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It’s “Jiff” and I Don’t Want to Hear Another Word

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It's "Jiff" and I Don't Want to Hear Another Word -- Logic may dictate the "g" in GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) is pronounced hard, like gift or gefilte fish, but that didn't stop dozens and dozens of readers from offering opinions, many of them hilarious.

However, several people wrote to say that they either worked with folks at CompuServe or read the original GIF specification, all of which specified a soft "g". None of us at NetBITS understand why we haven't seen the definitive word before, so here it is. Charlie Reading <charlier@kreber.com> writes:

I worked with the creator of GIF (Steve Wilhite) when I was still employed by CompuServe. Steve always pronounced it "jiff" and would correct those who pronounced it with a hard G. "Choosy developers choose GIF" (spinning off of a historically popular peanut butter commercial).

If you want to make a difference in this pronunciation conundrum, print this piece of NetBITS out and send it to the person who writes your local newspaper's technology or Internet column. We now have the specification's authoritative pronunciation. Let's stamp out the hard "g," however logical, once and for all.

 

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