UPDATE: 1:30 p.m. ― As these modern sagas so frequently end, the Air Force’s offensive tweet has been deleted.
“It was made in poor taste,” the Air Force said in its apology.
All across the sprawling network of cables, servers and invisible signals that make up our internet, a single sound clip is driving people nuts.
From the moment it reaches your ears, you become part of one of three tribes: Yanny, Laurel or, perhaps the most infuriating group, “I can hear both!” Not since The Dress has a combination of bits and bytes inspired such controversy.
So, naturally, the U.S. Air Force had to weigh in.
In a Thursday morning tweet, someone running the branch’s Twitter account posted what was seemingly intended as a joke about the viral trend, writing, “The Taliban Forces in Farah city #Afghanistan would much rather have heard #Yanny or #Laurel than the deafening #BRRRT they got courtesy of our #A10.”
“BRRRT,” for the uninitiated, is a vivid example of onomatopoeia representing the sound of the planes’ guns, which were used this week in an attack against Taliban forces in the Afghan province of Farah. The clash left 30 security forces and civilians dead, officials said, along with hundreds of insurgents.
The tweet links to an Air Force Times story entitled “Air Force A-10s called in to hold off Taliban attack on major Afghan city,” effectively ruining what had been a fun and violence-free moment in internet history.
The “Yanny vs. Laurel” audio clip ― which is simply a clip that some hear as “yanny” and others as “laurel” ― gained traction earlier this week as “yanny” people looked incredulously upon their “laurel” friends, neighbors, spouses and colleagues as if seeing them as they truly are for the first time. (And vice versa.)
Lest we forget how such lighthearted entertainment pales in comparison to the freedom boner achieved by hearing the deadly power of a 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon, our military is here to remind us.