Karen Belz
May 23, 2018 8:13 am

By now the whole world has heard about the “Yanny vs. Laurel” debate — aka the new blue dress/gold dress debacle in which some people hear “Yanny” and others hear “Laurel.” And now Jay Aubrey Jones, the 64-year-old actor who originally recorded the word for Vocabulary.com has spoken out, officially setting the record straight on which word he was actually saying.

And it turns out, it’s officially Laurel. Sorry, Yannys.

Reporters at NBC 4 tracked Jones down to see how he felt about so many people worldwide hearing, and debating over, his voice. “Oddly enough I had not [recognized] my own voice when I heard it on television,” he said. “I’m completely and utterly floored by this, I’m really amused…every so often I’m laughing.”

Jones, who has a love of theater, said he auditioned for the job while looking for acting work while he worked at JP Morgan Chase. “Laurel” (again, sorry, Yannys) was just one of 36,000 words and phrases he was asked to say.

"The whole process took about two or three months," he said. "The one that sticks out the most to me was Ethel Merman...typical for a Broadway kid, right?"

The clip initially went big after a teen named Katie Hetzel was working on a vocabulary project. When she looked up the word “laurel,” she was shocked that she heard the clip as “yanny.” Her friends heard it differently, so they took it to the internet (as one does). It was found by a vlogger named Cloe Feldman, and the rest is internet viral history.

Since being identified, Jones has been on several talk shows to discuss the whirlwind experience.

So there you have it — the answer to the “Yanny vs. Laurel” mystery — straight from the voice himself!

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