrasekaran was team “Laurel” the whole time.