Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton revealed her stance on the GIF debate today during a San Francisco fundraiser. Yes, in a country divided in practically every imaginable way, the pronunciation of an acronym will please one group of people, and perturb another.
Referring to the comments of her rival Donald Trump, Clinton says, "It make you want to unplug the internet or just look at cat gifs." As ABC News reporter Liz Kreutz clarified via tweet, Clinton pronounced "GIF" with a hard ‘G.’
The correct pronunciation of GIF has inspired of the internet’s stranger and more pedantic feuds. While it may sound strange to some, the hard "G" (like gift) versus the soft "G" (like Jiff) argument is as worthy of barroom brawl as the Green Bay Packers versus the Minnesota Vikings. And just like those football teams, there’s a clear winner.*
It is the hard "G."
Of course, some people say otherwise, most notably the creator of the GIF, Steve Wilhite. He prefers the soft "G" pronunciation. But many a greats artist has misunderstand their own work, and so it is left to us, the viewer, to find the true meaning — or in this case, pronunciation.
Kreutz has the full transcript of what will be known to JIF fans as the GIF gaffe — except they will pronounce it JIFF gaffe, destroying all the joy of this wordplay.
*PBS Idea Channel’s Mike Rugnetta offers a third pronunciation.