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Posted: May 17, 2018

Yanny or Laurel? Shelter names puppies after viral audio clip

File photo of a puppy. The Atlanta Humane Society jumped at the latest trend sweeping the internet by naming one puppy Yanny, the other Laurel.
Winsker / Pixabay.com
File photo of a puppy. The Atlanta Humane Society jumped at the latest trend sweeping the internet by naming one puppy Yanny, the other Laurel.

By Becca J. G. Godwin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA —

Viral sensations are often forgotten about after a few days — the Mannequin Challenge comes to mind — but there’s a new one that a future dog owner or two will remember forever. 

>> See the Facebook post here

Yanny! Laurel! YANNY! LAUREL!

Posted by Atlanta Humane Society on Wednesday, May 16, 2018

>> Yanny or Laurel? Viral audio clip leaves internet divided

The Atlanta Humane Society jumped at the latest trend sweeping the internet by naming one puppy Yanny, the other Laurel. People have been hotly debating which one of those words can be heard in a short audio clip, similar to the great “What Color is this Dress” debate of 2015.

Why some hear "Laurel" and others hear "Yanny"

>> On AJC.com: These metro Atlanta dog adoption events won’t be held at shelters

Yanny, formerly known as Irving, is a 2-month-old male Chinese shar-pei mix. Laurel is a 3-month-old beagle mix who used to answer to Lillian. The puppies can be adopted for $295 each from the Howell Mill location. 

>> Yanny or Laurel debate: This is what you heard and why

This isn’t the first time the shelter has seized such an opportunity. The organization once named a puppy after the attention-capturing April the Giraffe.

The post of Yanny and Laurel, thought up by marketing manager Amanda Harris, garnered hundreds of likes in a couple hours. Harris said these kinds of tactics often lead to successful forever homes for the puppies, in addition to boosting awareness about AHS.

>> Read more trending news 

“We love engaging with our social followers and friends with content that is fun and relevant to what’s happening on social media,” Harris said. 

One person joked in the comments: “When you call one, the other will come.”

Internet Sensation - What Do You Hear, Yanny or Laurel?


Related

Yanny or Laurel? Viral audio clip leaves internet divided

An audio clip on social media has the internet divided

>> Read more trending news 

Twitter user Cloe Feldman tweeted the clip, which repeats a word a number of times, Tuesday.

>> Listen to the clip here

While some people claim to hear the word "Laurel" in the clip, others say they hear "Yanny."

The clip has been shared thousands of times, and people around the world – including celebrities Chrissy Teigen, Mindy Kaling and, of course, Yanni – have weighed in on what they hear. 

The internet debate is similar to other sensations over the last few years, such as the dressthese shoes or this jacket.

So, is it "Yanny" or "Laurel"? Weigh in with our poll.

 
Yanny or Laurel debate: This is what you heard and why

Photo Illustration by Ian Waldie/Getty Images

Yanny or Laurel debate: This is what you heard and why

A 4-second audio clip has taken the internet by storm as people across social media ask: Is that robotic voice saying “Yanny” or “Laurel?”

>> Read more trending news

Opinions have been divided since the clip surfaced this week in a way unseen since the great dress debacle of 2015, in which internet users couldn’t agree about whether a dress was white and gold or black and blue.

>> Yanny or Laurel? Viral audio clip leaves internet divided

The audio clip in question went viral after it was posted to Reddit and subsequently shared on Twitter.

To the dismay of roughly half the internet, The New York Times reported Wednesday that the audio was originally sourced from a vocabulary.com page for the word “laurel.”

The newspaper traced the clip back to high school student Roland Szabo, 18, of Lawrenceville, Georgia. Szabo told the newspaper that he came across the clip as he was working on a school project. When the voice came through his computer’s speakers, it sparked a debate in the room over what the voice was saying.

He told the Times he shared the recording with a friend, who in turn created a poll on Instagram.

But the question remains: Why can’t people agree on what’s being said?

David Alais, a professor at the University of Sydney’s school of psychology, told The Guardian that he heard “Yanny” without ambiguity when he first listened to the clip but that the clip itself was an example of a “perceptually ambiguous stimulus.”

“They can be seen in two ways, and often the mind flips back and forth between the two interpretations,” Alais told The Guardian. “If there is little ambiguity, the brain locks on to a single perceptual interpretation. Here, the Yanny/Laurel sound is meant to be ambiguous because each sound has a similar timing and energy content – so in principle it’s confusable.

“All of this goes to highlight just how much the brain is an active interpreter of sensory input, and thus that the external world is less objective than we like to believe.”

A person’s age can also greatly affect what they hear, as it’s natural during the aging process for a person to lose his or her sensitivity to high frequencies, he said.

Brad Story, a professor of speech, language and hearing at the University of Arizona, told CNN that the quality of the recording itself left much to interpretation.

“It’s not a very high quality,” he said. “That in itself allows there to be some ambiguity.”

Interpretations can also be affected by the device a person uses to listen to the clip, he said.

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