So how about those Animated GIFs?
Yeah, they are just as annoying now as they were in the 90s. I’m surprised that web browsers still bother to support it. (It would have been better for mankind if they didn’t.)
Speaking of GIFs, the debate over how to pronounce it is back in the tech news again. There was a rather long discussion of it on The 404 recently, and it was mentioned at The Webbies. Personally, I’ve never understood why it isn’t obvious to anyone with a small amount of English literacy.
Besides the well-documented evidence that the author of the format pronounced it JIF, the reason I picked JIF is easy: According to the laws of English pronunciation a “G” followed by an “i” makes a soft G sound. In fact, G followed by “i”, “e”, or “y” is always pronounced like a “J.” Just like Giraffe is pronounced “Jiraffe” and Gerbil is pronounced “Jerbil.” Giraffe, Gerbil, Gelatin, German, Gyrate, Gif.
So all you people with your memes that say “It’s Gif, not Jif.” To a literate person, it reads, “It’s Jif, not Jif.”
(The words Gift and Girl are _exceptions_. Their etymology is German, as opposed to the others which are French.)
(Incidentally, as I’m writing this, I am realizing for the very first time that people may have read GIF like a short version of GIFT. Shockingly, I have never before made the connection between those two words. If that’s the case, it kind of makes sense that people would, you know, get it wrong.)
If it was supposed to be pronounced as a hard G sound, they should have abbreviated it GRIF.
I know what you’re saying. It’s not a word, it’s an acronym! So English rules don’t apply. And G stands for Graphics which is a hard G sound.
Well, explain this, then, smarty pants. Look at the acronym ASAP. As Soon As Possible. If GIF is supposed to be pronounced like the words it stands for, then ASAP should be pronounced ASS-APP. But it’s not. It’s pronounced AY-SAP. (Please God let there be a consensus on that pronunciation.) So there.
All that being said, if I’m in a group and unsure how it will be pronounced, I default to silence or using a hard G because that’s the “hip” way that the youngsters say it. I only say JIF if I hear someone else say it like that, or if I’m the only computer literate person in the room.