If it’s not the royal wedding or the latest blockbuster from Marvel, it’s Yanny and Laurel. Two little words that have caused an absolute storm this week.
As with most viral trends though, they don’t last long.
Luckily for us, a new auditory illusion is doing the rounds, and this time it’s NSFW! Get in.
As IFL Science points out, in Rihanna’s collaboration with T.I called Live Your Life, it appears as if Riri is singing ‘I’m a big f*cking sl*t’, rather than the much cleaner, actual lyrics of ‘I’m a paper chaser’.
Check it out for yourself:
Unlike Yanny and Laurel where most people were adamant it was one or the other, with this trick you can make your brain switch between the two phrases.
Facebook users were quick to comment on what they heard.
Yea, so that’s freaking weird. I heard both: it depends on what you’re concentrating on. Weird.
I heard whichever of the two phrases I was looking at. So weird.
While another claimed to only ever hear the one phrase:
All I can hear now if the NSFW phrase, I tried thinking of the other one, but nope, it’s still the NSFW one for me. Just cannot un-hear it.
Me? Most of the time I’m too busy dancing to concentrate on what Rihanna is really saying.
As for Yanny and Laurel, the answer was finally revealed earlier this week thanks to 64-year-old Broadway actor and singer, Jay Aubrey Jones, the man behind the now infamous recording.
According to TIME, Jones recorded the word for Vocabulary.com in 2007. Now, all these years later, his innocent muttering has got the world up in arms.
Jones put the debate to bed once and for all – it’s laurel. Laurel as in ‘a wreath worn on the head, usually as a symbol of victory’ i.e the thing you usually see atop Julius Caesar’s head.
He did add how he felt ‘amused to no end’ by the viral debate adding:
I recorded my batch of words and I thought that was that.
I thought, well, it couldn’t be that huge. Then I heard the recording again online and I realised what a brouhaha this whole thing was.
He did, however, claim that he often hears yanny too, explaining:
More often than not, I hear laurel. I can hear a slight trace of yanny.
Jones apparently recorded 36,000 words for Vocabulary.com. The recording of this particular word went viral when a student came across the sound bite and heard ‘yanny’.
Said student then posted the clip online asking people what they heard. And at that, this legend was born.
It makes sense, divisive subjects make the world wide web go round.
Remember this guy:
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) February 27, 2015
The internet tore itself in two like a polyester dress from a discount store when this image had people arguing whether it was white and gold or black and blue.
You’ll never guess what the answer was!
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.