If you’re not quick enough, you can miss an internet trend in the blink of an eye. The latest trend to hit was a short jumbled audio clip that left people questioning whether they heard “Yanny” or “Laurel.” It called back to the extensive debates surrounding 2015’s “is the dress blue or gold,” but didn’t gain the same kind of traction.
By day three or so, people were already tired of the whole “Yanny or Laurel” thing. It had an incredibly short lifespan and didn’t quite muster the reaction that other “viral comparisons” tend to. As Senior Technology Writer at Buzzfeed Charlie Warzel puts it, “This new TheDress2.0 audio thing lacks all the internet fun and spontaneous joy of the first one.”
i should preface this by saying i'm a man whose spirit has been fully broken by the net...but — for me —this new TheDress2.0 audio thing lacks all the internet fun and spontaneous joy of the first one & just feels like the internet trying to will a viral moment into existence— Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) May 16, 2018
Self-proclaimed “de-motivational speaker” and model Christine “Chrissy” Teigen had already had enough shortly after the craze popped up. In a tweet simply stating “it’s time,” Teigen posted a screen capture of her Twitter muted words, which consisted of “Laurel,” “Yanny,” and the obvious misspelling of the latter, “Yanni.”
YouTube star SungWon Cho (ProZD) took a jab at the short-lived craze with a clever video that fit within his typical humor. Twitter user @VaroonBose took a similar approach as Cho, posting his own humorous version of what he thinks people are hearing.
Even musician Yanni weighed in, but you can probably guess which name he heard
According to CBS News, the debate was divided without about 53% hearing “Laurel” and 47% hearing “Yanny.” Linguist Ben Zimmer spoke with CBS News to shed light on why people, like the Georgia high school student that started the debate, Katie Hetzel, are hearing two different things. “People who are attuned to the high frequencies are picking up on things that make it sound more like Yanny,” Zimmer explained.
Weird, I don’t hear Yanny or Laurel anymore, just the long endless scream of a wasted life— 🐶🌸🌼Patrick Lenton🌼🌸🐕 (@PatrickLenton) May 16, 2018
Hetzel was studying to word “laurel” for her literature class and turned to Vocabulary.com for help. That’s where she first heard “Yanny” and thought to voice her findings on Instagram. In response to the debate, Vocabulary.com briefly added a definition for the word “Yanny,” describing it as “a word or phrase that is capable of distracting the entire internet for at least 24 hours. Though the definition has been removed, it’s worth noting that when you search “Yanny” on the website, it reverts to the definition of “annoy.”
H/T: Twitter, CBS News, Vocabulary.com