In my last post, I talked about the etymology of gif, but now it's time to talk about other image files, because a surprisingly large amount of people don't know what their abbreviations stand for. Take the initialism PNG, for instance. It means "portable network graphics", and was created in 1997 (when the term was formed as well) as a better compression alternative for the graphics interchange format, or gifs to me and you. Next comes JPEG, or "Joint Photographic Experts Group" (the organization that created the file type), released and coined in 1992. This sometimes takes the form of JPG, which is a shortening of the abbreviation. It's interesting how both of those forms are pronounced jay-peg instead of spelled out, J-P-E-G or J-P-G. Language is a curious thing. PDF, meanwhile, stands for "Portable Document Format", for obvious reasons. Of the words I just covered, PDF is used in literature the most, followed by JPEG and PNG. Makes sense.
Adam Aleksic is a sophomore studying linguistics and government at Harvard University. He also has disturbing interests in politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, and law.