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The surprising origin of Yanny/Laurel: an opera singer hired by Vocabulary.com

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Eric Whitefield
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Regardless of whether you hear "Yanny" or "Laurel" in that crazy audio sample that's blowing up the internet right now, you're probably curious where that robotic voice came from, and why it's saying "Laurel" at all.

We now have the answer, according to Wired (paywall), and it's a pretty astounding one.

A member of the original Broadway cast of CATS.

And he allegedly recorded the audio you're hearing -- the word "Laurel" -- for this specific page at Vocabulary.com.

"We hired a bunch of opera singers to record 200,000 words, basically," Vocabulary.com co-founder Marc Tinkler told Wired.

"We set [the singers] up with laptops with really great microphones in a DIY sound booth.

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Eric Whitefield
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