The White House's Yanny Or Laurel Video Is Actually Pretty Funny
You know how people say "everyone" is doing something, just exaggerate to how many people are doing that one thing? Yeah, this isn't one of those times. It literally seems like everyone and their mama is up on the latest internet debate, because even the White House has a Yanny-or-Laurel video.
In the video, the Trump administration's most notable figures step up to the plate to give their take on a debate that has become more polarizing then politics: the question of whether or not that infamous recording says "Yanny" or "Laurel."
So, the record can now show that Ivanka Trump, deputy press secretary Raj Shah, and Kellyanne Conway all hear "Laurel" — though Conway maintained that she could "deflect" to Yanny if she wanted to, which is a fact Anderson Cooper would probably begrudgingly admit.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is one of the few that is #TeamYanny, which is definitely one of the few takes a White House press secretary doesn't have to spin at all. Oh, and as for the president himself? He said he hears "Covfefe," which, if nothing else, finally puts a stamp on how that (totally made up) word should be pronounced.
The full video of the White House staff's take is below.
By now, you likely heard about the Yanny-Laurel debate on social media, local news, or, as we see from the White House video, your elected officials. But you might not know the story behind how it became a viral meme.
It all started with a high school freshman at Georgia's Flowery Branch High, according to Wired. The freshman, Katie Hetzel, says she was studying for a literature class and looked up the word "laurel" on Vocabulary.com.
So, yes, technically "Laurel" is the correct answer to the debate, but Hetzel heard Yanny, and posted the recording on her Instagram story feed to see who else agreed.
"I asked my friends in my class and we all heard mixed things," Hetzel told Wired.
Soon after, a senior at Hetzel's school published the same video on his Instagram story, but this time the video had Instagram's poll feature.
"She recorded it and put it on her story then I remade the video and posted it," the senior, Fernando Castro, told Wired. "Katie and I have been going back and forth and we both agree that we had equal credit on it."
Another friend would eventually post the video on Reddit, then a popular YouTuber did the same on Twitter. Next thing you know, Yanny-or-Laurel was the biggest internet debate since "the dress" from 2015.
Back then, the dress captured everyone's attention, and was a debate that pretty much every outlet covered. Yanny and Laurel is a different animal, though. Not only has it gotten coverage everywhere, but it even has people in Washington giving their take.
“I’d like to declare something that is just so obvious,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said during a press conference. “It is Laurel and not Yanny, alright?”
The question of why people can hear two distinctly different words is even more tricky, and appears to even have experts stumped.
"It depends on what part (what frequency range) of the signal you attend to," Patricia Keating, a linguistics professor at UCLA, told The New York Times. "I have no idea why some listeners attend more to the lower frequency range while others attend more to the higher frequency range. Age? How much time they spend talking on the phone?"
We can make this simple though. It doesn't matter what the origin of the recording is; you can totally hear Yanny.