May 17th, 2018 (Atlanta, Ga) – Thursday morning Katie Hetzel, originator of the viral “Laurel/Yanny” audio clip that’s breaking the internet, joined Rock 100.5 FM Atlanta/WNNX’s Bailey and Southside to talk about how the whole thing started.
During this 8 minute interview Hetzel tells Rock 100.5 FM Atlanta hosts Jason Bailey and Southside Steve about how she discovered the audio clip, what she originally heard, and how this whole thing exploded!
On May 11, Katie Hetzel, a freshman at Flowery Branch High School near Atlanta, Georgia, was studying for her literature class, where “Laurel” was one of her vocabulary words. She looked it up on Vocabulary.com, and played the audio clip. Instead of the word in front of her, she heard “Yanny.”
Host Jason Bailey asks, “After everybody OMG’ed themselves to death, some senior got ahold of it and put it online as a poll and that’s when it started to take off from what I understand?” Hetzel replies, “I put it on my instagram, then this senior Fernando put a poll on his Instagram account. And that got reposted on reddit, and that got reposted on Twitter and Youtube and it just blew up.”
Bailey asks about the youtuber that posted her clip on her account and if Katie would get any money from that. She answers, “Khloe[youtuber] was talking about making some merch, and me and Fernando making a percentage off of that, but we have to get on it quick of course.”
“So with this internet fame now when you go to school here in a couple minutes, you’re going to be the talk of the school, correct?” asks Bailey. Katie replies, “Oh definitely, all the popular people that like don’t really talk to me have been adding me on snapchat.”
Co-host Southside Steve questions Katie, “So you heard ‘Yanny’, you did not hear ‘Laurel’, and do you still hear ‘Yanny’ when you listen to it?”. She answers, “At first I only heard Yanny and it took me a while but now I hear both. It switches for me constantly.”
So as it turns out, Vocabulary.com hired opera singers to read 200,000 words for the website. And now we can say with all certainty that the word is read by a human and it is “Laurel”. Even if Katie and half the internet thought it was “Yanny”.
Viral Audio Clip: