US President Donald Trump has waded into yet another controversy raging on the internet – the yanny/laurel debate.
His tongue-in-cheek response shows that the US president may have a lighter side after all.
In a the video, White House officials including the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, reveal what they hear when the contentious audio clip is played.
The Donald, speaking from the Oval Office, says: “I hear covfefe.” – referencing an infamous May 2017 tweet from Mr Trump that contained that nonsensical term.
Ms Trump says the clip is “so clearly laurel”, while Mr Pence asks: “Who’s yanny?
“All I hear is yanny,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tells the camera, while counsellor Kellyanne Conway – known for coining the phrase “alternative facts” – answered: “It’s laurel, but I could deflect and divert to yanny if you need me to.”
Their input comes after massively popular social media figures Chrissy Teigen and Ellen DeGeneres – who both heard laurel – gave their say.
The computer-generated voice has become the most divisive topic since #TheDress debate in 2015.
It is believed to have originated on Reddit and posted by YouTuber Cloe Feldman on Twitter.
According to Dr Elliot Freeman, a senior lecturer in psychology at City, University of London, the difference in opinion is down to individuals’ hearing.
He explained: “Probably quite accidentally, this lo-fi synthesised voice contains sounds consistent with several different phonemes, like for example, ‘ya’ and ‘lo’, each occupying slightly different frequency bands.
“Like a radio, our brains can selectively tune into them, once we know what to listen out for.
“So even if both people are listening to the same sound, they might disagree because they just have different ear prints.”