Something huge happened this weekend. It got everybody talking. People were talking about it all day at work and at night in the pub – and absolutely everybody had an opinion on it.
The royal wedding? Oh no. God no, you didn’t think I was talking about that did you? Oh no. Think bigger! Something much bigger. Much more memorable. Definitely not just another viral trend we’ll forget about in two and a half weeks.
Of course, what I’m talking about is ‘yanny or laurel’. The bizarre voice clip. All I can hear is: Yanny, yanny, yanny, yanny. All others hear is laurel, laurel, laurel, laurel.
It’s been the biggest debate since ‘the dress’ – with the world up in arms about what’s really being said.
Personally I’ve still not heard ‘laurel’. Not even once. And up until now I was convinced all those saying they could hear ‘laurel’ were involved in some global practical joke against me and me alone.
Hell, even President Donald Trump involved himself in the debate – although he heard something completely different…
However now the God’s have spoken. Step forward 64-year-old Broadway actor and singer, Jay Aubrey Jones, the man behind the legend of ‘yanny or laurel’, according to Time.
Back in 2007, Jones recorded the word for Vocabulary.com. Now, all these years later, his innocent muttering has got the world up in arms.
But just what is the reality. What was Jones really saying?
Wasting no more time. It’s laurel. Laurel as in ‘a wreath worn on the head, usually as a symbol of victory’ i.e the thing Caesar wears on his 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!
While writing this article and listening over and over and over and over again to ‘laurel’ I can conclude I too can now hear both ‘yanny’ and ‘laurel’. It appears ‘laurel’ can be heard first, with the word ‘yanny’ beginning very shortly afterwards.
If you can’t hear them both then try playing the voice recording over and over again fast – you’ll get there.
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Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.