May 16, 2018, 2:57 PM ET

'Laurel' or 'Yanny,' the debate is over, creator speaks out


A fight that's consumed the Internet and ruined productivity in offices everywhere for the past few days is over.

It's officially "Laurel," not "Yanny."

The stake driven through the debate came from the guy who started it.

The New York Times tracked down 18-year-old Lawrenceville, Ga. high school student Roland Szabo, who had explained on his Reddit feed that he recorded the pronunciation for Laurel provided by the website, directly off of his computer speakers, which accounts for the iffy quality -- and also some of the ambiguity.

Regardless of the fact that his classmates also didn't agree what they were hearing, the word was still Laurel. In your face, team Yanny.

So why was it so confusing? An expert told ABC News' Brad Mielke on the "Start Here" podcast that it comes down to how we process sounds.

“We do a lot with what little auditory information goes into our brain, so we're constantly making predictions," said Dr. Bharath Chandrasekaran, associate professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Texas at Austin.

He added, "And in this case, there's a lot of ambiguity in the cues partly because it's a noisy clip with no context and no visual cues to help you out. Without context, conversational speech can sound really, really weird."

Incidentally, Dr. Chandrasekaran was team "Laurel" the whole time.

News - 'Laurel' or 'Yanny,' the debate is over, creator speaks out

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  • Deb Roberts

    I am 64 and I have heard yanny every time on every source. Never heard anything else.

  • spartygao

    I can't understand how anyone gets Yanny out of Laurel on this recording. Get the potatoes out of your ears.

  • Quantez Williams

    Even though I knew it was "Laurel" from reading the article (and had never even heard of this before reading it), I only hear "Yanny." I cannot hear anything else.

  • Michelle Lynn Beard

    It's Laurel people lol.....

  • MotherGinger

    This answers nothing. Where is the "Yanny" coming from?

  • Houdinicat

    I hear Yanny like Danny with a Y. They're pronouncing it wrong in the video probably because they hear Laurel instead.

  • B-K KnightRider

    I have heard it both ways from two different sources. I even heard if both ways from the same source (my TV), but the source on TV was produced in two different ways. One way was playing the sound directly, the other way was playing it from a smart phone into the talent's microphone.

  • adamrussell

    So basically the people that hear Yanny should get their ears checked because they arent hearing all the frequencies.

  • Fulghn

    I think the test simply outs folks that have really bad tinny speakers or seriously messed up audio drivers.

    Do the Talking Carl fight starting with 'laurel' and it will become 'yanny'.

  • Webmaster

    They should do a study to find out exactly what the demographics are of people who hear "Laurel" and of people who hear "Yanny". I only hear "Yanny" and absolutely no "R" sound. It is unbelievable to me how people can hear "Laurel". What a mystery! And, yes, I do believe in ghosts.

  • MidTennDog

    Here's what I hear... STUPID... STUPID... STUPID.

  • Jana Frazier

    You could clearly hear the "R" sound.

  • Dicazi

    It's why some people hear voices on recordings of ambient noise.
    Those that believe in ghosts, that is.