We all agree that a GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) file is an image with the ability to combine several image frames into a single file, creating the illusion of animation. But we all don’t agree on how to pronounce this file type. Even our own staff is split down the middle.

The GIF vs. JIF Debate

Some argue that GIF is pronounced with a soft “g” sound, similar to Jif peanut butter. After all, the founder of the GIF file type stated back in 2013 that he intended for the pronunciation to be with a soft “g.” Also, since GIF is an acronym, the abbreviation is pronounced as a single word (e.g., NASA and SCUBA). Supporters for the hard “g” argue that because the “g” stands for a hard “g” word (graphic), it should play a role in the pronunciation. As it turns out, the hard “g” is the most widely used pronunciation.

While we may never reach a consensus, the good news is that Merriam-Webster accepts both pronunciations. What’s your take on this? Let us know here!

First published in our April 2021 IT Radix Resource newsletter