Ask McFartnuggets: “How Do You Pronounce GIF?”

GIF vs JIF is the new
East vs West rap feud.
Dear McFartnuggets: 
How do you pronounce GIF like .GIF files? Is it “Giff” or “Jiff”? I hear some people calling them “Jiffs.” -- Marylou from Manhasset, New York

Dear Marylou:
GIF or Graphic Interchange Format was created by the CompuServe internet service in 1987. The guy who invented it, Steve Wilhite says it’s meant to be pronounced “jiff” because they were deliberately naming it after Jif peanut butter. While that makes no goddamn sense and I think pronouncing “GIF” as “jif” sounds stupid, the guy who invented it says that’s how to pronounce the shit. You can’t really argue with that. It’s kind of like if the creator of “JPEG” told people it was pronounced “Juh-peg.” It sounds dumb and it’s not how you would assume the thing is pronounced, but it is an acronym and so the creator gets to just make up how you pronounce it. For instance “PETA” is pronounced “peeta” not “petah.” Who decided that? Probably the creator of PETA. No one argues about how that’s pronounced, but when it come to GIF people are ready to club each other like baby seals. I think the best thing to do is avoid all that controversy and just spell out acronyms. It works for the NCAA and NAACP. No one calls those things “Ensah” and “Nahckp.” People say “T.G.I.F.” not “tgif” or would it be tjif?” If we can avoid the arguments there why not just say G.I.F.? It’s one less letter to say!

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