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It’s pronounced “neft”

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Say it with me

NEFT logo Illustration by Alex Castro (modified Corin Faife) / The Verge

Okay, so here’s the deal.

We’re a month into 2022 and the NFT market is still scorching hot. Already this year we’ve had Coachella NFTs, Lamborghini NFTs, NFT profile pics on Twitter, NFT teasers from YouTube and Meta, and the usual raft of ill-advised NFT projects that were announced and then quickly canceled. The NFT projects keep on rolling.

As a security reporter, I tweeted that I get DM’d about NFT scams more quickly than I can write about them, a state of affairs that (sadly) looks like it’ll keep rolling too. Apparently this year I’m going to be writing “NFT” a lot, you’re going to be reading “NFT” a lot, and before we all get completely sick of it let’s get something straight:

It’s pronounced “neft.”

Look, it’s not just me deciding. A quorum of at least 10 Verge staffers took a very serious poll where many options were considered. “Naft” was a strong contender on the grounds that it “sounds weirdly British,” which I’m offended by as a Brit even though it’s clearly true. Also in the running were “nift” or “nifty,” but it’s too much like the existing NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway. To give the other vowels their due, “nuft” sounds too cute and fluffy, and “noft” is plain strange.

“En-eff-tee” is already all E’s anyway — so “neft” it is.

Let’s be clear, this is for our own good. It’s the kind of intervention we need when any acronym is longer to spell out in letters than it is to say as a word — frankly it’s an outrage that “www” is still said as a nine syllable word, rather than “dub-dub-dub” or something along the lines of “wowow.” Plenty of people proposed it, yes, but they weren’t quick enough. Saying three double-Ues got baked in and now it’s too late.

But here, we have a chance to get in early. NFTs (are you reading it as “nefts” yet?) are new enough that we can turn the ship around; save ourselves from those extra syllables for as long as these non-fungible tokens are here, which could honestly be measured in months, years or decades at this point.

Sure, for now, NFTs (nefts) are mostly pictures, but what comes next — in the future you might use nefts to buy a phone, a car, maybe even your house could be sold as a neft.

So if you don’t want to get...as it were...neft out, then say it with me:

It’s pronounced: neft.