Everybody who uses the Internet has come across the controversy over how to pronounce gif, that image type which supports animations. The majority of people pronounce it like it's spelled, but a dangerous sect calls it jif. This minority is spearheaded by the founder of the gif, Steve Wilhite, who claims that it should be pronounced like the peanut butter brand Jif. Ridiculous. Linguistically speaking, it's more natural to use a hard g, so it's not surprising that so many people do. Additionally, because gif is actually an acronym of graphics interchange format, it would make a lot more sense to use the g sound. The OED accepts both pronunciations, so whatever. Gif, properly styled GIF, was coined in 1987, the same year the image type was invented. Usage of the term surprisingly peaked in 1999, and has since been on a decline as they're slowly becoming obsolete.
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Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.