How Do You Say GIF?

June 28, 2017

© Roman Sotola | Dreamstime

ToMAYto or ToMOTTtow?  Even Shakespeare proclaimed that "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," but there is a word that you are most likely mis-pronouncing and have been for thirty years. The cute little mini-movies included on computer screens and text messages is officially known as a Graphics Interchange Format, of G-I-F for short.  But since it's 1987 debut, there is a school that pronouns G-I-F with a hard G and there are those who say it with a soft G.  So which is correct?  Although the G stands for graphics, and naturally the hard g sound, the creator says it's pronounced with a soft G, like you’d ask for Jiff Peanut Butter. The GIF was invented by Steve Wilhite while working at CompuServe in 1987. CompuServe used to distribute a graphics display program called CompuShow, in which they specifically address the proper pronunciation in their in the FAQ section. More recently, Steve was awarded a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, to which is once again clarified in his acceptance speech, that the acronym is pronounced "jif."  But that's not stopping people from debating it today, including editors of the Oxford dictionary, who side with using the hard “g,” stating the creator has little control on the pronunciation once the word is out there.  So in essence, both gif and jif are acceptable ways to describe a looping few frames of grandma dong the cupid shuffle.  However the topic promises to bring a spirited debate on your next road trip.

SOURCE: Lifehacker

See and hear more from the 98.5 KTK Morning Show

98.5 KTK Morning Show Podcast