Yanny or Laurel? A Stockton University Professor Has the Answer.

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SOUTH JERSEY -

An audio clip of one not-so-simple word is driving the social media world crazy. 

The nationwide dispute began on Reddit and has been going on for the last few days with millions of people asking, "Is it Yanny or is it Laurel?"

Stockton University professor Amee Shah has the answer. 

“It can be both," said Shah. "Depending on how you’re hearing it, depending on your device. So, if you’re hearing it on the phone, you may hear certain frequencies get damped, certain [ones] get enhanced. So you get one set of filtering effect. If you hear it on the laptop, or through headphones, or not, you get different effects.

 

Shah explained that it gets even more complex than just the device you're listening on.

Considering that the audio clip showed up on multiple social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook, these different outlets use different compression programs for audio, causing the frequency of the sound to change.

Shah explained how the answer could also be neither of the two words. 

“When you do speech spectrograms, as an analysis of the acoustic properties — think of it like x-rays of the speech — you really see what the sounds are made up of," said Shah. "The recording is not representative of either Yanny or Laurel.”

Shah said this case is a lot more difficult to explain because many other factors come in to play, including age, prior experiences, and linguistic background, among other variables.

So, Team Yanny and Team Laurel both aren't wrong, but they both aren't right at the same time.

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