Forget the great potato pronunciation debate — in the internet age, it’s all about GIF.
Just when the world thought that riddle was solved — that GIF, short for graphics interchange format, should be pronounced with a soft G, like the word “gentle” — peanut butter giant Jif is wading into the sticky situation.
Giphy, the addictive site that showcases all things GIF, has taken a definitive stand in a new partnership with the pantry staple.
“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,” the site’s co-founder and CEO Alex Chung said in a statement. “If you’re a soft G, please visit Jif.com. If you’re a hard G, thank you, we know you’re right.”
The debate has raged since 1987 when GIFs, known now for their fun looping videos, first surfaced. However, the format’s creator, Steve Wilhite, told the New York Times in 2013 that, despite popular opinion, it should strictly be pronounced like the peanut butter brand and not like “gift” without the T.
However, many have insisted on a hard G pronunciation, adhering to the natural logic of the acronym, starting with “graphics.”
Even President Barack Obama entered the fray, first from the official White House Twitter account and then in 2014 when he defiantly revealed his hard G stance: “That is my official position. I’ve pondered it a long time.”
For those who want to have their cake and eat it too, the J.M. Smucker Co. is offering limited-edition peanut butter jars with “Gif” labels for under $10 while supplies last at Amazon.
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