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. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
APC Free White Paper
Optimize your network investment &
Enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Note

www.apc.com
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:



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 World Wide Web
1.   Mt. Gox Is Headed for Liquidation
2.   How To Beat the Heartbleed Bug
3.   Politics Test Silicon Valley, Russia
4.   Why Netflix Got So Blazingly Fast
5.   Twitter Acquires Data Analyzer Gnip


advertisement
Don't Reset Passwords for Heartbleed?
Added caution needed to ensure security.
Average Rating:
Internet Devices Lure Hackers
Mundane devices end up in online crime.
Average Rating:
Google, Viacom Settle Copyright Battle
Bury digital hatchet over YouTube.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
IBM Offers Security, Disaster Recovery as SoftLayer Service
New disaster recovery and security services for SoftLayer clients are being added by IBM. Big Blue said the new capabilities will speed cloud adoption by alleviating concern over business continuity.
 
How To Beat the Heartbleed Bug
Heartbleed headlines continue as IT admins scramble for answers no one has. Early reports of stolen personal data, including 900 social insurance numbers in Canada, are starting to trickle in.
 
After Heartbleed, OpenSSL Calls for More Support
The president of the OpenSSL Foundation says more support is needed from companies and governments that use its software so that it can better spot and fix flawed pieces of code such as Heartbleed.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
Google Glass may find its first markets in verticals in which hands-free access to data is a boon. Medicine is among the most prominent of those, as seen in a number of Glass experiments under way.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Amazon 3D Smartphone Pics Leaked
E-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly set to launch a smartphone after years of development. Photos of the phone, which may feature a unique 3D interface, were leaked by tech pub BGR.
 
Zebra Tech Buys Motorola Enterprise for $3.45B
Weeks after Lenovo bought Motorola Mobility’s assets from Google for $2.91 billion, Zebra Technologies is throwing down $3.45 billion for Motorola’s Enterprise business in an all-cash deal.
 
CTIA Caves, Volunteers Kill Switch Plan
After bucking against the concept of a smartphone kill switch, the CTIA just announced the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” to thwart smartphone thefts in the U.S.
 

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 | Small Business | 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 | XML/RSS Feed

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.