Yanny or Laurel – the death of the spoken word?

Geschichte / Deutschland / 19. Jh. / Wilhelm I.  / Deutsch-französischer Krieg 1870-71 / Emser Depesche

Bismark cleverly manipulated the words. He altered the Ems Telegram sent originally by Heinrich Abeken…

Yanny or Laurel – the death of the spoken word?

On 16 May 2018, the BBC television news finished with an unusual item. Perhaps, the producer was fed up with stories about the antics of Donald Trump, or the atrocities wrought on innocent populations by ISIS or the perennial BREXIT machinations by the British political elites. So Auntie or the Beeb, (or 2LO London calling, for older listeners) played a short sound clip and asked the viewers to identify it. The screen went white as the sound was played accompanied by a digital signature, a series of bars above and below a single line like some crazy bar-coded xylophone.

It caught my attention and I listened, ears back and alert for the sound. I heard the single word ‘Yearly.’

Yet to my surprise the announcer proceeded to say that some people would hear ‘Yanny’ while others would hear ‘Laurel’ and he proceeded to explain that people who heard Yanny had such and such a character while those hearing Laurel had a different character. Continue reading “Yanny or Laurel – the death of the spoken word?”