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US Air Force apologizes for 'Yanny or Laurel' Afghan war tweet

Service sought to incorporate viral meme into tweet about killing Taliban militants.

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Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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A US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft.

Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

The US Air Force apologized and deleted a tweet Thursday that sought to find humor in killing Taliban militants in Afghanistan by incorporating the viral "Yanny or Laurel" meme.

The Air Force's official account initially joked earlier in the day that Taliban forces wished they had heard either of those words instead of the roar of the military service's A-10 jet aircraft. The tweet came after days of intense fighting in the Afghan city of Farah, where the US military used the A-10 to provide air support to Afghan forces.

"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," the tweet said.

af-tweet
US Air Force/Twitter

The initial tweet was deleted and replaced with an apology that said the initial post was "made in poor taste."

"We apologize for the earlier tweet regarding the A-10. It was made in poor taste and we are addressing it internally. It has since been removed," the followup tweet said.

The meme has captivated the internet in recent days over what's really being said in a audio clip known to some as the audio version of The Dress. It's lead to debates over whether the speaker is saying the words "Laurel" or "Yanny," with as many as 74 percent of internet users leaning toward "Yanny," according to an online poll.

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