Wednesday, May 22, 2013

GIF: "gif" vs "jif"

I never realized how many people say "gif" instead of "jif" (go head, click a letter), and while I personally don't care a lot, I have to say something about the argument for "gif."

Most of the arguments I've heard/read in favor of "gif" argue that it's Graphics Interchange Format and not Jraphics Interchange Format. "jif" people might respond that giraffe has a soft G, suggesting that GIF should follow suit. "gif" people might then respond that "giraffe" comes from French, and as such shouldn't be a model for pronouncing GIF.

But let's go back to that first argument of the "gif" people: that the G should be pronounced like it is in graphics (because that's what it stands for, after all). If that is the logic to which you submit, I have compiled a small list of other acronyms for which I hope you also apply the same logic:

  • laser: should be pronounced "la-seer"
  • scuba: should be pronounced "skuh-ba"
  • ASAP: should be pronounced "a-sap"
  • BASIC: should be pronounced "bah-sik"
  • Perl: should be pronounced "peh-rl"
  • SWAT: should be pronounced "swat" (not "swot")
  • FIFO: should be pronounced "fih-foh" (not "fahy-foh")

The list could go on, but hopefully that's enough to at least show that the argument that GIF should be "gif" because the G is for "graphics" is a weak argument at best.

FYI, this little "rant" has less to do with "gif" vs "jif" and more to do with me attempting to humorously (yet validly) pointing out a weak argument/justification.

1 comment:

  1. I'm an offender of the pronunciation, but I don't mind. Just playing devil's advocate, one might argue that it's the first letter of the first word, not the first syllable, that dictates the pronunciation of the first letter... ;^)

    Ironically, people do say "A-sap" all too oft...

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