I’m Depressed: It’s Pronounced “Jif” NOT “Gif” [Video]

That’s it, now you know. The guy who invented the format says that the acronym is pronounced “Jif” and NOT “Gif.”

I don’t know about you, but because of this, all my childhood dreams have just been shattered.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go sit down in a corner and cry.

Tumblr founder David Karp presents Steve Wilhite with the 17th Annual Webby Lifetime Achievement Award for inventing the GIF file format.



22 Responses to I’m Depressed: It’s Pronounced “Jif” NOT “Gif” [Video]

  1. I’ve had this argument for at least 2 decades now. I know he’s said this in the past too. But there’s no way in hell I’ll EVER pronounce it JIF. He’s flat out wrong because that’s not how language works. GIFT is not pronounced JIFT. Don’t even get me started on linux, mysql, etc.

  2. Doesn’t matter. Language is a product of society, not one man. Once the word got out into the public, it became ours, and it’s ours to determine collectively how it is pronounced. Since many people say the word as hard G not soft, it’s equally as valid.

  3. Yeah, don’t care. He doesn’t get to decide how the acronym for Graphics Interchange Format is pronounced. That just isn’t the way it works in the English language. You pronounce the letters in an acronym the way that they are pronounced in the words you are replacing.

    • He didn’t invent acronyms, only a file format.

      The proper way to pronounce acronyms in English predates this guys birth, so no he doesn’t get to decide how to pronounce English.

  4. I’ve been around a long time. In the early 90’s when people were just learning that the web existed, I was just becoming a teenager. I pronounced it “jif” then and was sure I was right until I grew tired of being mocked for my pronunciation by people who (at least acted like) they new better than me. I tried to stick to my guns but I eventually caved, I was overwhelmingly outnumbered and found my life was just easier when I changed my pronunciation to “gif” so that I wouldn’t have to have “THAT” conversation again. Well life was good for about 15 years until this whole thing mess cropped up with the creator. Well unfortunately he didn’t step in way back then. The public pronunciation that is FAR more common is gif (like gift). He lost control of the word 15 years ago and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anyone mock me again for NOT pronouncing it the way that I did so long ago. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how Shakespeare might have pronounced a word that he coined, we still pronounce it the way the majority decides. So screw that shit.

  5. I’m with, it appears, everyone else. It’s pronounced gif not jif, Jif is a brand of peanut butter. He’s welcome to try to change that, but unless he can get millions of people to change their minds, it doesn’t matter.

  6. No wonder he didn’t speak. I’d have been too embarrassed to talk too if my acceptance speech had not one but two misspellings. It’s a shame he got the G and J mixed up.

    • He didn’t speak because he had a stroke, and hasn’t fully recovered. The hosts were trying to work around it in a non-obvious way.

  7. He may have invented it, but he’s wrong. It’s not Gerald’s Interchange Format, it’s Graphics Interchange Format, therefore, a “hard” G sound, not a j. (there’s a reason the peanut butter is spelled with a j – when you want a j sound, use a j)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.