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Interestingly enough this debate has been settled. The pronunciation of the acronym GIF has been announced by its creator. Steve Wilhite stated, “It’s a soft ‘g,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story,” This, however, has sparked quite a bit of discussion on most of the social media sites. If you want to know the general public’s opinion on this announcement you only need to look on twitter.

Looney Tunes

Most think that because GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format it should be a hard G; thus it would be pronounced GIF.  The dictionary actually accepts both JIF and GIF as acceptable forms of pronunciation. Despite this, Mr. Wilhite said in an email interview with the New York Times. “They are wrong.” Obviously, Mr. Wilhite has strong feelings for his creation. Incidentally, so does most of the internet.

Some of the active short animation creators have created GIF’s mocking this new pronunciation.  GIFs from a jar of JIF peanut butter to a scene from Looney Tunes (with Bugs Bunny and Donald Duck rip signs off a tree that say “Soft G” and “Hard G”) have been made.  It’s evident that GIF users are getting creative with the way they support one side or the other. Either way it’s plain to see that this debate has not ended despite the announcement of the official pronunciation.

Personally, I think that people are going to say it how they think it should be pronounced despite any sort of public announcement. The debate will continue as long as people have differing opinions.

If you want more social media news check out:  Sony’s Playstation 4 and Social Media.

Photo Credit: Ludie Cochrane via photopin cc


Jamie Bates
Online Marketing Director