Home » General » What You Can Learn From The Laurel vs Yanny Debate

What You Can Learn From The Laurel vs Yanny Debate

For full discloser: I haven’t listened to the sound bite. I honestly don’t have to. Every day I hear things incorrectly, or differently, than other people. Every day I struggle to put the pieces together and guess at missing words or overall concept.

Hearing people listen to this amazed at how people hear things differently. Welcome to my world.

Seriously, this isn’t a fun game, this is reality. Even people with “perfect” hearing will hear things differently from time to time. Now add in a hearing loss. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine thinking someone’s name is Laurel and then find out it’s Yanny and feel like a complete idiot?

Because I’ve been there. Heck, I live there! Hearing loss is not a straight line, most of us lose higher frequency sounds first. I’ve mentioned this a few times but I’ll mention it again: my right ear can’t hear the “h” sound. It’s a complete gap of sound. Sometimes my brain is able to fill in the gap to identify the word, other times it can’t.

My hearing loss is also mostly genetic, it goes up and down, which means I’ll hear certain sounds clearer than others, leaving room for more misunderstanding.

Listen to the sound bite and have fun with it. But also take a moment to consider what it teaches. Hearing isn’t black and white, it’s filled with shades of gray and ranges of color. Not all of us have full access to all those ranges. Laurel vs Yanny might be a fun afternoon for you. It might lead to fights among family and friends.

It’s my life.

(One more point on the whole issue, from a person named Laura: The L and the R are the last two sounds acquired, and therefore the hardest (thanks Mom and Dad!). I’ve often said my name on the phone and the person responds, “Okay, Barb, how can I help you?” Now, granted, sometimes my tongue doesn’t work like I need it to, but I haven’t for the life of me figured out how I manage to make my name sound like Barb!)

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