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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

205

Please Continue Pronouncing "GIF" Any Way You Please

Before accepting a lifetime achievement award at the Webby Awards last night, Steve Wilhite, the man who invented the GIF back in 1987, ruined everybody's day by reintroducing the great pronunciation debate of our time: How do you pronounce "GIF"? Here he is in an interview with the New York Times Bits blog yesterday:

“The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,” Mr. Wilhite said. “They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”

First of all: here's a relevant GIF.

And alternatively: Steve Wilhite is wrong. Steve Wilhite admits that he has never even made an animated GIF himself. Can we even trust Steve Wilhite? Don't allow Steve Wilhite to dictate your life. Continue on with your preferred pronunciation, whether it's a giff, a jiff, a heef, a jefe, or a gee-eye-eff. We are all correct. (But do let us point out that the acronym stands for "Graphics Interchange Format," not Jraphics Interchange Format. Moving on.)

205 Comments / Post A Comment

iceberg

best alt text ever. I approve of this article. Jraphics! SMHI (shaking my head incredulously.

par_parenthese

@iceberg JRAPHICS oh man, RIGHT?

I'm switching to saying HEEF in my best Nacho Libre-style accent.

iceberg

@par_parenthese "Heef? We don' need to show you no steenkin' heef!"

runner in the garden

Emma is officially Ray's mom.

highfivesforall

@runner in the garden Yessss I'm gonna check if I'm grilling any rib-eyes and Emma can test to see whether this is a mimosa, hang on I'll be right back

RNL
RNL

@iceberg smhi

SarahP

Until about a month ago, I thought you just said all the letters (G-I-F). Then I said it out loud in front of my husband (programmer) and he laughed for like 5 minutes.

Now I try not to say it in any way.

Lily Rowan

@SarahP But what about "fack" vs. "eff-ay-queue"?

Li'l Sebastian

@Lily Rowan aaah some people don't say all the letters??? "Fack" (for FAQ, right?) just makes me embarrassed for the speaker.

iceberg

@Lily Rowan I always say the letters for that one! Never heard anyone say "fack".

RK Fire

@iceberg I've always said "fack" in my mind! Should I.. not?

[Fortunately this has never come up for me professionally..]

Lily Rowan

@RK Fire I always say fack! And have found the best URL ever, which backs both options. http://www.faqs.org/faqs/faqs/about-faqs/

RK Fire

@Lily Rowan Hahaha, that is amazing.. and according to that FAQ, we're all right!

SarahP

@Lily Rowan I always say F-A-Q... but the first time I ever saw the phrase was on a website whose text linking to their FAQ was "Just the FAQs, Ma'am." I hear that in my head whenever I see it plural.

Jinxie

@Lily Rowan TEAM FACK!

Hot Doom

@Li'l Sebastian FACK that noise! I also, always say "fack" as opposed to F-A-Q.

angelinha

The tone of this post really bothered me. Can we please leave Gawker at Gawker, Emma?

angelinha

@angelinha (THIS IS A JOKE THIS IS A JOKE!!)

hallelujah

YES. I was totally mocked for saying "jif" the one time I did it out loud. TAKE THAT, JERKS.

districter

One time a friend pronounced meme me-me and I said nothing since I am totally in the "as long as I know what you are saying who cares" camp, but in hindsight I wonder if I caused her some great embarrassment down the road.

And for the record I am firmly team Gif, leave the peanut butter for the cupboard.

iceberg

@districter so it's meem right?

katiemcgillicuddy

@districter Thank you. Like Emma said, the "g" stands for "graphics" not "jraphics".

fondue with cheddar

@districter I always thought it rhymed with "femme" because I assumed it came from the French word "même" which means "same."

Also, HARD G FOREVER.

anachronistique

@katiemcgillicuddy JIF GIF JIF GIF JIF GIF JIF GIF

districter

@iceberg Yeah I believe it was rooted in the word "gene" as in something that replicated and also changes, so is pronounced the same way. I always, however, pronounced it wrong before I found this out. It took me a while to stop saying mem, like the first syllable of memory.

Devushka

@fondue with cheddar Does it make me a horrible snob for secretly thinking même every time I hear meem? And am I wrong? Mr. Devushka insists that it's supposed to rhyme with gene because it's something that replicates itself. I think he's crazy.

fondue with cheddar

@Devushka I have to say no, because I think même too. ;) It took me YEARS to learn how it is actually pronounced, and "meem" just sounds wrong to me.

Bittersweet

@districter I'm on Team Say Something. My daughter routinely mispronounces words she's read but never heard aloud, and I'm quick to correct her so she doesn't embarrass herself down the line. And so she knows how to pronounce things, of course.

anachronistique

@Bittersweet I still remember the horrible embarrassment of "khaki"/"cocky," "ballet"/"fillet," and "clique"/cleek/click.

Actually I still get confused over that last one.

dj pomegranate

@fondue with cheddar I said "même" for "meme" until like, last week, and still say it that way in my head. It sounds better!

iceberg

@dj pomegranate French sounds are always better!

dj pomegranate

@iceberg Correct.

iceberg

@dj pomegranate

fondue with cheddar

@dj pomegranate It does sound better! I pronounce it "même" in my head and chose to never say the word aloud so I would never have to say "meem."

HeyThatsMyBike

@districter I thought it was me-me for like two years. Luckily I wasn't sure and just said it every possible way the few times I said it out loud during that time period. "Me-me? Meem? Maim? Mim? Raif?"

highfivesforall

@Devushka Mr. Devushka is in fact correct, because the word was invented by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene - which, if you want to have your mind totally blown and actually get a handle on how evolution works at the gene level without getting too deep into genetics terminology, I highly recommend you read. I promise he does not mention religion that I can recall, in case you think he is a bit of a blowhard about that (I am an atheist and I respect him, but the dude could calm down a little). So yeah, the word is supposed to derive from gene and the replication characteristics thereof.

iceberg

also, this was the first thing that came up just now when I googled "gif party!":

phillystout

@fondue with cheddar

RK Fire

Because the Os won last night against the Yankees:

olivebee

This is how I feel about this thread:

iceberg

@dormilona

dj pomegranate

@dormilona This is the first thing that came up for me i don't even know.

Gulfie

@dj pomegranate

stonefruit

EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL AND NOTHING HURTS

par_parenthese

Oh, is this where everyone's going to post gifs all day? Because I'm by myself at work and that would be an awesome way to keep me distracted from the random building HVAC noises that sound like a psycho killer and/or wild animal coming to chop/tear me to pieces.

The Lady of Shalott

@par_parenthese But how do you post gifs???

fondue with cheddar

@The Lady of Shalott type <img src="" /> and put the URL of the image in the quotes.

Helvetica

@The Lady of Shalott img src="the gif link" and all that inside pointy brackets.

katiemcgillicuddy

@The Lady of Shalott [img src="http://URLHERE.gif"]

But instead of [ ] use < >

fondue with cheddar

@katiemcgillicuddy It's a good idea to close it with /> ...If not it's technically an open tag, and I don't know if it causes problems in certain browsers or on certain sites. Maybe not, but it doesn't hurt to put it in there just in case. (Because most tags come in pairs, such as <b> and </b> )

katiemcgillicuddy

@fondue with cheddar Good point. So far I've never had a problem omitting the /, but it definitely can't hurt to add it just in case.

ETA: Or maybe it's just that when I cut and paste a link it has already included the / and I'm just too slow to have thought about that. Oh well.

fondue with cheddar

CHOOSY MOMS CHOOSE HARD G

lucy snowe

@fondue with cheddar But sloppy moms don't gif a shit.

fondue with cheddar

@lucy snowe Soooo tempted to post a gif of shit, but I'm afraid to look for one.

katiethegreat

It should obviously be pronounced so that "gifs galore!" is an alliterative phrase. Obviously.

redheaded&crazy

@katiethegreat gifs jalore!

fondue with cheddar

@katiethegreat GIFS ARE GREAT, JIFS ARE JUNK

fondue with cheddar

@fondue with cheddar UNLESS THEY ARE PEANUT BUTTER

Bittersweet

@fondue with cheddar And even then...go organic.

lucy snowe

@redheaded&crazy gifs j'adore? Le gif juste...

Helvetica

We should definitely convert this into a random gif thread.

par_parenthese

@Helvetica I was just talking about that episode yesterday!! Love Craig & Sophie.

phillystout

@Helvetica no gif thread is complete without BEES!

lobsterhug

@mlle.gateau Oh my god, that is the best.

fondue with cheddar

@phillystout AAAAAHHH OPRAH BEES IS THE BEST GIF EVER MADE

par_parenthese

@mlle.gateau AAAAAAAH I saw the pictures from that trip (unashamed Royal watcher here) but I hadn't seen the gif of them dueling!! I love them.

katiemcgillicuddy

@fondue with cheddar FACT.

HydrogenJukebox

JIF is ILLOGICAL.

fondue with cheddar

@HydrogenJukebox That reminds me of...

fondue with cheddar

Also, no bees thread is complete without

Decca

@fondue with cheddar They don't allow you to have bees in here.

Count Chocula

Jraphics = Giraffics?

iceberg

@Count Chocula noooooooooooo my retinas!

fondue with cheddar

@Count Chocula ;)

Count Chocula

@fondue with cheddar Better? ;-)

fondue with cheddar

@Count Chocula Haha, that's awesome. Jack Nicholson is sorry!

itiresias

@Count Chocula filmdrunk tweeted that this morning. ya beat me to bringing it here.

grizzle_bees

@Count Chocula This is precisely what I pictured in my mind, thank you.

KeLynn

@Count Chocula

anachronistique

Oh, so THAT'S why everybody was arguing about this last night. (I follow a lot of nerds on Twitter.)

Daisy Razor

I pronounce it "Gyllenhaal."

Scandyhoovian

@Daisy Razor

Daisy Razor

@Scandyhoovian I LOVE that you had a gif of the punchline to that joke. <3

Scandyhoovian

@Daisy Razor I never thought I'd need the Yillenhoolahay, but BAM. Here it is!

Scandyhoovian

As it is obviously hard-G GIF as in Gifs are Good, I present to Mr. Wilhite the NOPETOPUS:

Blushingflwr

@Scandyhoovian I was describing this GIF the other day and made a little hand motion to indicate the octopus and now it is a Thing we do in our family.

iceberg

@Blushingflwr I just did that at my desk :)

Um, WTF Interrobang

@Scandyhoovian My co-worker and I are fond of saying "I noped the eff out of there" whenever possible.

Helvetica

par_parenthese

@Helvetica You are making my day. That long jacket UNF.

Helvetica

@par_parenthese Let me make your day some more. Presenting Bradley Cooper Taking His Shirt Off: the Official Gif of the Pin (per par_parenthese).
Just tell me when that gif runs its course.

hallelujah

@Helvetica

par_parenthese

@hallelujah @hallelujah Guys come here I need to hug you.

Helvetica

@mlle.gateau

Valley Girl

@Helvetica I hope this isn't too NSFW but if The Coops ever wears out his welcome, I would like to suggest Disrobing Gendry for the new candidate:

Gulfie

@Valley Girl +1

Jinxie

@Valley Girl Oh my

Jinxie

@Valley Girl I keep watching this gif hoping that eventually the pants will actually come all the way off.

Jinxie

This seems like the appropriate thread for this gif:

hallelujah

@does it need saying SO HOT. Can I just brag here for a second that I dated a dude who looked just like him for a little bit? Terrible person, awful in bed, but SO HOTTTTT.

lucy snowe

@Valley Girl I can't look away! Well, maybe I could, but i don't want to!

Daisy Razor

@Jinxie That's me with this one:

fondue with cheddar

GIF/JIF is the new over/under!

I'M SORRY FOR POSTING A JPEG (or should I pronounce that gay-peg?)

iceberg

@fondue with cheddar gay-peg is a whooooole other thing.

fondue with cheddar

@iceberg Yes, it is. Also straight-peg!

sophia_h

@fondue with cheddar But over/under is not a real debate unless you like clawing against the wall for toilet paper. I think it's more of a "do you bother to change it if you do it wrong?" thing.

fondue with cheddar

@sophia_h Oh, I totally do! But only at home or at work, never at other people's houses.

sophia_h

@fondue with cheddar I have changed it at my best friend's house, and silently judge people who do it wrong. But I meant I've never heard someone argue under was "right," just that it didn't matter.

fondue with cheddar

@sophia_h Oh, I silently judge people who do it wrong too, I just don't feel that it's my place to change it in their bathroom. But I love finishing out a roll because that means I get to do it right when I start a new one. If they want to change it, that's on them.

iceberg

@sophia_h under is "right" if you have toddlers who like to slap the roll of toilet paper so it all unrolls onto the floor, because it's harder to make that work with an underhand roll.

fondue with cheddar

@iceberg Okay, I'll give you that. But as far as I'm concerned that's the only reason. ;)

annagram

Serious side-eye to this 'jif' nonsense...

(Buster can side-eye me anytime...)

MoxyCrimeFighter

@annagram Chuck Bass?

fondue with cheddar

@annagram Buster! <3

Li'l Sebastian

@teaandcakeordeath

iceberg

@Li'l Sebastian

iceberg

@iceberg

hallelujah

@iceberg I just spit yogurt covered raisins all over my computer

dormilona

@Li'l Sebastian

iceberg

@hallelujah

Gulfie

@annagram

runner in the garden

@dormilona I never noticed how fed-up Ricky Bell looks. Like everybody else got it in one, and he's on Take 37.

dormilona

@runner in the garden I can just hear him huff in annoyance! (I've watched this so many times I think I've made up stories about what they're reacting .)

Bittersweet

@Gulf of Finland I wish I could give this GIF more thumbs up. And a title: "BITCH, PLEASE."

NevilleLongbottom

I never even occurred to me that someone might try to say jiff. That is just foolishness.

Dandyliongirl

@NevilleLongbottom Every time you comment I imagine you are actually Neville Longbottom saying these things and it makes my day. So ten points to Gryffindor.

NevilleLongbottom

@Dandyliongirl Maybe I am. MAYBE I AM! Why is it always me? (and thank you)

Megasus

"(But do let us point out that the acronym stands for "Graphics Interchange Format," not Jraphics Interchange Format. Moving on.)"

RIGHT!?

stuffisthings

The real question is, do you guys cover the keypad with your hand when you type your peen into the at 'em?

stuffisthings

And what do you think about all these scandals with the irse and the fibee?

stuffisthings

I mean here in the oosa we say jif, because we pronounce acronyms the way they are supposed to be pronounced. I don't care what the oh-ed says.

stuffisthings

The peanut butter brand is still pronounced "jif" though obviously. Because it's in Jelly Interchange Format.

bonymaroni

Uhhh...in the world I live in, NOBODY pronounces it "giff." I had no idea so many people did! Either way, I'm okay with it.

But the argument that it's pronounced "giff" because of how "graphics" is pronounced is ridiculous because English is generally ridiculous because how do you pronounce the letter "g?" "Jee." And "generally" is actually "jenerally," so don't be up on your Pronunciation Horse when we all know English makes no sense.

iceberg

@bonymaroni

dj pomegranate

@bonymaroni Pronunciation horse.

par_parenthese

@bonymaroni English totally has pronunciation rules, though! G ordinarily makes the "juh" sound when it's followed by the letters E, I, and Y (like "gene" or "Giles" or "gyrate") but the rules don't apply consistently when you're dealing with acronyms.

bonymaroni

@dj pomegranate I am proud to have instigated this.

bonymaroni

@par_parenthese I'm not saying there's a "wrong" way to pronounce GIF, I'm just saying that people's arguments aren't very valid.

fondue with cheddar

@bonymaroni English doesn't make any sense. The truth with this one though is that people will pronounce it the way they like and then try to find reason to justify it.

highfivesforall

@par_parenthese My current hypothesis, after thinking about this way too much, is that you use hard g after a short i, like in give, gift, or gills; while after a long i, you use a soft g, like in your example Giles, or giant. Of course there are always exceptions, because English is mashed together from different places - gynecologist, guile, and conversely, gin. I need to see if there is some dataset I can get that has English spelling and IPA spelling to see what correlations there are, if any. Amateur Linguist, away!

(also my general 2 cents is that if this gif dude cared how people were pronouncing it he probably should have said something earlier, it's too late now)

Nocs

Team hard G! I had an ex-bf who pronounced it Jif. Hence his status as 'ex.'

DaysofmyFlerm

DaysofmyFlerm

@DaysofmyFlerm w/r/t this soft G nonsense. Also, Latrice MF-ing Royale

terrific

umm... question. how do you guys keep track of GIFs. do you save them on your computers? do you tag them somehow? do you just remember "oh that GIF of Benedict Cumberbatch taking off his shirt" and google it and then post it? my brain can never remember what GIFs are out there and yes I'm overthinking this but I want to join GIF (HARD G) parties

iceberg

@terrific i usually just google it every time, like "side-eye gif" "no gif" etc, if i'm not looking for something specific, or it might be something like "khal drogo come at me bro gif" or "gurl owl gif" if I'm looking for something I've used before. i don't need to save them on my computer - the internet is forever but disk storage space is finite.

Gulfie

@terrific I started a Pinterest board yesterday...

Valley Girl

@terrific I used to save them to my Dropbox folder and have a huge collection of 'em but now if they're already uploaded to the web and I can hotlink it I just bookmark the location to my "reactions" folder. Or if there's a specific GIF I remember but don't have, I do totally Google it. I only wish I had the skillz to make my own.

Helvetica

@terrific Same as any website because they're basically links (if you open the file in a new tab). Save them as bookmarks in a separate Gif folder because otherwise I could never remember them all.

dormilona

@Helvetica I have a gif folder to. I don't rename them (to something that will remind me of what the gif is of), so it's a surprise every time I click on a link in that folder. It's a great way to cheer up immediately. <3 u, giffies!

dormilona

@dormilona for example, I just found this gem in my folder of wonders:

Li'l Sebastian

@terrific I have a folder on my computer, and I rename them to identify what they are. Some of them are organized into mood-based folders, like "Angry" and "Side-eye" and "Approval/Agreement" but some of them are uncategorizable and just live in the main folder.

adamamc

@terrific I save all of my photos (gifs, jpegs, videos) on http://www.surfdash.com

telling_everyone

@telling_everyone WHERE'D IT GO?
anyway, this one:

meetapossum

I can't believe the prevalence of "hard G" sentiment on the 'Pin. The people who CREATED the GIF said it was pronounced "jif." Also, counterpoint to the ridiculous "jraphics" argument from here:

Anyone who pronounces "GIF" with a hard G simply does not understand computer programmers (and any programmers who still insist on this silly pronunciation are simply unfit). No *decent* coder would pass up an opportunity to inflict a horrid pun on the world. And seeing as peanut butter is one of the principle three programmer foods (the other two being Pepsi and nacho cheese Doritos), the reference is immediately obvious.

The "acronym theory," that a hard G should be used because it's "Graphics" and not "Jraphics," simply does not hold water. If acronyms were always to be pronounced from their source words rather than as an independent new word, then by this very arrangement, "JPEG" would be pronounced "JFEG."

meetapossum

Also see the word "giraffe," jiraffe, not giraffe with a hard g.

meetapossum

Basically, I love you guys, but

sophia_h

@meetapossum Is this the "jiff" support thread? It never occurred to me to say it any other way until I heard a friend say it, and "giff" sounds so hard and ugly to me. Ps I love giraffes.

meetapossum

@sophia_h Yes! I agree. "Jiff" is just much more pleasant all around.

Blushingflwr

@meetapossum I learned it as "jiff" way back in my childhood, from my father. And Father Knows Best. (also the hard G sounds unpleasant)

coolallison

@meetapossum I think that's a little harsh to infer that we're idiots for saying it with a hard G. I confirmed with my programmer husband that he and all his programmer cohorts pronounce it with the hard G.

meetapossum

@coolallison I thought it was pretty clear from the use of a Lion King gif that I was kidding about the "idiots" part.

KeLynn

@meetapossum

Lurkasaurus

@meetapossum Thanks, I'm feeling way outnumbered here, which tbh I wasn't expecting. I say "jif," my programmer boyfriend says "jif," all his programmer friends say "jif," and for that matter I have never encountered someone who says hard-g "gif" here in computer nerd central Silicon Valley, if we really have to go THERE. Personally I don't think the pronunciation of the source words matter for an acronym as much as the acronym-word itself being easily pronounceable. "Jif" is already a thing in our cultural hivemind and so flows off the tongue. Hard-g "gif" is just awkward and harsh to me. YOU DO YOU, everybody, but English is so weird that no one can pretend to have the high ground here (except, ahem, maybe the side that has the actual creator of the thing behind it? Maaaaybe? ;) )

Lurkasaurus

@meetapossum Also lulz I expect everyone who insists that hard G is CORRECT because "GRAPHICS" to start saying JFEG immediately.

KeLynn

@meetapossum hahahahaha

VDRE

Hard G 4 lyfe! The white house agrees:

MarleneLuis42

til I saw the paycheck which was of $7183, I didnt believe ...that...my cousin could truley making money in there spare time from there computar.. there dads buddy started doing this for under 14 months and recently repaid the debts on their apartment and got a top of the range Honda. this is where I went, Bow6.com

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

RK Fire

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I first thought you posted this in response to the bot comment right above you! Ahh, I still love that little jump-kicking goat though.

stonefruit

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose dude THAT GOAT for life. I love it! It's like a jump-kick-domino-goat!

mlle.gateau

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

martinipie

gifs make me laugh so hard that i don't give a fuck how anyone chooses to prounounce it as long as they keep happening

bonymaroni

@martinipie VOICE OF REASON HERE

Linette

I am internet incompetent and I never have the right gif (HARD G ALL THE WAY YO) for any given occasion ready to hand, and now this thread exists and I don't have that problem anymore guys.

kimberussell

So weird ... I posted a gif up a ways and I can only see my own post if I'm logged in. Does anyone else have this problem?

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kool

Great post, I have been musing this and read this over and over again. Great post. - James Stuckey

kool

Great post, I have been musing this and read this over and over again. Great post. - James Stuckey

296248062@twitter

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