GIF or Jif?

The debate has raged for years over the pronunciation of the acronym for Graphics Interchange Format file type. 

In one camp, there are those who pronounce GIF with a hard G, as in "good" and "girl." In another camp, people pronounce GIF with a soft G, as in "Jif" and "giraffe."

Even GIF creator Steve Wilhite declared in 2013 that it's pronounced with a soft G. However, that didn't settle the debate, as everyone from celebrities to presidents weighed in.

Now, a peanut butter brand is trying to end the argument once and for all.

Jif peanut butter, part of The J.M. Smucker Company, released special edition jars of peanut butter labeled as GIF or Jif. The peanut butter declared GIF should be pronounced with a hard G and is not pronounced the same as Jif.

On the lid: "If you've ever called a GIF a Jif, we forgive you."

"We're teaming up with GIPHY to put a lid on this decade-long debate and prove there is only one Jif… it's creamy, delicious peanut butter, not a looping picture you can send to make friends and family laugh," Rebecca Scheidler, Vice President, Marketing of Jif, said in a release.

The jars are available for $9.99 on Amazon.

In 2017, to celebrate the GIF's 30th birthday, Facebook made the format available in post comments and created a poll about the GIF's pronunciation. 

Former President Barack Obama in 2014 said he pronounces the file type with a hard G. Hillary Clinton even weighed in during the 2016 presidential election, saying GIF with a hard G during a fundraiser.

Wilhite told the New York Times the Oxford English Dictionary's acceptance of both pronunciations was "wrong." 

Newsweek spoke with a linguistics professor and an expert in computational linguistics. Both said it should be pronounced with a hard G. NYU professor Frans Adriaans told the outlet that a computer would pronounce the acronym with a hard G.

"At GIPHY, we know there's only one Jif and it's peanut butter. If you're looking for all the GIFs, there's only one GIPHY," Alex Chung, founder and CEO of GIPHY, said.  

What other people are reading right now:


Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Stay In the Know! Sign up now for the Brightside Blend Newsletter