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.(g/j)if
May 30, 2013 11:53 AM   Subscribe

At the 17th annual Webby Awards, Steve Wilhite accepted a lifetime achievement award for the creation of the .gif format. During his acceptance speech, he reiterated his stance: It's pronounced "JIF", not "GIF".

The pronunciation of gif (previously) has followers in both camps, with contrarians to Wilhite coming from as high up as the White House. Luckily for both sides, there are many independents to woo as today Public Policy Polling released their latest poll on the issue, finding "41% of voters in the state go with 'gif' to just 17% with 'jif.' 42% of voters have no opinion though so there's still some room for the jif movement to grow."
posted by DynamiteToast (240 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Intentional fallacy. The matter is out of his hands now. Plus he's wrong.
posted by invitapriore at 11:55 AM on May 30, 2013 [112 favorites]


In my opinion though, it's definitely gif.
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:55 AM on May 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


So what? Language changes continuously.
posted by atbash at 11:56 AM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, duh.
posted by bondcliff at 11:56 AM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


At the 17th annual Webby Awards, Steve Wilhite accepted a lifetime achievement award for the creation of the .gif format. During his acceptance speech, he reiterated his stance: It's pronounced "JIF", not "GIF".

Then a figure at the back of the hall stood up and said "no, actually Steve you'll find its pronounced "GIF". It always has been."
posted by 0 answers at 11:57 AM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


"zheefuh"
posted by mhoye at 11:57 AM on May 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


'Gif'/'Jif', who cares? Let's get to the REAL issue:

For the love of pete, can we have the IMG tag in this thread please!?

[g/jif]
posted by mazola at 11:58 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jood gob, Mr. Wilhite.
posted by boo_radley at 11:58 AM on May 30, 2013 [23 favorites]


During debates like this, I feel like it would be really helpful for a designated personality to stand up and say to all those assembled, "You know one day everyone in this room will die, right?"
posted by Apropos of Something at 11:58 AM on May 30, 2013 [29 favorites]


i'll just leave this here.
posted by nadawi at 11:58 AM on May 30, 2013 [22 favorites]


Cute, PPP, but I'm not going except a sample of only "Virginian voters" on this issue. Unless that 41% say they live in vərˈGɪnjə.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:59 AM on May 30, 2013


It's pronounced 'ping' now.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 11:59 AM on May 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


jif peanut butter is pretty happy about it.
posted by nadawi at 11:59 AM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Although, for the record, if the IMG tag were to be enabled, the MeFi thread would essentially look like this anyway.
posted by mazola at 11:59 AM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I prefer to split the difference, using 'gif' for general gifs and 'jif' for tumblporn. A pronunciation-based NSFW tag.
posted by frimble at 12:00 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


no no no no no not getting sucked into this again no no no no no
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:01 PM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I remember friend of mine (the one who people would point to as the resident techy person) being rabid about it being pronounced gif, lolling at people who dared to call it a jif. And then I guess she read something or maybe heard someone in a position of techy power call it jif, and then she was all rabid about calling it jif, lolling at people who dared to call it a gif. And then I guess she read something that called it a gif again, and wash rinse repeat.

(She was also a PCS ARE WHERE IT'S AT, MACS ARE LAAAME person until she got a mac, at which point it was LOL A PC YOU'RE SUCH A RUBE.)

Anyway, moral of the story is people are dumb and obviously it's pronounced gif. Obviously.
posted by phunniemee at 12:01 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


But for the record it's a hard g
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:01 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


omg - i basically maintain a mlkshk account for the sole purpose of hoping and wishing that on cortex's birthday or something that the img tag is reinstated for one glorious day.
posted by nadawi at 12:02 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


What's the reasoning? I'd rather not start a video.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 12:02 PM on May 30, 2013


To quote Ray Smuckles: Somebody says it's Jif, I'll just sit here sayin' Gif, and they'll be wrong.
posted by The Whelk at 12:03 PM on May 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


for serious you guys
posted by elizardbits at 12:03 PM on May 30, 2013 [15 favorites]


I just call them 'the moving pictures'.
posted by mazola at 12:03 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


You're not gonna get Me to Fite about it.
posted by 0 at 12:04 PM on May 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Or is there no reasoning, just an opinion about where the cool consensus is?
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 12:04 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


This debate is the jift that keeps on jivving.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:05 PM on May 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


Like Prometheus' punishment for providing fire to the humans, Wilhite's punishment for providing gifs to the world is to always be wrong about its pronunciation.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:05 PM on May 30, 2013 [13 favorites]


Hard G, sorry, it's an acronym, follow the standard rules for how to pronounce nonsense words. NATO, OSHA, etc, etc. It's not Oh-sah, is Oh-sha. If there was an H or Y behind the G, I could accept a soft g, but with the simple G followed by a single vowel, it's G, and in GUH. Besides, it's an acronym for Graphical Interchange Format. Graphical has a hard G. If it had a soft g, I'd be more lenient, but it doesn't.
posted by daq at 12:05 PM on May 30, 2013 [39 favorites]


The Venn Diagram of (1) people who pronounce 'gif' with a soft G and (2) people who pronounce GOB with a hard G is a perfect circle.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:06 PM on May 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


It's actually pronounced "throat-warbler mangrove"
posted by briank at 12:06 PM on May 30, 2013 [14 favorites]


daq, how do you pronounce "modem" (aka, modulator-demodulator)?
posted by sparklemotion at 12:06 PM on May 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


I mean, being vaguely serious about this for a minute, it's obviously a matter of usage and different speech communities will have different norms and I accept that, but the fucker had the opportunity to decide it was pronounced in a way consistent with the way 'g' is pronounced in the vast majority of cases in English where 'g' starts a word and isn't preceded by 'h' and HE DROPPED THE BALL. That shit is on him.
posted by invitapriore at 12:07 PM on May 30, 2013


It's weird to me that everyone else likes the hard 'g'. I've been saying jif since waaaay before I knew it was right (via the inventor). It's just easier to say.
posted by DU at 12:07 PM on May 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


Dude's been chuckling to himself all these years: "Come on Steve keep as lid on it... heh heh".
posted by 0 answers at 12:07 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Let's just give [dʒɪf] to the Brits and [gɪf] to America and then we can use them interchangeably and everyone is right.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:07 PM on May 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Or we could just treat it as an Initialsm, and pronounce every letter, like in ATM or FBI. Add a third option for anyone who doesn't want to be as lame as jif or gif, but has to forge their own way. Don't be a sell out. G.I.F. all the way, baby.
posted by daq at 12:08 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


The rate at which people are commenting, as well as the comments, would suggest that there isn't any reasoning... Have any of you had the experience of looking something up to settle an argument, only to be looked on as a killjoy? People just want to argue.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 12:09 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Giraffe. Giant. Gibbering madness. Ginger. Gin. Gif.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:10 PM on May 30, 2013 [38 favorites]


but with the simple G followed by a single vowel, it's G, as in GUH

Like germaine or Germany ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:10 PM on May 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Gill Git Gargantuan Gooch Gocart Gaggle Gif Gawwwwwwd almighty
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 12:11 PM on May 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


Hard G, sorry, it's an acronym, follow the standard rules for how to pronounce nonsense words. NATO, OSHA, etc, etc. It's not Oh-sah, is Oh-sha. If there was an H or Y behind the G, I could accept a soft g, but with the simple G followed by a single vowel, it's G, and in GUH. Besides, it's an acronym for Graphical Interchange Format. Graphical has a hard G. If it had a soft g, I'd be more lenient, but it doesn't.

How do you pronounce GATT? (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.)
posted by kmz at 12:12 PM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's G. I. F. Keep saying it over and over, faster and faster, and eventually you'll end up saying "jif."
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:12 PM on May 30, 2013 [8 favorites]


sparklemotion:
different classification. modem is an abreviation and concatenation. You will notice that while is was in all caps for the first few years, it quickly became de-capicalized and concatenated into one word, aka, modem, verses, MODEM or MO-DEM. And since standard pronunciation of Mode, is Moe, simply adding the -em to the end is how it is referred to in the modern parlance. Don't get me started on Nuclear. You'd need 2 D's to make it Mod-Dem, anyway.
posted by daq at 12:12 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


No, it's pronounced "ping". Or maybe "pong".
posted by erniepan at 12:13 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


How do you answer kmz's similar example then, daq?
posted by sparklemotion at 12:13 PM on May 30, 2013


The only thing worse than people who pronounce it incorrectly are people without extremely strong feelings on the pronunciation.
posted by elizardbits at 12:14 PM on May 30, 2013 [11 favorites]


Giraffe. Giant. Gibbering madness. Ginger. Gin. Gif.

Gift. Gill. Gimlet. Giddy. Gimp. Ginko. Gif.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:14 PM on May 30, 2013 [10 favorites]


it's an acronym for Graphical Interchange Format

Jraphical Interchange? Jraphic Park!
posted by rory at 12:14 PM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


.png is 'pung' out-loud, we can all agree on that, yes?
posted by 0 answers at 12:14 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


image-tag
IMAGE-TAG
IMAGE-TAG!!!
posted by resurrexit at 12:15 PM on May 30, 2013


As a precaution, I'm just going to start pronouncing all acronyms as JIF.

Now excuse me while I go withdraw some cash from the jif machine so I can pay for my jif state jif diving license and swim with all the ghoti.
posted by phunniemee at 12:15 PM on May 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


I've always pronounced it with a soft g because the hard g sounded too awkward to me. As someone else put it, it's like a weirdly unfinished version of "gift." But that's just my personal preference. *shrug*

with the simple G followed by a single vowel, it's G

"Gin" would like to have a word with you.

Orthography doesn't always line up neatly with phonetics. We have gin and gist, but we also have gift and guilt.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 12:16 PM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


As in: "send me that dot pung Trevor or you're fired"
posted by 0 answers at 12:16 PM on May 30, 2013


.png is 'pung' out-loud

But does it rhyme with lung or the beginning of the word "pungent".

(it's pnng like lung obvsly)
posted by elizardbits at 12:17 PM on May 30, 2013


Gyfe.
posted by joegester at 12:17 PM on May 30, 2013


The prefix "giga-" for 109 was originally pronounced "jig-a" or even "jī-ga" (see Back to the Future and older dictionaries). I assume the jif-ists upon learning this will pronounce "gigabyte" and "gigs" with an initial j-sound.
posted by gubo at 12:17 PM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


But anyway, the true answer is: either way is correct! Unless you also want to settle on one way to pronounce "either".
posted by kmz at 12:17 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


The pronunciation that I could never get on board with is the one for meme. I *know* it's supposed to be "meem" but I can't help but read it as "mehm."
posted by imnotasquirrel at 12:18 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I still like my second notion, which is to just pronounce each individual letter and be done with it.
posted by daq at 12:18 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


we should all joogle the answer, since no one ever really uses binj anyway.
posted by elizardbits at 12:18 PM on May 30, 2013 [6 favorites]



The prefix "giga-" for 109 was originally pronounced "jig-a" or even "jī-ga" (see Back to the Future and older dictionaries). I assume the jif-ists upon learning this will pronounce "gigabyte" and "gigs" with an initial j-sound.


It's a Jigawatt but a Gigabyte.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:19 PM on May 30, 2013


After sitting in on many of these arguments -- well, actually, the same argument over and over again -- I just realized that the only reason I pronounce it with a soft g is because of "gin."

Lutoslawski: "Let's just give [dʒɪf] to the Brits and [gɪf] to America and then we can use them interchangeably and everyone is right."

And then I can still say [dʒɪf] and seem like an affected American like Madonna or me when I was 13. Win-win!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:19 PM on May 30, 2013


I'm with you, imnotasquirrel. I don't care that the originator of the words says "meem". It's a "mehm", otherwise I end up wanting to say "ME-ME"
posted by daq at 12:19 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


"The pee en gee?"
"Nope. The pung"
"Oh."
"Its under the jif"
posted by 0 answers at 12:20 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


You should hear dutch people pronounce GIF...
posted by Pendragon at 12:20 PM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm calling it GRINFO, now, to make it harder.
posted by daq at 12:21 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Personally I've always gone with a soft g... but really trying to make any kind of argument about how it "should" be pronounced is setting yourself up for pain. This is English we're talking about here. say it jif or Gif or G.I.F. if you want.

Now mispronouncing Linux.... that's a paddlin'
posted by cirhosis at 12:21 PM on May 30, 2013


For the love of pete, can we have the IMG tag in this thread please!?

Not if you're going to link your shit to a dns2go.com domain.
posted by sideshow at 12:22 PM on May 30, 2013


Hard data:

Of the 5521 words in the CMU Pronouncing Dictionary that start with the letter "g," So, that's 86% of them, or a 6.5 : 1 ratio.
posted by invitapriore at 12:22 PM on May 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


GAY-peg
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:22 PM on May 30, 2013 [12 favorites]


Hard G, sorry, it's an acronym, follow the standard rules for how to pronounce

I think it's pretty hilarious that you think English has standard rules for pronouncing words.
posted by straight at 12:24 PM on May 30, 2013 [20 favorites]


Is it pronounced Jrafic Interchange Format? Then it's not pronounced 'jif'.
posted by usonian at 12:24 PM on May 30, 2013


Maybe I don't spend enough time talking about image files, but I just pronounce it as G... I... F.
posted by threeants at 12:24 PM on May 30, 2013


invitapriore: Can you get the stats for words beginning with "gi-"?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:25 PM on May 30, 2013


The rate at which people are commenting, as well as the comments, would suggest that there isn't any reasoning... Have any of you had the experience of looking something up to settle an argument, only to be looked on as a killjoy? People just want to argue.

Highly recommended short story: Where was Wych Street?
posted by vacapinta at 12:27 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Animated debate.
posted by davebush at 12:27 PM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Is it pronounced Jrafic Interchange Format? Then it's not pronounced 'jif'.

Yes, like the allies of NATO, pronounced Nah-toe.

I'm not saying that hard or soft g is right or wrong, but there are no "rules" that make it so.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:27 PM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Okay, there the picture is a little different. Of the 529 words in the CMU dictionary that start with "gi," 310 start with a hard "g" and 219 start with a soft "g." So 59%, or 1.4 : 1.
posted by invitapriore at 12:27 PM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Why Are There Two Pronunciations for 'G'?"
posted by epersonae at 12:28 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Jif" and "ping" and I will fight anyone who disagrees
posted by en forme de poire at 12:28 PM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is it pronounced Jrafic Interchange Format? Then it's not pronounced 'jif'.

No. It should clearly be pronounced 'grif'.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:28 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is karmic retribution for all those times I corrected people who mispronounce "nuclear" and "february," isn't it.
posted by Sokka shot first at 12:29 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


And so the GIF war began. It was a bleak time, brother against brother, mefite against mefite. It is only with perseverance and the complete abolition of moving pictures that an uneasy truce was struck.
posted by stoneweaver at 12:29 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks invitapriore! Such solid numbers make me want to change to hard G now.

(Obviously, I wasn't that attached to my pronunication, since I'm pretty sure I haven't said the word aloud in about 20 years.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:29 PM on May 30, 2013


I choose NOT to pronounce it as JIF.
posted by maudlin at 12:29 PM on May 30, 2013


Why don't we settle this with a nice, orderly civil war?
posted by The Whelk at 12:30 PM on May 30, 2013


4785 of them are pronounced with a hard "g", and
736 are pronounced with a soft "g".


Ha - then soft-g is more exclusive, which means it's better! Wake up, Geeple!
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:30 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a hard G as in gist, giant, gigolo, gip, gin, ginger, ginseng, giraffe, and Gina.
posted by straight at 12:30 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Choosey Mefites choose Gif.
posted by The Whelk at 12:30 PM on May 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Fort Wilhite will be pretty offensive in about 150 years.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:31 PM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I really don't give a fij.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:31 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Personally I think it's all a big goke.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:31 PM on May 30, 2013


Choosey Mee-fights choose Gif.


I agree.
posted by maudlin at 12:32 PM on May 30, 2013


I've been pronouncing it "jif" since 1989.

And it's no coincidence that I just watched the Geri Jewell episode of Facts of Life on Netflix.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 12:32 PM on May 30, 2013


Oh, if we call the whole thing off, then we must part.
And oh, if we ever part, that might break my heart.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 12:34 PM on May 30, 2013


I *know* it's supposed to be "meem" but I can't help but read it as "mehm."

I name you people les même-choosers.
posted by fleacircus at 12:34 PM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Les Mêmeorables
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:35 PM on May 30, 2013


I propose that smooth peanut butter be pronounced Jif and chunky peanut butter must be called Gif.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:36 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I purpose that people who actually like chunky peanut butter be sent to Monster Island.
posted by The Whelk at 12:37 PM on May 30, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's a hard G as in gerrymander.
posted by scruss at 12:37 PM on May 30, 2013


Reasonable people can agree to disagree. And it isn't as if those of us on one side of the debate are completely unable to understand what the others are saying. We may roll our eyes, or grab our pitchforks, but we know what word you're trying (and failing, hard) to say.

Those niceties out of the way; I want what some of the jif evangelists here are smoking. How the hell do you even make jif out of that? Graphics has a hard g! Honestly, *how* are you seeing "jif" ? **HOW!?!?!?!?!!!!!* Please please please give me some rational reason that doesn't involve the word "gin."
posted by ish__ at 12:38 PM on May 30, 2013


'Ping' would make the format as fabulous as it deserves to be.
Its 'me-me' by the way but we won't know until 2032.
posted by 0 answers at 12:38 PM on May 30, 2013


"Jif" is short for "G.I.F". It's a meta-acronym. Or metacronym.
posted by bleep at 12:39 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


usage trumps formality.

So take a poll and you'll have your answer on the perceived correct pronunciation of GIF. I'll continue to pronounce it the way I always have, ever since I first read it. With a hard G. It's just the nature of things when dealing with the English language.

Good day sirs!
posted by PipRuss at 12:39 PM on May 30, 2013


Why must you discriminate against the poor Germanic people of central Europe who have no j-sound in their language? "Jif" just becomes "yiff" which...

Well, I guess that explains a lot of Tumblr right there.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:40 PM on May 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


I call it The Decrepit Image Format That Keeps Tumblr Alive.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:42 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hard G, sorry, it's an acronym, follow the standard rules for how to pronounce nonsense words. NATO, OSHA, etc, etc. It's not Oh-sah, is Oh-sha. If there was an H or Y behind the G, I could accept a soft g, but with the simple G followed by a single vowel, it's G, and in GUH. Besides, it's an acronym for Graphical Interchange Format. Graphical has a hard G. If it had a soft g, I'd be more lenient, but it doesn't.

How do you pronounce GATT? (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.)
A foolish consistency is the hobjoblin of little minds.
posted by cnelson at 12:42 PM on May 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


I need cortex to weigh in on this, because whatever way cortex pronounces it the opposite will be correct, and then we'll know. Except for Canadians and cortex.
posted by Diablevert at 12:44 PM on May 30, 2013


Graphics is a hard g.

Right, because the g is attached to r, and that particular cluster says that only a hard g is acceptable. We do not have the "jr" phonetic cluster in English. The acronym "gif" has no such cluster that demands one or the other.

And just because the letter is pronounced a particular way in the word that makes up the acronym does not mean that the letter has to be pronounced the same way in the acronym itself. We pronounce "scuba" as "scooba" instead of "scuhba."
posted by imnotasquirrel at 12:45 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


backseatpilot: "I propose that smooth peanut butter be pronounced Jif and chunky peanut butter must be called Gif."

The fact that Proctor and Gamble hasn't started this campaign is why the sun is setting on the American empire.

scruss: "It's a hard G as in gerrymander."

I've never wished more that I was a gay porn star than now, realizing I have no use for the name "Gary Mander"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:45 PM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


He changes the congressional borders of my heart.
posted by The Whelk at 12:47 PM on May 30, 2013


I hear he did some movies with Twisted Dick Strict.
posted by fleacircus at 12:50 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


For whatever reason I always make .png an initialism.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:52 PM on May 30, 2013


Okay so derail-ily related but the other night when I was about to pass out drooly unconscious from my arthritis medication, I thought of what I believed was the best porn star name of all time, and decided to txt it to myself to enjoy in the morning.

When I awoke the next day the message read "nekid guy lol".
posted by elizardbits at 12:54 PM on May 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm reminded of this classic.
The first doctor says “I am telling you it is whooom, w-h-o-o-o-m.”

The second doctor contradicts “And I am telling you, you are wrong it is definitely wooomh, w-o-o-o-m-h.”

A young nurse passing overhears, and being new on the job and keen to impress decides to intervene. “Excuse me doctors, but I can help. The word you are looking for is womb, w-o-m-b.

She walks on down the corridor feeling pleased with herself.

The first doctor turns to the second and says “Ignore her, she doesn’t know what she is talking about. I bet she has never even seen a hippopotamus, let alone heard one fart under water.”
It's a hard G.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:54 PM on May 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


We do not have the "jr" phonetic cluster in English

Tell that to the poor jraffe.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:57 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've said it once, I'll say it a thousand times: MetaFilter does not do well with pronunciation posts.
posted by blue t-shirt at 12:59 PM on May 30, 2013


The "JIF" pronunciation is a thinly veiled threat to those of us who are allergic to peanuts. I'm not as bad as some, but they break out in hives upon hearing it. (Don't even get me started on people who say "damn skippy") So we the allergic are no longer allowed to have animated graphics on our Tumblrs?

Side note: since it's now owned by Yahoo, would the corrected pronunciation is Toom-blur?
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:59 PM on May 30, 2013


It's a hard G.

That poor hippo.
posted by maudlin at 1:00 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


And this is a much better Bugs & Daffy gif
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:00 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


The "JIF" pronunciation is a thinly veiled threat to those of us who are allergic to peanuts.

What a goober.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:01 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


You'll notice that Bugs supports GIF and Daffy supports JIF.

GIF it is. I rest my case.
posted by maudlin at 1:01 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


MEEEEEEEEEEEEFIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEE *tumbles off a cliff into redditch*
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:02 PM on May 30, 2013


My wife and I don't see eye to eye. I say "tomato", and she says "Shut the Fuck UP".

-- Dennis Miller
posted by and for no one at 1:03 PM on May 30, 2013


You'll notice that Bugs supports GIF

I always did hate that rabbit.

Tell me what Chip and Dale support and you'll have my answer.
posted by imnotasquirrel at 1:06 PM on May 30, 2013


What a miserable jit.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:07 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


If everyone was calling it JIF then he wouldn't have any need to correct them, thus proving that the majority call them GIFs, thus proving himself wrong.
posted by Lanark at 1:07 PM on May 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


My name is pronounced Stephen. Be sure and pronounce the 'ph'. If you use a 'v' sound I will not answer and you will be crushed by the rejection.
posted by srboisvert at 1:08 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


The matter is out of his hands now.

Indeed. Tchaikovsky hated his "Nutcracker", and Sullivan thought that his work with Gilbert was fluff that kept him from doing real music. C'est la vie.
posted by Melismata at 1:11 PM on May 30, 2013


gigawatts or jigawatts?

FIGHT!
posted by Thorzdad at 1:12 PM on May 30, 2013


In interviews, I call them bitmaps. Sidesteps the issue nicely.
posted by davejay at 1:15 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


gif as in jif (SEE I WAS RIGHT HATERS)
png as in ping
jpg as in jippiguh
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:17 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


SQL: "squeal", "sequel" or "ess queue ell"?
posted by brokkr at 1:18 PM on May 30, 2013


My roommate pronounces SQL as sequel. We plan on stuffing him in an over and salting his flesh when we move out.

(He's not rich so I'm allowed to say that, right?)
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:19 PM on May 30, 2013


As long as I can keep pronouncing Photoshop docs as 'pissed.'
posted by shakespeherian at 1:19 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Regarding .PNG, RFC 2083 is crystal clear about how to pronounce it: "ping"

Not that any one does or should! Just about everyone I know spells it out. But what do I know, I called MIDI "mee-dee"! (And MeFi is totally "Mee Fee")
posted by Xoder at 1:19 PM on May 30, 2013


SQL is pronounced "shibboleth."
posted by invitapriore at 1:20 PM on May 30, 2013 [16 favorites]


Also when did everyone get together and decide to pronounce AT-AT as 'at at'?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:20 PM on May 30, 2013


I don't understand you people who need to add an "i" to pronounce "png."

It's just "png."
posted by straight at 1:20 PM on May 30, 2013


I call them Gilfs. Pronounced hard-g. ilfs. Stands for GIFs I'd Like to Fight about. The GIFs in Gilfs starts with a soft-g, just to get the fight started. The T&A are silent, except when I dance. Then they kind of make a swishing and slapping sound, and then I fall down, panting and wheezing. Old man fight. Let's go.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:21 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait a second, "squeal"? That's a thing? I think would be scared of anyone who said it that way.
posted by invitapriore at 1:21 PM on May 30, 2013


The Dude weighs in.
posted by elmer benson at 1:22 PM on May 30, 2013


Then there is the pronunciation of GUI.

Yeah, sure, pronounce it JOO-EY.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:24 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


PNG! The magic format!
posted by maudlin at 1:25 PM on May 30, 2013


I was idly trolling my coworkers by telling them that only old, irrelevant neckbeards pronounce it "jif," and one got all het up about how it was originally pronounced that way and she just saw a video that proved it. Then I got her all het up by telling her that people who like smooth peanut butter are effete sybarites who shouldn't be trusted on serious computer issues.

If they're going to make me come to the office, I'm going to fuck with my coworkers.
posted by klangklangston at 1:26 PM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


when I first saw "SQL", I asked a friend in IP if it was pronounced "squeal" and he said "only if you've used it for too long".
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:26 PM on May 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


And MeFi is totally "Mee Fee"

Mee Fee Fie Foom,
Better learn to read the room!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:27 PM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I pronounce it like Dug pronounces "squirrel".
posted by elizardbits at 1:28 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Then there is the pronunciation of GUI.

Trick question. You should never be using the abbreviation "GUI," and especially not pronouncing it out loud in conversation. It's just "UI" or "Graphical UI" if you need to distinguish it from some other kind of UI.
posted by straight at 1:30 PM on May 30, 2013


"Mee-fee squeal ping jif me-me."
And just like magic, the door opened.

posted by 0 answers at 1:30 PM on May 30, 2013


KATHIE LEE JIFFORD
posted by Sys Rq at 1:31 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


GIFFY LUBE.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:34 PM on May 30, 2013


My wife and I don't see eye to eye. I say "tomato", and she says "Shut the Fuck UP".
-- Dennis Miller


But that's what EVERYBODY says when Dennis Miller talks.
posted by aught at 1:44 PM on May 30, 2013 [13 favorites]


Choosey mothers choose gif?
posted by jabo at 1:46 PM on May 30, 2013


I genuinely love gin and gelatin with my giraffe after I've been to the gym.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 1:52 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


At the 17th annual Webby Awards, Steve Wilhite accepted a lifetime achievement award for the creation of the .gif format. During his acceptance speech , he reiterated his stance: It's pronounced "JIF", not "GIF".

Nobody cares, Steve. Take your award and move along. We'll still call it gif.
posted by discopolo at 1:52 PM on May 30, 2013


The English language has the letter G, and the letter J. It's awfully selfish of people to insist on pronouncing G words with J sounds. Imagine your name were Gerry, pronounced with a hard G. Because of all those other Gerrys who couldn't be bothered to spell it Jerry, you're doomed to people mispronouncing your name forever.

If it were to be pronounced "jif," it'd be spelled that way, and choosy moms would choose it. Alas, it's spelled "gif" and pronounced as such. Put another way, Steve Wilhite is hardly an authority on how it's pronounced. He may have invented it, but he's a programmer, not a linguist nor etymologist. He's out of his element, here.
posted by explosion at 1:55 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


daq: Hard G, sorry, it's an acronym, follow the standard rules for how to pronounce nonsense words. NATO, OSHA, etc, etc. It's not Oh-sah, is Oh-sha. If there was an H or Y behind the G, I could accept a soft g, but with the simple G followed by a single vowel, it's G, and in GUH. Besides, it's an acronym for Graphical Interchange Format. Graphical has a hard G. If it had a soft g, I'd be more lenient, but it doesn't.
g's are softened to /dch/ (/j/) when followed by i, e, or y. They represent glottals, not softened g, when followed by h. Which leaves your rules... idiosyncratic and completely irrelevant to discussions of English pronunciation.

Also: misogynist is pronounced with a /j/ sound, not a /g/, but it comes from the roots mis- and -gyne (which usually has a hard g: gynecologist). Even your "gy" rule isn't actually a rule.

As for "what GIF stands for", that red herring has been debunked above.

So, once and for all, ladies and gentlemen, here's the rule for every language argument:

Your opinion on the issue is almost as completely meaningless as your logical arguments.

Only the masses are right. They create the communication rules, stochastically.

posted by IAmBroom at 1:57 PM on May 30, 2013 [7 favorites]


Here in North Carolina I say "gif". And "sequel", but that's more because "ess queue well" sounds oddly formal to me, like someone saying "Could you please direct me to the nearest Automated Teller Machine"?

By the way I heard they say "jif" up in War Chester, Massachusetts.
posted by freecellwizard at 2:01 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Am I the only person (I didn't read every comment), but am I the only person, who, not having a definitive answer for this question, have been spelling out "Jee-Eye-Eff"s for the last twenty years? Like G.I. Joe? It's not hard to say.

I may not be "right", but on the other hand, I am definitely not wrong.
posted by Xoebe at 2:06 PM on May 30, 2013


In practice, I recommend "jee-if," "esquell," and "pingee" because then if the person you're talking to has irrationally strong opinions about how to pronounce acronyms, you can just claim you were spelling out the letters quickly rather than trying to say them as an acronym.
posted by straight at 2:08 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


War Chester, Massachusetts.

HRNNNNNNG
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:08 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


*moseys on up to the bar to slowly pull out six gun and shoot the mirror*
posted by infini at 2:09 PM on May 30, 2013


GAY-peg

Do not tempt elizardbits.
posted by The Bellman at 2:11 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


This thread is making me jiggle out loud.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:12 PM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Steve Wilhite says GIF is pronounced JIF. Ray Bradbury says Fahrenheit 451 isn't about censorship.
posted by moonmilk at 2:13 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Imagine your name were Gerry, pronounced with a hard G
Gerald... Gerry... Ger... Guh.
posted by usonian at 2:17 PM on May 30, 2013


Steve Wilhite says GIF is pronounced JIF. Ray Bradbury says Fahrenheit 451 isn't about censorship.

*uses norwegian design birch handled cheese slicer on newly discovered moon*
posted by infini at 2:21 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


g's are softened to /dch/ (/j/) when followed by i, e, or y.

Get away!
posted by rory at 2:24 PM on May 30, 2013


Give me a break!
posted by Sys Rq at 2:25 PM on May 30, 2013


GIF HORSE IN THE MOUTH
posted by rory at 2:27 PM on May 30, 2013


Xoebe: “Am I the only person (I didn't read every comment), but am I the only person, who, not having a definitive answer for this question, have been spelling out "Jee-Eye-Eff"s for the last twenty years? Like G.I. Joe? It's not hard to say.

I may not be "right", but on the other hand, I am definitely not wrong.
I can't find the reference—I swore it was in The Jargon File, but I couldn't find it—TLAs should always be sounded out as initialisms, unless they're TLAs in which case they are pronounced as a word.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:28 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's the guy's own damn fault for not inventing a Giraffe Interchange Format.

He still has time, if he can wean himself off the peanut butter.
posted by swr at 2:34 PM on May 30, 2013


Hard G GIF sounds stupid. JIF, people, it just sounds better
posted by Annika Cicada at 2:44 PM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


How do us non native speakers supposed to pronounce it? Especially if local cuisine has better options to peanut butter?
posted by infini at 2:47 PM on May 30, 2013


Go to gaol. Go directly to gaol.
posted by rory at 2:48 PM on May 30, 2013


Giraffics Interchange Format is an amazing invention. Think how many zoos are now able to exchange giraffes thanks to this guy.

Except for the French. I hear they tried Zirafa Interchange Format and got confused because they couldn't send Giraffes with zero insertion force.
posted by Mad_Carew at 2:55 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I spent a night in a London jail, which my captors insisted on spelling “GAOL." This is but one of the ways they tortured me.

John Hodgeman, The Areas of My Expertise
posted by NoraReed at 2:55 PM on May 30, 2013


In spanish jpeg is pronounced: jota-peg…

You're welcome…
posted by Omon Ra at 2:57 PM on May 30, 2013


As long as I can keep pronouncing Photoshop docs as 'pissed.'

Once we all have to pay for Creative Cloud, we'll join you.
posted by rory at 2:58 PM on May 30, 2013


In spanish jpeg is pronounced: jota-peg…

As I learned to my dismay upon pronouncing it hay-peg and receiving cackles in response.
posted by elizardbits at 2:59 PM on May 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


In spanish jpeg is pronounced: jota-peg…

You're welcome…


My host mother in Spain would watch Criminal Minds at dinner. The dub pronounces JJ's name "Jota Jota."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:02 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


And "Yahoo!" is actually pronounced "Yay-hoo".

"Gigabyte" is pronounced "Guy-guh-bite".

"Ikea" is "I-kay-uh".
posted by Brocktoon at 3:13 PM on May 30, 2013


I've read this thread and now I can't remember how I pronounce it. It's like when you start thinking about how to hold a fork and suddenly you can't hold your fork. I'll have to sneak up on it in the next couple of days and then make a note.
posted by Mitheral at 3:16 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I want what some of the jif evangelists here are smoking. How the hell do you even make jif out of that?

Straight answer: The format is defined by a specification, and for anything defined by a spec, the spec or its authors have the canonical say on resolving ambiguities, even if they are stupid and wrong. (For example, GIF also stores multibyte values LSB-first; even though big-endian is inarguably the supreme byte order, a GIF implementation that used it would still be wrong.) The pronunciation doesn't really matter, but if you do insist on the existence of a "correct" or "incorrect" pronunciation, the only correct answer is with the soft G.

That said, "gif" is one of the places I deviate from my prescriptivist leanings. Everyone1 I know says it with the hard G and I think the soft-G people are being silly.

The prefix "giga-" for 109 was originally pronounced "jig-a" or even "jī-ga"

My collection of mystery liquor is measured in jiggerwhats, and my porn collection is measured in jigglebytes.

1Well, almost everyone.
posted by hattifattener at 3:17 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Little known fact - the proper pronunciation for meme is actually "image macro".

And "Jif"? FYIW!
posted by jclarkin at 3:26 PM on May 30, 2013


Except for the French. I hear they tried Zirafa Interchange Format and got confused because they couldn't send Giraffes with zero insertion force.

They should try using a bigger boxcar, with a hole in the roof.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:53 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've never understood how you can possibly get a soft-g into "GIF". It's an acronym for "Graphics Interchange Format" ... the 'G' in 'Graphics' is a hard-g, "guh" sound, not a soft-g "juh" sound; the latter is a totally different phoneme which isn't found in the word being abbreviated at all. I mean, you might as well through a few glottal stops and a click consonant or two in there while you're at it, just tossing arbitrary crap into the pronunciation for the hell of it.

The demand for a soft-g "jif" pronunciation is completely arbitrary and weird. It strikes me as the inventor wanting everyone to do something stupid just because he thinks he has the right to demand it be so. Ugh.

What's worse, since the hard-g pronunciation is what logically follows from the root words in the acronym, the only way that you'd ever know about the soft-g pronunciation is by either hearing someone saying it, or saying it the logical way and being corrected. It's an exception case created for no reason whatsoever, except, and this really gets at the root of the issue to me, as an obnoxiously cult-y in-group/out-group "lol you're doing it rong" identifier.

So yeah, screw that "jif" noise. Until they get people to pronounce "graphics" as "jraphics", it's going to be "GIF" with a hard 'g' sound.
posted by Kadin2048 at 4:02 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have to say that until I read this and despite being a web geezer for decades, I had never ever heard anyone pronounce it with a hard G before; never heard anything but gif with the J. Now, out of the blue (literally), I'm in the minority? What the f?
posted by umberto at 4:18 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe he was just yanking everyone's chain?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:18 PM on May 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


When someone corrects my speech over a trivial matter, my stock response is "oh, so you knew what I meant, and we can move along to something of substance."

Communication is understanding what the other party is stating; I let the pedants argue over the 'rules'.

My network is now minus 2¢.
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:24 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


*net worth

....Figures, given what I just said.
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:30 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


IBM used to promote "sequel" for SQL. Whenever they would do so,
I'd say in a really loud, sarcastic tone, "Oh, okay .. Ibum!" People
would pour their whiskey sours on me in a display of loathing and contempt, but, you know what? My rebel heart prevailed and eventually
thrived in the face of top-down, unilateral aggression! Let that be a lesson to me!
posted by Chitownfats at 4:46 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I maintain that if you're going to be a peanut butter weirdo based on appeal to authority, you must pronounce SCSI as "sexy".

One of my coworkers has agreed to this.
posted by flaterik at 4:49 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, I do Skippy over Jif, but I don't understand the hatred for crunchy peanut butter in here. It does the whole coating parts of your mouth and then never coming off thing somewhat less than smooth.
posted by NoraReed at 4:53 PM on May 30, 2013


Kadin2048: I agree that the selection of "jif" by the format's creator is pretty arbitrary, but that's not how acronyms work. That argument falls apart rather quickly when you examine almost any other acronym.

/been sayin' "jif" since I read the CompuShow docs in 1991
posted by zsazsa at 4:57 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


The demand for a soft-g "jif" pronunciation is completely arbitrary and weird.

So it fits in perfectly with the rest of the English language, then!
posted by imnotasquirrel at 5:06 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


My collection of mystery liquor is measured in jiggerwhats, and my porn collection is measured in jigglebytes.

Seems like some of that liquor is probably in Jagerwuts.
posted by maryr at 5:15 PM on May 30, 2013


Which brings a whole new vowel or consonant into all this.
posted by maryr at 5:16 PM on May 30, 2013


I've said it once, I'll say it a thousand times: MetaFilter does not do well with pronunciation posts.

Wait, seriously? Dude, I'm laughing my ass off over here, between "nekid guy lol" and the GOB reference, I couldn't be happier for something to wake up to!

Also, it can't possibly be true that I'm 200 posts late to the party and the first to link to Penny Arcade, can it?
posted by GoingToShopping at 5:24 PM on May 30, 2013


[comment removed because redundant]
posted by genghis at 5:31 PM on May 30, 2013


Thank you Mr Wilhite, gif is your gift to the world.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 5:50 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I swear the pronunciation pedants are about to spray gism all over this thread.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:10 PM on May 30, 2013


All I wanted to do is explain to my friends that "I made a gif of my drow mage." How do I pronounce this sentence correctly?
posted by humanfont at 6:11 PM on May 30, 2013


I pronounce it both ways. If I use it first in conversation it always has a hard g. If the other person uses a soft g and I haven't used the word yet, I will use a soft g.

Unless I want to passive aggressive mess with them in which case I will use the hard g and go really hard, GIF! This very rarely happens. When the other person goes first I estimate it's ~ .67 hard & ~ .33 soft.

The reason I use the hard g is because graphics has a hard g I have always thought but the person up above going on about GATT definitely has a point I hadn't thought about before.
posted by bukvich at 6:26 PM on May 30, 2013


"giff" "jay-peg" "ping"


There, glad I could clarify that for everyone ever for all time. Move along.
posted by stenseng at 6:48 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


There, glad I could clarify that for everyone ever for all time.

Now, that is the funniest post in this thread so far!
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:51 PM on May 30, 2013


I view my jifs on GNU/Linux.
posted by NortonDC at 6:59 PM on May 30, 2013


Jiff, jay-peg, ping, scuzzy, sequel.
posted by barnacles at 7:37 PM on May 30, 2013


I can't believe all the people flipping out that it's so hard to understand the soft g. You can't even say the name of the letter without the j sound. So again, when spelling it out it's gee-eye-eff. One day it turns into jif. That's how hard that is.

What bugs me is when people say vajayjay. There's no j in vagina, despite the sound, so they add a second one. I know I'm being contradictory but joddammit, I just can't get past that one.
posted by hypersloth at 8:32 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


"All I wanted to do is explain to my friends that 'I made a gif of my drow mage.' How do I pronounce this sentence correctly?

"I made a png of my drow mage."
posted by Mad_Carew at 8:44 PM on May 30, 2013


Ok but does drow rhyme with row or cow?
posted by humanfont at 9:13 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I kind of wish he'd insist it's pronounced 'jeef' because then I could make a joke about going on a holy jifhad to purge the world of the infidels.

Kind of.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:23 PM on May 30, 2013


Say the letters G, I, F out loud five times as fast as you can.
posted by straight at 9:30 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Imagine how history might have turned out if IBM's PC had incorporated the advanced futuristic technology of file names that ended with more than three letters.

Or if Unicode had been around back then they could've been ".🖼" files and not pronounceable at all.
posted by XMLicious at 9:53 PM on May 30, 2013


Ok but does drow rhyme with row or cow?

Oh dear, another /raʊ/ in the making...
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:57 PM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]



During debates like this, I feel like it would be really helpful for a designated personality to stand up and say to all those assembled, "You know one day everyone in this room will die, right?"


when i was a kid i had an idea for a superhero who just walked around doing this to people


and its JIF

or 'useless waste of time'
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:06 PM on May 30, 2013


flaterik: "I maintain that if you're going to be a peanut butter weirdo based on appeal to authority, you must pronounce SCSI as "sexy"."

I wasn't going to take a side, but I didn't know sexy peanut butter weirdo was an option. Suddenly life has new meaning.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:08 PM on May 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


that's not how acronyms work. That argument falls apart rather quickly when you examine almost any other acronym.

Does it? I can't think of many other acronyms where the leading phoneme in the first word making up the acronym isn't the same as the first phoneme in the pronounced acronym. Radar / radio, scuba / self, laser / light ... the pronunciation of other common technical acronyms is also very consistent: SCSI is "scuzzy", ANSI is "an-see", etc.

About the only exceptions I can find are ones where the acronym closely resembles an existing word that's pronounced differently: "CIDR" is "cider" rather than a hard-c "kider" (matching 'classless') because "cider" is already a word.* But situations like that tend to be pretty contrived. And it doesn't make much sense as a defense of the author-preferred "jif" pronunciation, which isn't a word, brand-name peanut butter brands excepted. (And I've never heard anyone defend the "jif" pronunciation by saying it was a peanut-butter reference. Though I'd be willing to entertain that argument I guess.)

* Another seeming exception: when the acronym incorporates another acronym, e.g. "SRAM".
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:32 PM on May 30, 2013


But situations like that tend to be pretty contrived. And it doesn't make much sense as a defense of the author-preferred "jif" pronunciation, which isn't a word

Eh? "Jiff" is a word, and goes back to the 18th century.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 11:22 PM on May 30, 2013


I've always pronounced SQL as squeal, for myself. It matches my feelings when I'm forced to work with it. If I could make it sound like FUUUUCK, I'd do that instead.
posted by ChrisR at 11:46 PM on May 30, 2013


Gif hard g as in graphics. Jif is peanut butter.
posted by Cranberry at 1:03 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ok but does drow rhyme with row or cow?

What do you mean, "or"?

If Robert Moog and Martin Scorsese can't convince the world to pronounce their own surnames properly, Wilhite has no hope.
posted by rory at 1:44 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wonder how those 41% say Gee-whiz? I hope it isn't with a hard-G.
posted by rmmcclay at 1:46 AM on May 31, 2013


IBM used to promote "sequel" for SQL. Whenever they would do so,
I'd say in a really loud, sarcastic tone, "Oh, okay .. Ibum!"


I want to make a movie about a supercomputer named .fhe who goes crazy and kills everyone on board a spaceship.
posted by ogooglebar at 2:18 AM on May 31, 2013


If Robert Moog and Martin Scorsese can't convince the world to pronounce their own surnames properly, Wilhite has no hope.

Ha! Robert Moog can't even convince half his family to pronounce their own surname properly.
posted by ogooglebar at 2:29 AM on May 31, 2013


I wonder how those 41% say Gee-whiz? I hope it isn't with a hard-G.

So...ghee whiz? Ah, the perils of eating too much Indian food.
posted by phunniemee at 4:51 AM on May 31, 2013


Now lets have a row over whether name a row of Linux servers after heirloom tomato varieties or herbs.
posted by humanfont at 4:54 AM on May 31, 2013


How about varieties of roe?
posted by XMLicious at 5:07 AM on May 31, 2013


If Robert Moog and Martin Scorsese can't convince the world to pronounce their own surnames properly, Wilhite has no hope.

To say nothing of Steve Buscemi, who admits to mispronouncing his own name.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:41 AM on May 31, 2013


gif. as in gila monster.
posted by emmling at 6:06 AM on May 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


IDJAF.
posted by fiercecupcake at 6:18 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nope - don't care I'm too old a dog to change now. I'm gonna keep pronoucing it (j)if... not because I want to but because I won't be able to... and no one will understand me if I do...
posted by SpringRobin at 7:36 AM on May 31, 2013


the pronunciation of other common technical acronyms is also very consistent: SCSI is "scuzzy"

The guy who invented SCSI thinks it should be pronounced "sexy". So anyone who thinks we should pronounce .gif as JIF because Steve says so should also change how they are pronouncing SCSI. This is the problem with an appeal to authority of this nature. The pronounciation has been turned over to the public domain and out of the control of the originating body.

Plus pronouncing it "wrong" can be seen as a bit of a middle finger to the .lzw patent holders.
posted by Mitheral at 7:59 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


My name is pronounced Stephen. Be sure and pronounce the 'ph'. If you use a 'v' sound I will not answer and you will be crushed by the rejection.

How about Step Hen? That's what I call the person by that name in my office. But maybe that's just because he annoys me.
posted by jennaratrix at 11:05 AM on May 31, 2013


Oh I"m too SCSI for my shirt, too SCSI you see... this doesn't work visually unless you're reading out loud on your side of the screen because you have to move the lips in English?
posted by infini at 11:06 AM on May 31, 2013


My name is pronounced Stephen. Be sure and pronounce the 'ph'. If you use a 'v' sound I will not answer and you will be crushed by the rejection.

How about Step Hen? That's what I call the person by that name in my office. But maybe that's just because he annoys me.
posted by jennaratrix 9 minutes ago [+]


In read-aloud proofreading, as I've done for the Texas state government, we pronounce it "Step Hen" to distinguish it from "Steven." So, yeah, totally legit. :]
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:17 AM on May 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Turkish artist Erdal Inci has a new collection of GIFs on display at Action Gallery Milan - and also his tumblr.

I wonder how he says GIF?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:33 PM on May 31, 2013


He's wrong. Just like Terry Brooks is wrong about pronouncing "Shannara".
posted by kreinsch at 1:31 PM on May 31, 2013


gif. as in gila monster.
El Gife.
posted by usonian at 7:06 PM on June 2, 2013


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