The Air Force Has Murdered the Yanny or Laurel Meme

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

We’ve all seen the cringeworthy tweets from companies or public figures attempting to go viral in order to “relate to the kids.” Today’s offender on this front is a well-funded and immensely powerful organization that does business on every continent: The United States Air Force.


I empathize with the young employees who are enlisted for such duties because they happen to have social media endorsements on LinkedIn. Brands thirsty to turn the latest fad in digital culture into good PR or new revenue, not so much. Brands that are actually bloodthirsty arms of government, really not so much. In this case, the Air Force took the mind-numbing question that has rocked the internet in recent days—do you hear “yanny” or “laurel” from this four-second sound clip?—to a particularly dystopian end-state.

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

That “#BRRRT” is presumably the hashtag version of the sound made by an A-10 Warthog strafing Taliban militants. In the story linked here, the Air Force Times reports that 28 fighters were “eliminated” after the Air Force dispatched gunships to Farah, a city in western Afghanistan.

So, yanny or laurel? The noise you’re hearing is actually BRRRT, as the United States Air Force has officially killed the meme, along with all of those actual people.

Update, 2:06 PM: The Air Force apologized for the tweet and said it had been deleted.

I write about media for Splinter. I have redeeming qualities, too.