If you haven’t visited the site howtopronouncegif.com yet, and you still don’t believe me that the correct pronunciation of the Graphics Interchange Format is juh juh GIF, then you’re just plain wrong, and here are loads of evidence for you to explore if you don’t trust the lame stream media or you’re too lazy to click on the How to Pronounce GIF website:
Before you read the below, you really should click through here and read it where I borrowed it from, OK? Give the site owner some lovin’:
The GIF graphics file format was invented by Steve Wilhite at CompuServe in 1987. In the years since, a debate has been raging as to the correct way to pronounce “GIF”: like “jif” as in the peanut butter, or with a hard ‘g’ as in “gift” as a majority of Mac users seem to prefer. With this page I intend to clear this up once and for all…
It’s pronounced like “jif”. Period. The end. That’s final. End of story.
You disagree? Hey, I’m just quoting the inventors of the format. Here’s the evidence:
CompuServe used to distribute a graphics display program called CompuShow. In the documentation for version 8.33 in the FAQ section, it states: The GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), pronounced “JIF“, was designed by CompuServe and the official specification released in June of 1987.
There, straight from the inventors of the format.
The image below is an example GIF that came with CompuShow:
It is a picture of CompuShow‘s author, Bob Berry. He used some of the then-new features of the GIF89 format to display text on top of graphics. One of the lines he entered in the text states:
Oh, incidentally, it’s pronounced “JIF”
You can’t see this text within a web browser, but if you save this image and load it up in GIF Construction Set or another animated GIF89 editor, you can see the comment for yourself. Drag and View also displays this text, but kind of screwed up. For further proof from Bob Berry, check this out.
Steven O’Neill writes:
Another way to get the JIF line out of Bob Berry using standard Unix tools:
~>curl http://www.chrisabraham.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/BOB_89A.gif | strings | grep JIF % Total % Received % Xferd Average Speed Time Time % Time Current Dload Upload Total Spent Left Speed 100 37062 100 37062 0 0 69595 0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:-- 166k |s,Oh, incidentally, it'spronounced "JIF"
The Graphics File Formats FAQ states the following: Choosy programmers choose “gif” or “jif”?
The pronunciation of “GIF” is specified in the GIF specification to be “jif”, as in “jiffy”, rather then “gif”, which most people seem to prefer. This does seem strange because the “G” is from the word “Graphics” and not “Jraphics”.
That last statement doesn’t mean anything. It’s an acronym. There’s no defined way to pronounce acronyms–it’s up to the creators.
A graphics format known as PNG is being pushed by its creators as the next big thing. Among its list of features is its “unambiguous pronunciation”. Here’s part of its documentation: Pronunciation
No detail was too small for consideration in the authors’ quest for a near-perfect image format; yea, verily, even the acronym and pronunciation were major topics of discussion. The reason, of course, is the GIF format; some pronounce it with a soft G like giraffe, some with a hard G like gift, and no one really knows what they’re talking about. (For the record, the soft G is correct; it is how the author of the format pronounces it.)
“PNG” is always spelled “PNG” (or “Portable Network Graphics“) and always pronounced “ping,” not “pinj” or “pee en gee” or any other multi-syllabic disaster. See the introduction to the PNG specification for the definitive statement on the matter.
NetBITS, a weekly ePublication that provided practical Internet information, asked its readers in Issue 002 to supply information that could solve the GIF pronunciation debate. They followed up in Issue 003 with this: It’s “Jiff” and I Don’t Want to Hear Another Word — Logic may dictate the “g” in GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) is pronounced hard, like gift or gefilte fish, but that didn’t stop dozens and dozens of readers from offering opinions, many of them hilarious.
However, several people wrote to say that they either worked with folks at CompuServe or read the original GIF specification, all of which specified a soft “g”. None of us at NetBITS understand why we haven’t seen the definitive word before, so here it is. Charlie Reading <email@example.com> writes:
I worked with the creator of GIF (Steve Wilhite) when I was still employed by CompuServe. Steve always pronounced it “jiff” and would correct those who pronounced it with a hard G. “Choosy developers choose GIF” (spinning off of a historically popular peanut butter commercial).
If you want to make a difference in this pronunciation conundrum, print this piece of NetBITS out and send it to the person who writes your local newspaper’s technology or Internet column. We now have the specification’s authoritative pronunciation. Let’s stamp out the hard “g,” however logical, once and for all.
Convinced yet? Come on!
- Father of GIFs: ‘It’s Pronounced JIF’ (mashable.com)
- No!! Father of Graphics Interchange Format says it’s pronounced JIF, not GIF (venturebeat.com)
- The Creator of the GIF Says It’s Pronounced JIF. He Is Wrong (gizmodo.co.uk)
- The Creator of the GIF Says It’s Pronounced JIF. He Is Wrong (gizmodo.com)
- GIF inventor Steve Wilhite says it should be pronounced ‘jif’ (independent.co.uk)
- Hard or soft G for GIF: All pronunciation is local (chron.com)
- Inventor of the GIF uses awards ceremony to remind us how it’s pronounced (theverge.com)
- Is it jif or gif? Creator reveals all (smh.com.au)
- He Should Have Just Spelled It JIF Then (techcrunch.com)
- GIF vs. JIF: Does It Even Matter? (mashable.com)