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Inventor Settles “GIF” vs. “JIF” Pronunciation Debate

by Adriana Lee | May 22, 2013May 22, 2013 6:00 pm PDT


Do you call it GIF (with a hard “g,” like “gift”) or JIF (like the peanut butter)? That’s one of the tech world’s age-old questions, but that debate over pronunciation has been settled now once and for all, thanks to the man who first created the animated file format.

When Steve Wilhite won the lifetime achievement award at the 17th Annual Webby Awards, he wanted to do something a little different from the ceremony’s typical five-word acceptance speech. So he did what he does best — he created a GIF file outlining its proper pronunciation, set to the theme song from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Here he is, accepting his award from Tumblr founder David Karp in New York on Tuesday night. Hit play on the vid to see him lay some knowledge down on the masses.

In case you can’t play the video, “IT’S PRONOUNCED ‘JIF’ NOT ‘GIF.'”

Wilhite, I have five words for you, too: The. Best. Acceptance. Speech. Ever.

Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...