You can see I take no pleasure in this viral auditory phenomenon. Yanny? Laurel? WTF.
We canines know that humes have fairly deficient hearing (as well as olfactory) abilities, so their fascination with such anomalies doesn’t surprise us.
My hume became mildly interested in the viral controversy when she saw a FB post on her phone. So, at first she heard “Yanny” repeatedly. Then, in a nod to her proclivity for scientific inquiry, she went to her trusty HP Chromebook to see how it sounded there. Lo and behold! It was “Laurel,” plain and simple. She again checked her phone and it had become Laurel there as well. And remained so.
Various scientists and audiologists and pundits pontificated to no definitive conclusion.
According to Yahoo.com, the audio clip was captured by a teenager who was listening to the playback of a professional pronouncer’s voice over her laptop speakers, then posted the weirdness to Instagram, Reddit, and the virus was born.
Marc Tinkler, president and CTO of Vocabulary.com, says that tinny speakers, like the ones on TV sets and laptops, emphasize higher frequencies, so people sometimes hear “Yanny.” Older people, who have begun losing some of the higher frequencies in their hearing, are more likely to hear “Laurel.”
As noted, my hume, who is an elder, heard Yanny on her phone and then Laurel on her laptop, then Laurel on her phone. Was her ear being trained?
Our pups are born deaf and cannot hear until they are 21 days old, according to an article by Debra Meno on Puppy Playground (you know, a Web site). When their hearing is fully developed, they can hear four times the distance of a human with normal hearing. We also can hear higher pitched sounds and can detect a frequency range of 67-45,000 Hz, compared to a human range of 64-23,000 Hz. And we have 18 muscles in our ears allowing them to move in the direction of the sound. But, I digress. Our awesomeness never fails to fascinate me.
For my part, I believe it is a conspiracy, as some have suggested–not to distract from either the “fake” and/or abhorrent real news–but to allow humes who possess the requisite technology (Pew Research Center says 91% of adults in the United States have cell phones) to interact on a topic that isn’t politically, socially or culturally divisive.
So far, celebrities, sports teams and all the men and women in the street are partaking of the mystery and sharing their results with the closest hume at hand. What a wonderful distraction! Almost…. I said almost…. makes me wish I had a cell phone.
P.S. In case you wondered, it’s really saying “MilkBone.”
P.P.S. That’s a tater tot in my mouth, not a Hannibal Lecter disguise.