No end to de­bates on In­tra-Web

Yanny? Lau­rel? Foul-mouthed Mup­pet?

Winnipeg Free Press - - ARTS LIFE I ENTERTAINMENT - DOUG SPEIRS IN THE DOUG HOUSE [email protected]­

word “Lau­rel” whereas 47 per cent (this would in­clude my wife) only heard the name “Yanny.”

From the parts of the de­bate I vaguely un­der­stood, it seems some lis­ten­ers fo­cus on the higher-fre­quency sounds in “Yanny” and can’t hear the lower sounds of the world “Lau­rel” and an anal­y­sis of the fre­quen­cies con­firmed both sets of sounds are present in the record­ing, which ex­plains why blah blah blah.

The point is al­most no one was ca­pa­ble of do­ing any mean­ing­ful work for large parts of last year be­cause they were too busy ar­gu­ing over which word they heard on a cheesy au­dio clip on the in­ter­net.

If you thought we were safe from such triv­ial, time-wast­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in 2019, al­low me to say, and this comes from the bot­tom of my heart, you are an id­iot.

Here we are, two weeks into a bright and shiny new year, and once again we are all caught in the vise-like grip of yet an­other in­ter­net de­bate, this time over some­thing the iconic blue mon­ster Grover might or might not have said on an episode of Sesame Street.

Un­less you have been in a coma for the past two weeks — or hid­ing in your drain­pipe — you will al­ready know that a video clip is caus­ing the in­ter­net to ex­pe­ri­ence heart pal­pi­ta­tions be­cause some peo­ple be­lieve it shows the beloved furry mon­ster drop­ping the F-bomb while chat­ting with a fel­low Mup­pet.

Just like the de­bate over “The Dress” and “Yanny or Lau­rel,” the fuss over whether Grover ut­tered an ex­ple­tive is caus­ing a great many so­cial-me­dia fans to clutch their pearls and won­der just what kinds of words kids are learn­ing to pro­nounce on Sesame Street.

In this six-sec­ond clip from the Nov. 24 episode of the iconic show, the Mup­pet Rosita tells Grover: “Ooh, they have to fol­low you.”

What Grover re­sponds with is ques­tion­able, and de­pends on your ears and, most likely, your brain.

“Yes, yes, that sounds like an ex­cel­lent idea!” is what most peo­ple will hear Grover pro­claim, largely be­cause that’s what the cute lit­tle guy is say­ing.

And that’s what I heard the first few times I lis­tened to the clip un­til — YIKES! — sud­denly, like a bunch of other peo­ple, I could hear the words: “Yes, yes, that’s a f----ng ex­cel­lent idea!”

My wife and I watched this (bad word) clip over and over and some­times we heard the PG ver­sion, and other times the naughty word jumped out plain as day.

It is driv­ing so­cial-me­dia users to dis­trac­tion. “Just saw this on Red­dit and it blew my mind... I can hear both de­pend­ing on which one I’m think­ing in my head!” tweeted one per­son, whose ex­pe­ri­ence mir­rored my own.

I’m not a sci­en­tist, but ap­par­ently the un­cer­tainty has some­thing to do with our brains hear­ing some man­ner of am­bigu­ous stim­uli and then root­ing around to de­ter­mine what it ac­tu­ally heard, or some­thing like that.

I strongly sug­gest you don’t take my word for it, and check it out for your­selves. That sounds like an ex­cel­lent idea to me... no, wait, what you heard wasn’t what I was try­ing to say! Hello? Hello...


Elvis Pres­ley trib­ute artist Corny Rem­pel will per­form at the Faith Lutheran Church.


Win­nipeg cy­clist Robert La­gacé on his fat bike.


Does Grover need his mouth washed out with soap? De­pends who you ask.

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