Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
GET RECOGNIZED.
Let an ISACA® certification
elevate your career.

Register today and save
World Wide Web
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Attention GIFers, It
Attention GIFers, It's Pronounced 'Jif'

By Barry Levine
May 22, 2013 1:42PM

    Bookmark and Share
Why should GIF be pronounced like "giraffe," and not, say, like "gift"? One defense of the correct pronunciation is that, since it's an acronym created by Steve Wilhite (pictured), its parent can decide how it should be said, just as countless parents have determined that their creation is called "Saundra" and not "Sandra," even if it's spelled the latter way.
 

Related Topics

GIF
CompuServe
Internet
Tech News



Many of us have apparently been saying it wrong for years. This week, the inventor of the GIF image format revealed that the correct pronunciation of the popular image format is "Jif."

Anyone who has been involved in interactive media production has encountered meetings where both the hard "g" and soft "g" pronunciation of the term were bandied about to describe the image format. The name itself can describe a single image or a GIF animation sequence of separate images. Its original innovation was supporting 8 bits per pixel to indicate up to 256 colors, from a 24-bit color space, thus presenting a lot of color choices in a small file size.

At the Webby Awards on Tuesday night in New York City, the creator of the Graphics Interchange Format, Steve Wilhite, accepted a lifetime achievement award. Award winners at the Webbies are limited to acceptance speeches of no more than five words.

CompuServe's CompuShow

Accompanied by the dramatic set-up music from the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, otherwise known as Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra, five words were displayed on the screen over the podium where Wilhite was standing to accept his award: "It's pronounced 'JIF' not 'GIF.' "

Internet historians have pointed out that the pioneering CompuServe network had an early graphics display program called CompuShow. That software included the Graphics Interchange Format, or GIF, which the documentation said was officially spec'd in 1987 and was "pronounced 'JIF'." Additionally, in 1997 a brief e-mail answer from CompuShow creator Bob Berry was published in the Internet news group alt.ascii-art. Answering a query from someone who wanted the matter settled once and for all, Berry replied that "GIF has always been pronounced 'jif,' since it was first released in 1987."

Some observers have noted that, for some unknown reason, Mac users have preferred to use the hard "G," while PC users have favored the soft version.

Naming Rights

Why should GIF be pronounced like "giraffe," and not, say, like "gift"? One defense of the correct pronunciation is that, since it's an acronym created by someone, its parent can decide how it should be said, just as countless parents have determined that their creation is called "Saundra" and not "Sandra," even if it's spelled the latter way.

With due respect to the naming rights of parents, others, including no less than the White House, have consistently pronounced it with the hard G. But English mavens on the Net have noted that a G as the first letter of a word is usually soft when followed by i, e or y, as in giraffe or German, and hard when followed by a, o or u, as in gap or guide.

Last year, the Oxford American Dictionaries chose GIF in its verb format as "word of the year," and used this definition: "to create a GIF file of an image or video sequence, especially relating to an event," referencing the now-viral use of GIF animation. However, the dictionary, contrary to the wishes of the format's creator, decreed that it could be pronounced either way.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 World Wide Web
1.   'Right To Be Forgotten': 26 Questions
2.   Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
3.   Twitter Admits to Diversity Problems
4.   Internet of Things Comes to DIYers
5.   Microsoft CEO Sees 'Bold' Plan Ahead


advertisement
Radical.FM's Freemium Biz Model
Online radio startup asks for donations.
Average Rating:
Facebook Social Experiment Irks Us
Secretive test was legal, but ethical?
Average Rating:
'Right To Be Forgotten': 26 Questions
EU regulators probe Google, others.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Watson Gets His First Customer Service Gig
Since appearing on Jeopardy, IBM's Watson supercomputer has been making a living using his super-intelligent knowledge base for business verticals. Now, Watson's been hired for his first customer service job.
 
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 
Is the Amazon Fire Phone a Winner?
A late entry into a packed category of smartphones, Amazon's Fire phone offers a variety of unique features. Now, the reviewers are assessing if they're enough to make the phone stand out.
 
Review: Amazon Fire Offers New Ways To Use Phones
The Fire phone uses Android, but Amazon has modified it to the point that it's barely recognizable. That means the phone offers new ways to navigate, discover and, of course, shop.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.