The creator of the popular file format GIF has sparked debate among users online after confirming it should actually be pronounced “Jif”.
Steve Wilhite announced the true pronunciation of the file format in an interview with the New York Times.
He said that despite being proud of creating the file format, he is annoyed that people are unable to get its name right.
“The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,” Wilhite said. “They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”
Wilhite’s announcement sparked debate on social media among linguists, grammar enthusiasts and people whom one can only imagine have far too much time on their hands.
One person tweeting on the matter said: “I refuse to accept this”.
The GIF file format or Graphic Interchange Format was invented by Wilhite in 1987 and allows short video clips, images or graphics to be easily embedded onto a web page or into an email.
However, despite Wilhite’s confirming how “GIF” should be pronounced, the debate rages on among users with websites created on pronouncing GIF with a hard G or with a soft G.
Last year, TIME Magazine declared the 3-D Cat Jump as the most popular GIF of 2015.