If you were among the group of people who said a GIF, the popular animated images file, is pronounced like the word “Jif,” then give yourself a pat on the back -- you were right.
The creator of the image file format, Steve Wilhite, settled the long-running debate Tuesday, telling the New York Times he gets frustrated by those who pronounce the name of the file like the word “gift.”
“The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,” Wilhite told the New York Times. “They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”
Wilhite was honored Tuesday with a lifetime achievement award at the Webby Awards for his creation of the file format. He invented the Graphics Interface Format back in 1987, but in the last few years -- thanks to the likes of Tumblr and Buzzfeed -- the format has enjoyed a renaissance.
However, many have gone on pronouncing the name of the GIF format incorrectly. We touched on this debate one year ago as the file format celebrated its 25th anniversary and noted Wilhite was known for pronouncing the name as “jif” and correcting those who did otherwise.
But why “jif” and not “gif?” I mean, its a “graphical” interface format, not a “jraphical” one, right?
Well Wilhite is often quoted as saying that “Choosy programmers choose GIF,” which is a reference to a Jif peanut butter commercial from back in the day that said “Choosy mothers choose Jif.” So it has less to do with logic and more to do with a man’s preference in peanut butter.