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Yanny vs Laurel – Who’s right?

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When it comes to being right, we need to keep an open mind.
It’s easy to be convinced we’re right, and that there is only one correct option.

Sometimes, the answer seems obvious but it depends on your perspective. It is possible that two people with different answers are both right.
So how can this be?

Funny misheard lyrics

Ever goofed around with misheard song lyrics?

Last night, my teenage daughter and I sat on the couch and watched “Funny misheard lyrics” on Youtube.

Maybe you also know a song, where you’re convinced it says something else than what you find on Google Lyrics.

Once you’re primed for the wrong lyrics, you can really hear them. It seemed like a stretch to actually hear the (fake) French lyrics in the English songs.

But some of the (fake) German lyrics made us laugh so much that we even sang them along when we watched the video again.

My daughter then said “Mom, you’ve got to listen to this. What do you hear?”

I only heard a soundbite and immediately answered “Laurel“.
Long story short, she was shocked because she hears “Yanny“.

I had no clue what she was talking about, maybe just like you right now.

Yanny vs. Laural Twitter poll results

She then showed me this video, which explains that people either heard “Yanny” or “Laurel” when listening to the recording of a certain word.

As you can see or already know, they even did a Twitter poll that was almost 50/50.

This seems ridiculous, these two words don’t sound the least bit alike.
How in the world can anyone hear “Yanny”?

Why is this on the Learning Ninja blog?

It fits this post on being patient with beginners. It’s so easy to think that the other person is stupid. Sometimes, there isn’t just one right answer.

Instead of insisting how silly it seems that people hear two completely different words in the same recording, I remembered the gold/blue dress controversy.

Everything depends on perspective, information, personal experience, and many other criteria. This doesn’t make you wrong or right.

It means that background is important and that everything is relative. “Obvious” is very subjective.

It turns out that you either hear Yanny or Laurel depending on the frequency you hear. Apparently, younger people hear higher frequencies and that’s why they hear “Yanny”.

Older people are more likely to have lost the ability to hear higher frequencies. So they usually hear “Laurel”, like me.

But the science behind this is not what this post is about…
However, if you’d like to check it out, you can find more information in this Guardian article.

So what’s the lesson here?

Learning Ninjas showing everyone can be right - 6 or 9 depends on perspective

This was a reminder that we need to keep an open mind. It’s not because we are convinced we’re right, that there is only one correct option.

In this case, the answer seems obvious. One word, two syllables. No way to get this wrong.
Well, obviously it’s not that simple, as the 47% vs 53% split shows.

One word, two syllables.
Imagine what this means for complex situations, with lots of parameters to consider. How can you be sure that you are the only one who’s right?

Listen and try to understand different opinions and ideas. You’ll make better decisions.

Oh, and I also discovered that at 37, I am officially old. Thank you very much, Laurel…


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Do you have a good example of a situation where both parties were right?

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