“The Most Absurd Religious War in Geek History.” and I have staked my claim. Never mind how the inventor says it’s to be pronounced. Until I hear it from his lips, it shall always be GIF, as in Graphic.
GIF is pronounced with a hard G…
GIF, which stands for Graphics Interchange Format, became news to the rest of the world when Steve Wilhite, the inventor of the program that animates much of the web, proclaimed it is pronounced “jif,” like the brand of peanut butter, rather than with a hard G sound.
He made the statement first in an interview with The New York Times,then in an acceptance speech at the annual Webby Awards on Tuesday, where he received a lifetime achievement award.
Geeks everywhere were outraged.
“You can have my hard ‘G’ when you pry it from my cold, dead hands,” Tracy Rotton, a Web developer from Washington, D.C., wrote on Twitter.
Elizabeth Pyatt, a cunning linguist at Penn State University,say this about pronouncing a word incorrectly — even a technical term — can cause feelings of shame and inadequacy. If people believe there is a logical basis for their pronunciation, they are not apt to give it up.
Mr. Wilhite created the file format in 1987 when he was working as a programmer for CompuServe, the nation’s first major online service. The company wanted to display color weather maps, but existing image technologies took up too much bandwidth for slow dial-up connections. Mr. Wilhite thought he could help.
“I saw the format I wanted in my head and then I started programming,”
The first image he created was a picture of an airplane.